Ariel’s minimalist Nomad is the ultimate dune buggy

From its scaffold bodywork to its supercar-rivalling performance, there’s really nothing else like the Ariel Atom, which is a problem for a company that may eventually want to make something else.

So where will Ariel go beyond the Atom? Simple: off road.

The Ariel Nomad is an off-road scamp built around the same minimalist principles as the Atom, and it looks like the ultimate dune buggy.

Set to officially debut at the Autosport International show in the U.K. later this week and previewed last month, the Nomad features a similar tubular-steel frame design to the Atom.

The skeletal structure is left exposed, and powder coated to protect it against the elements.

The Nomad promises to be just as good on the trail as the Atom is on the track, thanks to a beefed-up suspension system featuring long-travel Bilstein shocks.

That provides up to 12 inches of ground clearance as well as 71-degree approach and 82-degree departure angles. Plus, it’s not like there’s any bodywork to get hung up on rocks.

Power comes from a 2.4-liter Honda four-cylinder engine, which produces 235 horsepower and 221 pound-feet of torque. That’s sent to the rear wheels via a six-speed gearbox with a hydraulic clutch, and a limited-slip differential.

The Nomad doesn’t have four-wheel drive, but Ariel says its light weight (just 1,477 pounds) allows it to match or even outperform 4x4s in many situations.

It also allows the angry Ariel to sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 3.4 seconds, and reach a top speed of 125 mph.

However, that doesn’t leave much room for luxuries although, given that there are no doors or roof, that’s probably a good thing. At least the seats are waterproof.

Ariel plans to build just 100 Nomads per year, with prices starting at 27,500 pounds. That’s about $42,000 at current exchange rates, although Ariel hasn’t confirmed U.S. sales yet.


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