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Ariel’s Nomad 2 has better a power-to-weight ratio than a Lamborghini Huracán Sterrato

The go-anywhere Ariel Nomad has been given a ground-up overhaul for 2024, now featuring a turbocharged Ford engine

Almost ten years since it launched, Ariel’s wild, go-anywhere Nomad has evolved into a brand new model: the Nomad 2. Set to make its debut at the 2024 Goodwood Festival of Speed on Thursday, the Nomad has been redesigned from the ground-up for improved performance, longevity, safety and practicality, with prices starting from £67,992.

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While the Nomad retains the trademark skeletal silhouette of the original, the 2 shares just three parts with its predecessor. Inspired by the structure used in the Atom 4, Ariel has opted for a larger diameter tubular chassis, increasing torsional rigidity by over 60 per cent while providing built-in roll over protection and an overall increase in occupant safety. Combined with a 48mm increase in wheelbase for increased cockpit space, this new chassis also boosts practicality with a widened entry/egress opening.

> Ariel Atom 4R 2024 review – skeletal track special is more intense than ever

The Nomad 2’s toughened polyethylene and carbonfibre bodywork is said to provide significant aerodynamic benefits, with the multifunction header rail not only a mounting point for LED lights, but also an aero device to deflect flow into the now-raised ram-air intake. This intake leads to an uprated filtration system in which dirt and moisture are collected in a sump before being released via a vacuator valve (buyers will also be able to option an even more rugged WRC-spec system for severe conditions). 

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Mounted within its new chassis is no longer a 235bhp 2.4-litre K24 Honda four-cylinder, but a 2.3-litre turbocharged four-cylinder from Ford producing a much higher 305bhp and 382lb ft of torque. Combine this new figure with its 715kg kerb weight and you’ll find that the 427bhp/ton Nomad 2 has a substantially higher power-to-weight ratio than its ‘go-anywhere’ supercar alternative, the Lamborghini Huracán Sterrato (410bhp/ton dry).

Not only has the Nomad 2 seen a 30 per cent increase in power, it’s also gained driver-selectable modes, including three power maps beginning at 260bhp and 284lb ft and rising to the maximum output. While 0-60mph comes in the same 3.4sec as the last car, an adjustable launch mode, ABS system and traction control make it more capable than before. The top speed is also 9mph higher at 134mph. 

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Power is sent to the ground via a six-speed manual transmission as standard, but buyers can opt for a Quaife sequential with paddle shifters at extra cost, bringing it closer to the hardcore Nomad R.

Ariel has also incorporated a larger radiator (two and half times the size of that in the original car) in order to keep the engine cool in hot environments. A new 70-litre fuel tank has also been added to make it a more practical car on longer drives, increasing range by 40 per cent to over 550 miles.

Suspension has been completely revised too, with bespoke, aluminium K-Tech coilovers and dual rate Eibach springs standard-fit, featuring anti-dive and anti-squat. At a cost, buyers can also opt for Ohlins TTX dampers and springs with external reservoirs, or even a full race Bilstein option. To improve longevity, Ariel has added seals to every suspension joint in an effort to prevent the ingress of dirt.

Behind either 16-inch standard, 16-inch beadlock or 18-inch lightweight forged wheels sit uprated brakes, increased in size by 40 per cent over the outgoing car. A set of AP Racing four-piston calipers with 290mm vented discs from the Ariel Atom 4 are available as an option, with the twin circuit system featuring cockpit-adjustable front/rear brake bias and even a hydraulic handbrake.

Inside there have been adjustments to improve ergonomics and space, with a full colour digital instrument display and a Power Distribution Module electronics system said to simplify the electrical system with the removal of multiple fuses and relays. As before though, there’s no plush leather and Alcantara to be found, because Ariel expects the Nomad 2 to be hosed down after each use.

Prices for the Ariel Nomad 2 start at £67,992 in the UK, with each example built to order by a single technician. While this price is over twice that of the original car launched in 2015, you’ll still struggle to find anything else quite like it for the money.

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