When it comes to motoring, there are two types of driving enthusiasts — those who like tarmac, and those who like mud, mountains and the joy of heading off-road into the unknown.

Whichever side of the fence you park your car on, we’re here to tell you about the Ariel Nomad — a 2.4-litre, all-terrain buggy that’s made headlines for its madcap performance and striking styling.

Developed by the same British team behind the Ariel Atom — a track day plaything famed for its extreme 0-60 time (2.5 seconds, in case you’re wondering) — the Nomad was born out of a simple idea — to carry passengers over any terrain at lightning fast speeds.

A practical, day-to-day family car it is not, but if your idea of a great weekend is hurtling around the great outdoors, the Ariel Nomad will help you find mud, puddles and dirt faster than any other off-road car.

Here are 3 reasons why we’re a bit in love with this buggy:

1. Power

Ariel Nomad

While it might not be as quick as your average supercar, the Nomad will pull you from tarmac to trail with enough ferocity to make your cheeks flap in the breeze (unless of course you add the pricey optional windscreen). It’s equipped with a 2.4-litre, naturally aspirated engine that develops 351bhp per tonne; which is plenty, given the car weighs just 735kg.

What’s the result of this incredible power to weight ratio? 0-60mph in 3.5 seconds. It also has a top speed of 138mph which it can achieve on just about any terrain including gravel, sand or dirt.

 

2. Ride & Handling

Ariel Nomad

During development, Ariel’s team of engineers fine-tuned Nomad’s ride to within an inch of its life, experimenting with eye-wateringly expensive Ohlin dampers stripped from a WRC rally car. This tinkering paid off — Nomad lets you drive to the shops, weave across a rocky plateau, or plunge through a wooded gorge without damaging any of your internal organs.

And that’s good news, because you’ll want to do all of the above in this crazy off-roader. No matter what terrain you’re driving on, Nomad’s ride and handling ensure you’ll reach your destination with a silly grin on your face.

 

3. Design

Ariel Nomad

It may look like the product of a youngster’s imagination, but the Nomad is 100% real. On the surface the resemblance to the Atom is uncanny; from its skeletal Arch Motor & Manufacturing chassis to its stripped-back dash and Bond-esque instrument cluster. Look closely however, and there are subtle differences.

The frame is beefier, incorporating a full roll shell to protect the driver. The tyres are fatter, aiding grip in even the most extreme conditions. And then there’s the ground clearance; the Nomad sits several centimetres higher than the Atom, allowing boulders and bracken to pass neatly beneath.

What’s the price for this mud-chomping, gravel-cruising beast? A cool £30K. This might sound steep for a car without a roof, but as a wise man once said — you can’t put a price on happiness.

 

Did you enjoy this article? Check out the rest of the Prestone blog for more motoring news and views. Alternatively, find out more about our range of car products that are specially developed to excel in extremes.

Images sourced via Ariel Motors. Credit: Ariel Motor Company Ltd.