Ariel are best known for the Ariel Atom, a car which is basically some metal tubing and an engine which is designed to be as fast as it is light, and everyone loves it! Ariel is praised for taking the pure enjoyment of motoring and making it as exciting as possible, and the new Ariel Nomad is no exception.
At the Autosport International show at Birmingham’s NEC, Ariel’s £30k on and off roader was launched and will offer a new type of off-road performance, according to it’s creators. It is powered by the same 2.4-litre four-cylinder engine that is used in the high-end versions of the Accord. Ariel have played around with the unit to get it to produce 235bhp and the same torque as the supercharged 2.0-litre Atom.
You may be thinking that 235bhp isn’t anything too dramatic, but when you consider that the Nomad weighs a minuscule 670kg you realise that these are some pretty serious figures. This power to weight ratio means that it can get from 0-60mph in just 3.4 seconds and on to a top speed of 125mph, which makes it capable of being faster than rally cars both on and off of the tarmac.
Simon Saunders, the boss of Ariel, believes that a majority of Nomads will be used for recreational use, be that on or off the road, but that doesn’t mean it couldn’t put up a fight in competition. Saunders even believes it would have the potential of taking part in the Dakar Rally, not necessarily winning but at least returning in one piece.
“We’ve tested the Nomad on a variety of race circuits and proving grounds, as well as on various private tracks including well known WRC stages, winch challenge courses and closed forest roads,” said Siebert-Saunders, Simon Saunders’ son. “The idea was to subject our two-wheel-drive car to tests worthy of a conventional 4×4, because we reckoned its compactness, torque and light weight would compensate for its lack of four-wheel drive. So far we’ve been right and the Nomad has lapped it up, to the extent that the whole thing adds up to a whole new kind of driving fun.”
Most elements such as the gear lever for the six-speed manual gearbox, pedal box and instrument cluster are all relatable to the Atom. As standard all the body panels come in black, but owners will have the option to choose from a wide variation of colours, including colour options for the chassis frame. Further add-ons such as luggage racks, roof lights, special exhausts and nerf bars are all also available.
Similarly to the Atom, buyers will also be offered optional dampers, wheel and tyre combinations as well as brakes.