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235bhp, 670kg Ariel Nomad off-roader revealed

Fancy an Atom, but need to go off-road? Try this new Ariel Nomad instead... (Plus video)

It would seem that even the low-volume British car maker Ariel is immune from the sports utility vehicle (SUV) craze. Its brand new Nomad is, simply speaking, an Atom for those who like to off-road.

Like its hair-brained brother, the Nomad features Ariel’s trademark perimeter space frame and multi-diameter structural steel chassis, but adds built-in roll-over protection with a full safety cage. Outboard aluminum dampers by Bilstein are also fitted to give the necessary suspension travel and robustness required for off-road use and these are coupled to Eibach variable and two-piece springs.

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Naturally, the suspension can also be fine-tuned by owners. Impressive off-road abilities are made possible by a tall stance, too. The Nomad is jacked up, giving more than 300mm of ground clearance, a front approach angle of 71 degrees and a departure angle of 82 degrees. Customers can choose from a range of knobbly Yokohama tyres – from high-speed road rubber, through to mud terrain, gravel/forest and even sand tyres – and 15- to 18-inch wheels.

The small amount of bodywork fitted includes tough plastic panels and mudguards, while inside the interior is completely weatherproof and comes with an LCD dash, four-point harnesses and twin wiper blades.

The Nomad can be specified with a couple of option packs too. The road pack adds spot lamps while the all-weather package zippable roll-up roof and doors, making it the first Ariel to ever come with such cosseting equipment.

Power comes from a 2.4-litre, 16-valve Honda iVTEC engine which pushes out 235bhp and 300Nm of torque. With the Nomad weighing 670kg, 0-60mph takes just 3.4 seconds while the top speed is 125mph.

Ariel says the idea of building the Nomad has been “nurtured for some time” and “fuelled by owners who have occasionally contemplated an ‘Atom with knobbly tyres’.” The car was also tested in a variety of environments – from race tracks to WRC stages.

Just like the Atom sports car and Ace motorbike, the Nomad is built by just one technician with around 100 units predicted per year. Order books are open now with prices starting from around £27,500 plus VAT.

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