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Home / News / The Ariel Atom’s ‘mucky brother’ wants to eat dirt for breakfast

The Ariel Atom’s ‘mucky brother’ wants to eat dirt for breakfast

Upcoming off-road Ariel Nomad is a lightweight, mud-spattered missile

Woah, that looks like a prop from the new Mad Max film…

Not quite, the Ariel Nomad doesn’t come with optional extra cow skulls and killer wheel spikes, but it can most certainly handle itself when the going gets tough. Think of it as the mud-plugging version of the Ariel Atom, the body-less, tubular track-day warrior that’s capable of smashing the 0-60mph sprint in a mind-bending 2.7 seconds.

Will the Nomad be as fast?

Performance figures won’t be far off, because the engineers at Ariel have kept the chunky off-roader’s weight down do the 700kg mark. A 2.4-litre Honda engine that develops around 200bhp also powers it. Last time we checked, 200bhp in a 700kg frame equals eye-popping pace.

What else is new?

The Ariel Atom was designed with smooth race circuits in mind, so the Nomad had to undergo some serious changes to allow it to tackle forests, dunes and rally stages. The old push-rod suspension has been replaced by large, independent springs to soak up the slams, the tubular chassis has been reinforced and the road tyres have been replaced by chunky, knobbly fellas for superior grip.

Hates the school-run, loves the sand dunes

Is it road legal?

Yes, it can be specified with the required indicators, lights and numberplates and Ariel is confident that the rear-wheel-drive machine will be fast on road, too. Although, don’t expect it to be the perfect school run companion.

What kind of monies are we talking?

Official pricing isn’t due to be announced until its debut at the Autosport International in Birmingham later this month, but rumours suggest it will hover around the £30k mark. Customers will also be able to personalise their Nomads with several wheel, body and engine cover colours, as well as niceties such as a windscreen and windscreen wipers.

That’s a helluva lot of monies…

Yes it is. But if you’re really desperate for off-road thrills, you can scour the classifieds for an old Land Rover Defender at half the price. It won’t look as rad and will likely smell like a wet labrador though.

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Profile image of Leon Poultney Leon Poultney Freelance Automotive and Tech Writer


Relentlessly covering the automotive industry for as long as I can remember. Loving nothing more than vintage cafe racer motorcycles, tech-laden cars and VW Camper Vans.A published writer for various outlets of varying degrees of cool. If I'm not geeking out about the latest turbocharger or swotting up on hybrid powertrains, I can be found bobbing around in the sea on a surfboard pretending to be good at wave-sliding. Or just walking the dog.