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Ariel Nomad revealed; insane dirt racer that can be road legal

Bespoke sports carmaker Ariel has revealed its latest model. Well, it’s not really a model but more of a project. It’s called the Ariel Nomad.

Ariel Nomad

This isn’t a track-driving weapon, contrary to what the company is renowned for. Instead, the British brand has decided to cater for rally and dirt-driving enthusiasts by creating an insane buggy.

You might not recognise it but underneath the Nomad is actually based on the Ariel Atom road car. A similar frame and body structure is used only with increased roll over protection, with the usual two-seat cabin layout.

The suspension has obviously been completely overhauled to provide significantly more ground clearance. There’s a set of long-travel Eibach springs at all four corners with unique Bilstein dampers ready to take a pounding. You’ll also notice the proper rally-like 15-inch wheels and serious off-road tyres.

In the engine compartment/area in the back lies a Honda 2.4-litre four-cylinder engine which has been enhanced to produce 175kW at 7200rpm and 300Nm at 4300rpm. It’s connected up to a six-speed transmission with rear-wheel drive.

This is quite a lot of power for a small car, let alone a bare-bone racer like this. The contraption tips the scales at 670kg, allowing 0-100km/h to come up in just 3.4 seconds. It also offers a top speed of 201km/h.

Even though Xmas has passed, this looks like an awesomely fun toy. Prices haven’t been mentioned but we’re guessing it’s not going to come cheap. Ariel says it will offer a road pack with accessories required to make it road legal. Imagine driving one of these beasts to work everyday, via plenty of shortcuts. Yes please.

Brett is the editor and founder of PerformanceDrive. He's obsessed with driving, having played with Matchbox cars until he was tall enough to drive a real one. After initially working as a mechanic, Brett earned a degree in journalism and entered media as an editorial assistant at Top Gear Australia magazine. He then worked at CarAdvice.com.au. His dream is to live next door to the Nurburgring in Germany.