- Jul 22, 2005
The regular Nomad buggy’s been around since 2015 as an all-terrain, all-weather alternative to Ariel’s original track-focused Atom, if still rear-wheel drive and with its engine behind the driver. There’s more ground clearance, a proper windscreen and wipers, and a structural web of steel tubing extends protectively up and over the occupants. The Nomad is Ariel showing how a maker of sports cars should actually build an SUV.
This R version takes those fundamentals, but it ditches the 2.4-litre engine from the US-spec Honda Civic (235bhp, better at torque than searing revs) and its six-speed manual gearbox, and drops in the Atom 3.5 R powertrain. That involves an Eaton supercharger and charge-cooler added to the incendiary old K20Z3 Civic Type R engine, as well as a six-speed Sadev sequential gearbox, like you’d find in a rally car. It produces 335bhp and can rocket from zero to 62mph in a claimed 2.95sec.