Ariel Nomad: Zero to 60 in 3.4 seconds, go anywhere suspension travel and a price tag under $50k. What’s not to love? It’s like your kid’s remote control car that you get to drive yourself.
Ariel’s been around for a while, and has made a lot of enthusiasts swoon with the Atom, a Lotus 7-esque track car with only the bare minimum of bodywork. The Nomad is something different, though. It’s like the Meyers Manx VW dune buggy from the 1960s with the power-to-weight ratio of an F1 car.
What you see is what makes the Ariel Nomad such an incredible handling car. It’s a tube chassis that comprises not only a framework for the suspension to hang off of, but providing full roll cage coverage for two occupants, as well.
The inventory of suspension components reads like a who’s who of suspension technology: Bilstein, Eibach, Öhlins. The tires are big Yokohama Geolanders available in a range of sizes, on rims from 15 to 18 inches.
The engine is a Honda-sourced 2.4-liter VTEC four-cylinder good for 235hp and 221-lb.ft. of torque. That may not sound all that impressive, but in a car that weighs just 1,477 pounds, it’s enough to rocket this barrel of laughs to 60 miles per hour in just 3.4 seconds.
A Honda six-speed manual transmission puts that power to a rear limited slip differential.
“There are things that we can do at low volume that you simply couldn’t contemplate with mass production.” said Simon Saunders, Director of Ariel. “We understand niche markets and we understand customers’ demands completely. Everything we have learnt from the Atom has gone into Nomad and it shows. Nomad is Atom’s tough brother and a continuation of our ‘SERIOUS FUN’ philosophy. If we can put a smile on people’s faces, on road or off it, we have done our job”.
The Atom always seemed cool in a way, but the Nomad takes that coolness and jacks it up about a thousand percent. It’s like a Supermoto motorcycle for two, and it looks like it’d be just as much fun on potholed city streets as it would be on a fire road.
Availability? Only in the UK for now. There are US builders of the Atom, though, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see this available here at some point.