In the Driver’s Seat: Henry Catchpole on a Honda-powered two-car garage


An Ariel Atom 4R and … ? The fantasy-garage game is a good one. Especially when you start putting in some rules. The most basic restriction is to limit the number of cars that you can choose, but after that criterion, you can start getting creative with your two-car setup.

In this episode of The Driver’s Seat, Henry Catchpole ponders a two-car garage where the cars must share an engine. There are all sorts of possible engine options from Mercedes and BMW and Ferrari and Jaguar, but the one that Catchpole has chosen is from Honda.

Now, the 2-liter, four-cylinder turbocharged K20C isn’t the most exciting engine when set against some of the other options, like a naturally aspirated Ferrari V-12 or a twin-turbo V-8 from AMG, but it does happen to be attached to two very different but brilliant drivers’ cars. The obvious one is the Honda Civic Type R FL5. It’s a bit demure in the looks department but a tactile hoot drive. The other half of the garage is taken up with the wild new Ariel Atom 4R. The R takes the engine’s output up to 400 bhp (394.5 hp) and 369 lb-ft of torque. It also adds a Quaife sequential gearbox with paddle shift and, if you want, quite a bit of aero.

What hasn’t changed, however, is the fundamentally brilliant chassis of the standard Atom 4, which makes it absolutely brilliant to drive—even when you’re on a soaking-wet Anglesey circuit. This R also offers a seven-stage traction control system and a twelve-stage Bosch ABS system as options to help you out, while you can up the ante even more by adding carbon wheels and carbon-ceramic brakes.

Quite the diverse duo, then, but with an engine in common and driving enjoyment at their respective cores. How’s that for a two-car garage?

Following Henry’s shared-engine parameters, drop us a comment below and tell us which you would choose.




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