Ariel Motor Company, it of the unhinged Atom sports car, has announced a new addition to its line-up. The Nomad takes all of the raw excitement of the Atom and dumps it into an off-road buggy. Like the Atom, it is said to be lightweight, high performance and reliable.

According to Ariel, the idea of an off-road Atom has been around for some time and, indeed, the Nomad is more than just a stablemate of its older brother. The cars share both a design approach and various components.

The Nomad is powered by Honda's 2.4-liter 4-cylinder K24 iVTEC engine, which produces 235 bhp and 300 Nm of torque. It can accelerate from 0-60 mph (0-97 km/h) in 3.5 seconds and has a top speed of 136 mph (219 km/h).

Ariel says the Nomad's suspension is designed to accommodate a variety of different driving types, including high speed off-roading, low speed crawling and normal on-road driving. Outboard aluminum dampers developed in partnership with Bilstein are used to provide the required suspension travel and robustness. These are coupled with Eibach springs.

The Nomad's braking system can be configured to have a front or rear bias and to use either two or four calipers. The calipers are produced by Alcon Components are are made from light alloy. Alcon has also provided the ventilated discs that are employed.

Customers can choose between a host of different Yokohama tires depending on how they expect to be using their Nomad. There are options for high-speed road, all terrain, full mud terrain, gravel and sand driving, amongst others. All are available on 15-in or 18-in rims.

The interior of the Nomad is designed, understandably, to be simple and perfunctory. The two lightweight seats are weatherproof and the interior can be hosed down after use. An LCD screen provides instrumentation info and it's possible to log and store driver data on an in-built Flash storage system.

Each Nomad will be built by a single Ariel technician, and customers will be able to visit the factory to see their car being assembled. Up to 100 Nomads will be built each year and each will be tailored to the taste of the individual customers. It will also be possible for customers to upgrade their car over time or to have its setup altered.

Production is scheduled to begin in the first half of this year, and prices are expected to start at £27,500 (US$41,600).

The video below shows the Ariel Nomad in testing.

Source: Ariel

View gallery - 13 images