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Thread: Desired upgrade - please share your experience

  1. #11
    Neutrino MadMaxAtom's Avatar
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    If you have the time and desire,kits are fine.

    If you want to enjoy driving today (ok..tomorrow..) ..buy one done..
    The power of an Atom is a terrible thing to waste! Atom owner/operator since 2007. The more you chase perfection,the faster it becomes. John Force for President! (I asked him once in person...he laughed)

  2. #12

    2006 aa2

    factory wings (done--transforms the look of the car, not sure about performance enhancements)
    s/c aftercooler (done--helps with charge temps)
    s/c swap (harrop--just finished tightening up bolts this weekend)
    injector swap (60#--hope it is enough)

    Lighting upgrades (HID, led)

  3. #13
    Lepton AtomJohnny's Avatar
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    Has anyone mentioned cup holders yet?
    01100001 01110100 01101111 01101101 00110001

  4. #14
    Neutron
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    Quote Originally Posted by AtomJohnny View Post
    Has anyone mentioned cup holders yet?

    I believe I still had the very first cup holder in an Atom. Used it once to take a picture to piss off the club guys and havent used it since

  5. #15
    Electron Lane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyberbug View Post
    Okay cool, I'll start with a 17" (when ) since it will see AX duty most and I can alwayd get other sets later. I would probably wrap some Nittos initially. Since it wont be a pure track car. but we'll see.
    Something you don't really have to think about on most other cars - with the low weight of the Atom, it's harder to bring tires up to temp. And adding unsprung weight by going to a larger wheel has more of an effect than a traditional car as well. I'd also suggest reading both forums to get people's thoughts and opinions on the tires they've used. I've tried a handful of popular enthusiast brands/models of tires and regardless of how highly-regarded they seem to be for a particular use or activity, most of them just haven't been suitable for the Atom (I tried a set of Azenis, thought they were downright dangerous). So far, I've found Toyo R888 and Hoosier A4 to be outstanding for their respective uses.

    Quote Originally Posted by bolus View Post
    So I would not worry too much about upgrades for now

    As for power increases, despite what ever you drive right now (even if it is a multi-thousand horsepower beast) take some time with the Atom on the track with its base power levels. It is a very different car to drive and adding a ton of HP before getting a hang of it will most likely mean eating a wall. And yes we've seen it happen.
    I agree with Bolus. I posted the following some time ago on another forum in a similar situation, and I'll take this opportunity to recycle it because it still holds value.

    When my Atom was on order and before it was even built, I started researching upgrade options. It's like most of us can't help it. It's a disease, a compulsion.

    After owning it 4+ years now and doing a lot of different types of events/activities with it, I have to say that I now look at that a little differently. Actually no, I look at it a LOT differently. The Atom isn't like every other car that most people are familiar with, and I'd dare to say, it's even quite different than most exotics and supercars for one main reason - its weight, or lack of. It weighs half what the lightest 'traditional' enthusiast car typically does. When that's the case, it's like each horsepower has twice the effect that it does in a normal car. Same holds true for the brakes, steering, and tires - each does more, and minor changes to each have a greater effect. As the loose nut behind the wheel, I'm still working at improving my ability to utilize what the car already offers in stock-ish trim. When people talk about upgrades, too often they're wanting to throw parts at the car and don't consider improving the driver. In this car, that's likely going offer you the most bang for the buck.

    I do, however, feel that the car can benefit greatly from more traction than it has in stock trim. I've fabricated a set of functional front and rear wings, and gone to significantly wider and more grippy tires as well. This has given me much more confidence in my ability behind the wheel, and has improved the performance of the car as much if not more than any additional horsepower would have. After all, what good is hp without the ability to effectively utilize it.

    I can say that adding hp wouldn't do much for me personally at this point. The car as it sits can still scare the bejeesus out of me if I want it to and will take any opportunity to kick my ass and teach me a lesson if my concentration & precision on the track aren't at the level they should be.

