We’re barely two weeks in and 2015 has already been a pretty stellar year for cars. We’re still catching our breath from some pretty extraordinary debuts in Detroit, but probably one of the most exciting new cars we’ve seen so far this year is the Ariel Nomad. Actually, it’s not so much car as a dune buggy, and the guys from EVO Magazine got up close with one at the 2015 Autosport Show in Birmingham, England.
Ariel is a tiny company based in Somerset, England that’s made an enormous impact on the performance-car world. Using the same ultra-minimalist, lightweight design philosophy it applied to the Atom track-day car, Ariel has created an off-roader.
Like the Atom, the Nomad has an exoskeleton chassis, but that fully encapsulates the occupants. Honda power is still used, but it’s a 2.4-liter unit instead of the 2.0-liter from the Atom. The additional displacement is good for 221 pound-feet of torque and 235 horsepower. Top speed is 125 mph, and 0-60 comes in 3.4 seconds—extremely quick by both on- and off-road standards. The Nomad uses outboard mounted shocks rather than the inboard, racecar-style units of the Atom.
Like the Atom and the Ace motorcycle, the Nomad is infinitely customizable. Both 15-inch and 18-inch wheels are available, shod in a variety of mud, sand or gravel tires. The roof-mounted fog lamps and winch are also options. If you would rather not expose yourself to the elements, a windshield and weather kit will take care of that.
Will we be able to buy in North America? We spoke with TMI AutoTech, the Virginia-based licensed builder of Ariel Atoms, who told us they had no plans to build or sell the Nomad this year. Give it time though; there could be a huge audience for the Nomad on out shores.