BorgWarner electrifies the Ariel Nomad into high-voltage hellion
What happens when you take some of the world's simplest, quickest road-legal race cars and ruggedize them for off-roading? The Ariel Nomad happens. It won our hearts back in 2015, and now it's winning them all over again thanks to American powertrain specialist BorgWarner. In working to sharpen its expertise in the emerging field of electric powertrain technology, BorgWarner has installed a high-voltage rear drive into the Nomad, making the already exhilarating little buggy a torque-vectoring, dirt-spraying electric adrenaline machine.
The Nomad's skeletal tube frame is a driving factor in what makes it love at first sight for many an off-road fan, and it's exactly what led BorgWarner to select it as the platform for its electric demonstration vehicle. All that empty space really puts the spotlight on the BorgWarner badging all over the motors, battery, inverters and cooling system hardware. It also makes for simplified component installation, adjustment and removal. And we have to think the chance to create electrified all-terrain awesomeness also helped tip the scales in the Nomad's favor.
BorgWarner subsidiary Cascadia Motion packaged together two HVH250 electric motors (much like the ones in the equally awesome Chevy Camaro eCOPO) and eGearDrive gear sets into a rear-wheel drive wired to a 30-kWh 350V liquid-cooled battery pack. Each rear wheel is independently controlled and capable of applying drive power or charging the battery through regenerative braking. Dual-motor torque vectoring shortens up the turning radius, allowing for sharp, nimble handling in the dirt.
BorgWarner credits the Nomad platform's flexibility in helping speed the development of its electric technologies, cutting time from a year or two down to six months. It is still working with battery supplier Romeo Power on different battery configurations matched to specific driving scenarios.
The BorgWarner Nomad EV clearly won't be hitting the market anytime ever, and BorgWarner doesn't mention any plans to show it out in the real world. We can't help but think a deep-blue electrified Nomad would make the perfect show booth centerpiece to draw attention to a company's evolving electric powertrain competency, and next week's SEMA show sure seems like the perfect show for it. Timing coincidence or teaser? We'll find out when SEMA starts on November 5.
Beyond that, BorgWarner promises the fast six-month build behind the Nomad EV "exemplifies BorgWarner’s competence in rapidly implementing new technologies for future projects – a timeline that will steadily get faster through the use of this new, powerful demo vehicle."
So that's cool, too.
The video clip below isn't nearly as good as two minutes and 26 seconds of the Ariel Nomad shredding dirt and zigzagging through forest saplings would have been, but it's a decent mix of drive footage and info for those interested in learning more.