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Ariel Nomad Tactical: Pictures and Details

Kamil Kaluski June 6, 2016 Featured 14 Comments


Some time ago we showed you some pictures, specifications, and a quick video of the US-market Ariel Nomad. Since then those pictures and video have gone kind of viral: Autoblog, Carbuzz, Road & Track, Motor1, and a handful of others. Today we have a dozen more pictures of the Ariel Nomad Tactical and we go into some design elements. We will look at specific components used in this vehicle and the differences between it and Ariel Atom.

This July we will drive one of the first production Ariel Nomad Tacticals on the beaches of Nantucket. In the mean time, enjoy the pictures and share them with others.

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In the front are familiar Atom lights: blinkers, low-beams, and high-beams. On the roof are four Hella lights, which are hella bright (sorry). Those lights are not necessarily the in their final configuration and may be replaced with different ones pending supplier availability.

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The Ariel Atom has no rear visibility and the Ariel Nomad would have some if the huge spare tire wasn’t in the way. Note how high the tailpipes are. LED taillights are mounted to the tube bumper, the reverse light is above the license plate, as is the rear fog-light, because despite being build in Virginia by TMI AutoTech the Ariel Nomad is a British car.

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Where most auto manufacturers use badges, the Nomad has its named cut out in the muffler heat shield. Honda’s 230 HP K24 i-VTEC four-cylinder engine is behind it, or rather in front of it. Because of the Nomad’s light 1480-pound weight, that little engine can get the Ariel Nomad from zero to 60mph in under four seconds and reach a top speed of 125 MPH. The engines come directly from Honda HPD and slightly different than showroom stock engines in the Civic Si.

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The Nomad has a rally-style shifter for the hydraulic handbrake in front of the transmission shifter. The transmission is a Honda 6-speed manual which sends the power to the wheels via a limited slip differential. A shorter final drive is available, as is a heavy-duty clutch for those buyer who may want to add more power to their Nomad in the future. The gas cap is located on the passenger side, in the engine cover, below the spare tire rack. The fuel tank has a capacity of 13 gallons.

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The top side tube is different than on the Nomad to allow easier egress. A-pillar and fully enclosed passenger compartment are Nomad specific. Another Nomad specific feature is the relocated air intake. The Ariel Atom has a big intake cowl behind the seats, where the Nomad has a spare tire. On the Nomad the air intake has been moved to the side, between the engine and the spare tire. It still remains relatively high off the ground reducing the possibility of water ingestion.

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For a slightly more civilized driving experience, the Ariel Atom can be optioned with clear panels on its side. The Ariel Nomad comes standard with similar panels in order to keep the occupants from eating all the mud. The chassis tubes and body panels are available in three different colors: green, black, and beige. Custom color powder-coating is available.

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The 15×7-inch RalliSpec wheels, like the chassis, can be custom painted. Wrapped around those wheels are meaty Yokohama Geolandar mud-terrain tires. The Ariel Nomad Sport will utilize a more pedestrian tire. Behind the wheels are Alcon Calipers with 290mm rotors. Cockpit-mounted adjustable remote brake bias valve is optional.

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Each suspension spring and shock assembly actually consists of two springs, one on top of another, which allows for great road performance and substantial wheel travel off road. The optional Ohlin remote reservoir shocks are for buyers who really want to go really crazy with the Nomad. The stock adjustable Bilstein components, as pictured on the car, will suffice for a vast majority of buyers.

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The individual composite seats are mounted lower in the tub than they appear in pictures. The whole tub is actually lower than it appears due to a visual effect in contrasting colors of the tub and the chassis tubes.

While the Nomad is not a racecar, a racecar-like master battery switch is standard and a fire extinguisher system is optional.

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This is the view from driver’s seat. Note the big windshield wipers that come with the Nomad. A windshield heater is optional. Like on the Atom, the movement of the front wheels, steering linkages, and  suspension can be seen by the driver and passenger while driving.

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The dash is very similar to the Ariel Atom, which is to say very basic. For a few dollars more TMI AutoTech will make the instrument surround out of carbon-fiber. Hilariously, a 12v receptacle is optional. A fabric cabin cover will be available in the future.

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Race Technologies DASH2 is very bright and visible in all lighting conditions. It provides all the essential information, has an adjustable shift-light, and is water-resistant. The removable flat-bottomed Momo steering wheel offers some extra legroom. The steering is very quick, requiring only 1.7 turns from lock to lock. At the driver’s feet is a Tilton aluminum racing pedal box which, as the name implies, holds the three pedals. The passenger has an aluminum footrest for bracing. There are no oh-shit bars to grab, so hang on to the chassis tubes and trust your six-point seat harness.

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The interior tub and the seats are very similar to the Ariel Atom. The man pictured here is about 6’2″ and seems comfortable in the Nomad. Like on the Ariel Atom, one needs to step on the seat when getting into the Nomad. Don’t worry about it getting dirty.

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The Ariel Atom 3S and Ariel Nomad Tactical side by side. Differences between chassis design of the two vehicles are clearly visible here. The Ariel Atom is a completely open-top vehicle whereas the Ariel Nomad more conventionally enclosed.

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Pick your poison, nose cone or a stinger bumper with a Warn winch. Note how far back the windshield goes with respect to the seat cushions. This further helps to send air and debris up and over the occupants.

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There is a substantial difference in ride heights of the Atom 3S and the Nomad Tactical.

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Visible here are the spring and shock locations of both vehicles, which are completely different on the Atom and the Nomad.

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Notice the rear recovery tow hooks and the Atom racer in the background.

The Ariel Nomad can now be ordered through the handful of Ariel distributors around the country, such as Ace Performance, who provided there pictures. The built will take about three months. The Nomad Sport starts at $78,200.00 and the Nomad Tactical starts at $90,450.00. You can see the UK-spec Nomad on one of the first episodes of newly hosted British Top Gear and you will see the first US-spec Nomad on the first episode of the next Top Gear US season.

Images: ©2016 Hooniverse/Baer Connard/Colin Britton, All Rights Reserved.

  • CruisinTime

    That looks like it would be a blast to tear around with,where do I sign?

  • dukeisduke

    The beaches of Nantucket? I smell a limerick coming on.

    • Alff

      Went to the beach at Nantucket.
      Couldn’t decide to car it or truck it…

      • His car was inop
        His truck in the shop
        Which led poor ol’ Alff to say…

    • The beaches of Nantucket, Mass.,
      Are covered with tinder-dry grass.
      To drip oil on this scene
      From a British machine
      Is to take a grave risk with with one’s…

      Hmm. Needs work.

      • dukeisduke

        Nailed it!

    • There was a Nomad on Nantucket
      While bombing ’round out in the muck it
      Got stuck in a dune
      And still the buffoon
      Behind the wheel hasn’t unstuck it.

  • Ross Ballot

    This has got to be one of, if not *the*, most fun vehicles on sale today. When we go up to Maine on our ATV trips we can ride on the local roads, which is a blast. Some of the side-by-sides in our group are damn-near car size/price as-is, and I imagine driving the Nomad on the street would feel like a faster, more buttoned-down version of that.

  • dukeisduke

    The only negative I can see is the tight clearance between the tires and the fenders – imagine all the mud getting stuck in there. I can see plenty of owners taking them off, unless TMI redesigns them to be a little longer, and moves them up so there’s more clearance.