Horsepower is like sex and bacon in that no man can ever get enough of it, so we were more than excited after catching wind of the Ariel Nomad, possibly the ultimate dune buggy for epic off-road adventures.
Based on the Ariel Atom, a no-nonsense, road-legal high performance ‘sports car’, the Nomad might very well be the closest thing to a super dune buggy. It weighs only 1,477 lbs (670 kg) and features an exoskeletal structure made from bronze-welded tubing, a long-travel suspension, a full roll cage, increased ground clearance, and chunky 235/75R-15 off-road tires.
Dune buggies aren’t exactly known for their power, but the Nomad is far from typical. Its lightweight body is propelled by a mid-mounted, transverse 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine (sourced from Honda) that cranks out 235 horsepower and 221 lb-ft. (300 Nm) of torque, channeled to the rear wheels by a six-speed manual transmission and a mechanical limited-slip differential.
For and idea of just how ridiculously fast it is, at least for a dune buggy, consider that it can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph (96 km/h) in just 3.4 seconds and reach a top speed of 125 mph (201 km/h). That’s faster than most sports cars and some supercars.
Interestingly, despite its massive tire, there is no power steering. That just adds to the fun, if you ask us…