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Ariel Nomad is a Rally-Style Atom

Atom for the track, Nomad for the dirt

Jason Udy
Jan 6, 2015

The Ariel Atom is known for its minimalistic approach to a street-legal track car, and now the automaker has released details of its off-road-oriented rig: the Ariel Nomad. As with the Atom, the Nomad is of a minimalistic design, but upgraded for more rugged environments. The automaker claims, “Where the Atom is to road and track, the Nomad is to road and off it.”

Ariel Nomad side in motion Photo 2/28   |   Ariel Nomad

Like the Atom, the core of the Nomad is a fully welded safety cage that has been upgraded with the addition of a long-travel suspension and higher ground clearance. The suspension, steering, and wheels and tires are also upgraded for off-road duty. Ariel says the new Nomad is as at home on a grassy field or gravel road as it is driving a rally stage.

Ariel Nomad side profile Photo 3/28   |   Ariel Nomad

Power comes from a mid-mounted, Honda-supplied 235-hp 2.4-liter K24 four-cylinder mated to a close-ratio six-speed manual transmission that sends power to the rear wheels. An ITG foam air filter is used, while fuel is supplied from the 13.2-gallon fuel tank by a Marwal electric fuel pump. The setup is controlled by a Hondata engine management system. As with much of the Nomad, the radiator and exhaust is custom-fabricated by Ariel. The exhaust features a stainless silencer.

The chassis is made up of bronze-welded and powder-coated round steel tubing in various diameters, and aluminum bulkheads. Suspension bits consist of double unequal length wishbones at both ends, high-rotation metallastic bushings, outboard Bilstein dampers, and Eibach coil springs. The steering system is of a rack and pinion design made from cast alloy and features 1.7 turns lock-to-lock and a collapsible steering column for safety. Other steering features include adjustable inboard joint and outboard rod ends. A 12-inch suede-wrapped steering wheel is standard.

Ariel Nomad rear three quarter Photo 7/28   |   Ariel Nomad

Braking duty is handled by 9.5-inch rotors front and rear and twin master cylinders with adjustable front/rear brake bias. A Tilton aluminum racing pedal box is also included. The brakes peek out from behind a set of 15x7-inch wheels wrapped in 235/75R15 tires.

Ariel Nomad headlights Photo 8/28   |   Ariel Nomad

While much of the safety cage is exposed, the Nomad features a nose cone, engine cover, damper covers, and mudguards made from non-structural rotationally moulded polyethylene. There is also a composite screen, bonnet, and engine access cover. Inside, the Nomad can be had in left- or right-hand drive with seating for two in cloth seats with five-way manual adjustment. Two-inch-wide four-point quick release harnesses are standard. An LCD digital display features speedometer, tachometer, water temperature, fuel level, odometer, and trip odometer information. There are also the standard warning lights including ignition, lights on, handbrake/low brake fluid, low oil pressure, high beam, indicators, and alarm.

Ariel Nomad side profile 02 Photo 9/28   |   Ariel Nomad

Like the Atom, the Ariel Nomad has a relatively small footprint. At just 126.6 inches long, the Nomad rides on a 92.4-inch wheelbase with a 62.4-inch track front and rear. Overall width is 72.8 inches and overall height is 56.1 inches. Approach angle measures 71 degrees, while the departure angle is 82 degrees. Weight is listed at a bantamweight 1474 pounds. Ariel claims the Nomad can hit 60 mph in 3.4 seconds and has a top speed of 125 mph.

For street use, the road package includes the necessary lighting, exterior mirrors, parking brake, horn, electric fan, mudguards, catalytic converter, and rear engine cover.

The Ariel Nomad is highly customizable. Optional equipment includes an aluminum radiator, oil cooler, cat delete pipe, exhaust guards, and a polished manifold and muffler. An Alcon brake upgrade includes four-piston calipers with an 11.4-inch mechanical or hydraulic handbrake and cockpit brake bias adjustment. Suspension and steering options include adjustable Bilstein dampers, Ohlins adjustable dampers, negative camber wishbone set, competition steering rack, and a quick-release steering wheel.

Track options include an FIA battery master switch, fire extinguisher systems, GPS datalogger system, additional lighting, three-inch wide harnesses, and a rear tow strap. Rally-spec high-strength wheels can be specified, while tires can also be upgraded to all-terrain tires, road tires, mud tires, or competition rally tires. An 18-inch wheel with road tires or all-terrain tires is also available. A spare tire and carrier is also available.

Ariel nomad 6 Photo 16/28   |   Ariel Nomad 6

Other options include a heated front windscreen, aero screens, carbon fiber seats, a locking fuel cap, 12-volt sockets, Bluetooth intercom system, driver and passenger footrests, a painted or carbon fiber engine cover, underbody and suspension guards, front and rear recovery bars, and a Warn winch.

Source: Ariel

By Jason Udy
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