We previously announced the upcoming Ariel Nomad just a few days ago. Now there are more pictures of the actual car and a video of it in action!
The car is powered by a 2.4-litre, long-stroke four-cylinder Honda engine (used in high-end versions of the Accord) that has been configured with Ariel electronics to help it produce 235bhp at 7200rpm. Its torque output of 221lb ft is especially impressive as it matches that of the supercharged 2.0-litre Atom, which is one of the fastest cars on the road.
The Nomad’s weight is listed at a modest 1477, (Colin Chapman would approve) despite the bigger wheels and tires, extra rollover protection, bulkier long-travel suspension and chassis modifications needed for it to cope with off-road use.
The result is a car with a 3.4sec 0-60 and a 125mph top speed. Not a phenomenal top speed but that’s not what this car is about. It will possibly embarrass actual rally cars and certainly tear through some off road and gravel better than most cars you can build.
Ariel boss Simon Saunders thinks most Nomads will be bought for recreational driving both on and off road, but the car has the credentials to achieves rally success. Saunders believes a well set up Nomad could eventually compete in the Dakar Rally.
Ariel has toyed with the idea of a Nomad-style vehicle since the early days of the Atom, but the job of continuing the development of the Atom, coupled with the launch of the Ace motorcycle had kept the Nomad on the back burner.
The Nomad project made some progress after Ariel founder’s son, Henry Siebert-Saunders, whose interest in off-roading was the driving force for the prototype and to lead its development on terrain normally reserved for slower and heavier 4x4s. Though to be fair those slower heavier vehicles are far more capable in more diverse terrain than the Nomad.
“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.
“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.”
The close resemblance of the Nomad’s essential structure to that of the Atom’s original bronze-welded chassis is obvious. The Nomad does differ with a full roll cage that conveniently provides A-pillars for an optional windscreen.
The instrument pod, gear lever for the six-speed manual transmission and the pedal box are all standard Atom items. The completely different suspension layout fore goes the Atom’s inboard set-up in order to provide the longer travel and carry off road wheels and tires.
The car features a selection of polythene body panels that include a nose cone, engine cover, damper covers, mudguards and food Standard cars keep many of these panels black but owners will be able to choose from a wide number of custom variations, including colors for the tube chassis. Add-ons such as roof lights, nerf bars, luggage racks and special exhausts are going to be available.
As with the Atom, owners will be offered a wide selection of optional dampers, brakes and wheel/tire combinations, although the prototype’s 235/75 R15 tires are a good compromise size. There are a wide variety of styles to make selecting the best tire easier.