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New Ariel Nomad 2 unveiled with 305bhp Ford Focus ST engine and go-anywhere attitude

Ariel’s interpretation of a dune buggy now has a 60 per cent stiffer chassis and starts from £67,992

Meet the Ariel Nomad 2: the second iteration of the Atom track car’s more adventurous sibling. The Nomad has been redesigned from the ground-up and is powered by the same engine as the Ford Focus ST hot hatch. 

We’re told that just three parts have been carried over from the original Ariel Nomad that was launched nearly a decade ago in 2015, with the Mk2 building on lessons Ariel learned from the original and the latest Atom 4 - plus customer feedback and significant R&D.

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The team were apparently instructed to improve the car wherever possible, and as a result, the Nomad 2 features an all-new chassis that’s 60 per cent stiffer than the original’s, while the wheelbase has been stretched by 48mm and track increased by 50mm to improve high speed stability. The new model should also be easier to get into and out of, says Ariel

The Nomad 2 dumps the 235bhp 2.4-litre Honda four-cylinder engine from the original for Ford’s 2.3-litre turbocharged four-pot petrol that pumps out up to 305bhp and 518Nm of torque. It’s paired with a six-speed manual gearbox, and because the Nomad 2 only weighs 715kg, can fling the car from 0-60mph in just 3.4 seconds.

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The suspension setup has been revised to offer more travel, and reduce squatting when accelerating and diving under braking, which in turn should mean better body control and more tyre contact that will help with grip off-road. K-Tech aluminium coil-overs with dual rate springs are standard, but more advanced Ohlins and Bilstein dampers are available as an option.

The standard brakes are 40 per cent bigger than before, but four-piston calipers and vented discs can be added, along with a system to adjust the front/rear brake bias and a hydraulic handbrake for off-road use. Driver adjustable launch and traction control, developed to work on- and off-road, are also available.

As before, the Nomad’s “tough, almost unbreakable” body panels are made from the same material used for traffic cones. Meanwhile the interior features drain holes so it can be hosed down after a day in the mud, new switchgear and a 305mm steering wheel with just two turns from lock-to-lock. The TFT display for the driver has gear shift lights, shows gear position and the feed from the reversing camera when needed.

A single technician will be responsible for the entire build of each Nomad 2, from a base chassis to the final test drive. Buyers will also be presented with well over 100 options, meaning every Nomad 2 will be unique and tailor-made to the driver’s requirements. This all helps to explain the starting price of £67,992.

Conquering the mud? These are the best 4x4s and off-road cars to buy...

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News reporter

As our news reporter, Ellis is responsible for covering everything new and exciting in the motoring world, from quirky quadricycles to luxury MPVs. He was previously the content editor for DrivingElectric and won the Newspress Automotive Journalist Rising Star award in 2022.

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