    This is the first car I've owned where I've stepped back and thought - you know what, it is damn good and an order or magnitude above anything else I've ever experienced for its level of all-around performance, driving feel, and rip-roarin' fun. I don't know what the future holds - who knows, I may change my mind. But I'm good with that for now.

    Just another opinion and viewpoint. YMMV
    Last edited by Lane; March 5, 2012 at 04:46 PM.
    Ariel Atom 2, Ecotec 300, owner since 2007. Drive, Detail, Improve, Repeat. Visit my website.

  6. #16
    Neutron
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    The other way is to think that you are about to get a car with the same HP to weight ratio as a Zonda, or a Mclarin F1, or a Veyron. So if you were buying a Veyron, is the first thing you say "Damn, Im going to need more HP as soon as it arrives"

  7. #17
    Neutrino MadMaxAtom's Avatar
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    "I do, however, feel that the car can benefit greatly from more traction than it has in stock trim."

    That's the #1 problem with an Atom,especially on the stock street tires. Yikes. The edge of control is so narrow,it's very difficult to drive the car fast with consistency and safety..

    I use to get spin dizzy at autocross events till I found something that would hold better than those stock Yoko 048's..God awfull....and humbling.

    V710's made my car SO much faster..but only if the track temps were 90+ degrees. Not too often in the Northeast.

    The best tire/wheel setup for my Atom has been ultralight wheels (a 15"x12" wheel weighs 11lbs) and wide sticky low mass race tires that get up to proper temperature quickly. (gooey stage!)

    Not suitable for street use...but just the thing for extracting maximum performance from an Atom on dry pavement...you know..flat out...
    The power of an Atom is a terrible thing to waste! Atom owner/operator since 2007. The more you chase perfection,the faster it becomes. John Force for President! (I asked him once in person...he laughed)

  8. #18
    Up Quark
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    Quote Originally Posted by MadMaxAtom View Post
    The best tire/wheel setup for my Atom has been ultralight wheels (a 15"x12" wheel weighs 11lbs) and wide sticky low mass race tires that get up to proper temperature quickly. (gooey stage!)

    Not suitable for street use...but just the thing for extracting maximum performance from an Atom on dry pavement...you know..flat out...
    Sounds like you ended up in close to the same place as the SRA- Hoosier R6s with 205/50ZR15 in the front and 22550ZR15 in the back. There's some talk of switching to the softer A6 tires as the light weight made it hard to get the tires to temp even full out at the track; waiting on further testing from TMI on that point.

  9. #19
    Neutrino MadMaxAtom's Avatar
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    Hoosier R6's? NFW..! I'm on Hoosier Formula Atlantic R25B compounds.23x9.5's up front and 23x12's out back.
    If you think even A6's offer as much grip..you would be very wrong. Been there,done that. DOT tires are made for much heavier cars than the FA tires.The only other tire to come close has been the Radical spec tires,but they aren't wide enough for me.
    The FA tires actually wear very well IF you have the alignment and suspension tuned for them.Everything else is a compromise in my experience. I can even find them cheap as scrub takeoffs; the Formula Atlantic racers buy new rubber for every race,and sell their "old" scrubs for pennies on the dollar. Win-win in my book...
    Last edited by MadMaxAtom; March 6, 2012 at 06:31 AM.
    The power of an Atom is a terrible thing to waste! Atom owner/operator since 2007. The more you chase perfection,the faster it becomes. John Force for President! (I asked him once in person...he laughed)

  10. #20
    Up Quark
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    Not to hijack the thread, but wow- those are soft tires. When you say good longevity, what are you seeing with the Formula Atlantics? I'm getting 20-25 sessions (including 4-5 races) from a set of R6s on the SRA. I know that low total cost/longevity was a big factor in picking the R6 for the SRA spec. OTOH, I'm planning to run my SRA with SCCA a bit this year, so stickier tires are certainly doable there. Hmmm...

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