Ariel Motors, the UK outfit that creates the wild Atom sports car, has diversified.
Its new offering, called the Nomad, takes the Atom concept and throws it into the scenery. Thanks to their insane speed and occasionally spiky handling, early Atoms often ended up there anyway, but the Nomad will feel right at home with its chunky off-road tyres and long-travel suspension.
The Atom-based tubular spaceframe has been strengthened to cope with the demands of off-road use, and extra bars overhead create some rollover protection and provide somewhere to mount those oh-so-cool driving lights.
Despite the extra chassis, forgoing such luxuries as doors, a windscreen or any interior means the Nomad still weighs just 670kg.
This allows it to fly from 0-100km/h in just 3.5sec, with power provided by a 2.4-litre four-cylinder sourced from the Honda Accord Euro, which develops 175kW/298Nm thanks to some Ariel tweakery. Top speed is 200km/h.
While acknowledging that most will be used as on- and off-road recreational vehicles, Ariel hopes the car’s speed motivates some buyers to use the car in competition.
The UK’s more liberal registration laws mean the Nomad is fully road-legal in its homeland, but it’s unlikely that Australia’s more stringent design rules would allow the car to be registered here.
However, that’s really beside the point, because as you can see in the video above, as a weekend competition car, the Nomad looks to have few equals in the fun-factor stakes. We want a go in one badly.