This was the final Ariel Nomad R ever produced by the specialist British automaker. It’s powered by a supercharged 2.0 liter Honda inline-four producing 335 bhp, and it has a supercar-beating 0-60 mph time of 2.9 seconds.
The Ariel Motor Company is one of the world’s smallest automotive marques, with just 30 full-time staff. Despite this they have risen to become globally famous for their unique, ultra-lightweight sports cars including the Ariel Atom and the Ariel Nomad.
Fast Facts – The Ariel Nomad R
- Ariel started out in 1991 as Solocrest Ltd, the name was officially changed to the Ariel Motor Company Ltd in 1999 and in the year 2000 they released their first car – the world-famous Ariel Atom.
- The Ariel Atom has a tubular steel exoskeleton chassis, open front and rear wheels, an open cockpit, and a mid-mounted engine driving the rear wheels. Its curb weight of just 612 kgs (1,349 lbs) results in an exceptional power-to-weight ratio.
- In 2015 Ariel announced the Nomad, a road-legal dual-sport vehicle using the same principles as the Atom, but capable of being driven at speed both on and off road. Power was originally provided by a 2.4 liter Honda engine producing 235 bhp.
- The Ariel Nomad R is a later road-oriented version of the buggy, just five were made and each was powered by a supercharged 2.0 liter four-cylinder Honda engine producing 335 bhp, with power sent to the rear wheels via a 6-speed sequential transmission.
The Ariel Motor Company And The Atom
Founded in 1991 as Solocrest Ltd the name was changed to Ariel Motor Company Ltd before the release of the company’s first production car – the Ariel Atom.
The Atom lit up the motoring world on both sides of the Atlantic when it was released, largely due to positive reviews on automotive television shows like Top Gear. It’s been described as a Lotus 7 for the 21st century and it’s certainly a car that Colin Chapman would recognize as upholding his key design philosophy of “add lightness.”
The engineering team at Ariel developed an all-new exoskeleton chassis for the Atom made from tubular steel. The cockpit was left almost entirely open with no weather protection at all in the interest of weight savings over comfort.
The Atom has open wheels front and back, a mid-mounted engine, disc brakes on all four corners, and a curb weight of somewhere in the region of 612 kgs (1,349 lbs) depending on the model and final specification.
The Ariel Atom has now been in production for 22 years and counting, a number of updates have been made to the car over the years, and a variety of versions have been offered. Ariel makes just 100 (or so) cars per year, this helps to ensure that resale values remain high.
The Ariel Nomad R
When the Ariel Nomad was released in 2015 it received much the same rapturous welcome that the Atom had enjoyed 15 years earlier. In many respects the Ariel Nomad is a dual-sport version of the Atom, however they are both unique with different chassis.
Unlike the Atom, the Nomad has a full roll cage surrounding the driver and passenger, it has uprated longer travel suspension to better handle off road use, and some versions have a full windscreen with some other body panels to help keep the dirt and mud on the outside.
The standard Ariel Nomad is fitted with alloy rally style wheels and off road tires, though some owners have lowered the suspension and fitted road tires for use on traditional asphalt circuits.
The Ariel Nomad R was offered in a very limited production run of just five units, all of which sold quickly. The key difference between the Nomad and the Nomad R is that the latter car was developed for road and tarmac based use, with different wheels and tires, lower set suspension, a windscreen and some other road-oriented features.
The Nomad R was fitted with a Honda K20Z3 2.0 liter engine fitted with a twin-lobe supercharger producing 11 psi of boost. Output is listed as 335 bhp at 7,600 rpm, it has 243 lb ft of torque at 5,500 rpm with power sent through a 6-speed sequential transmission with auto-blipping on downshifts and straight-cut gears.
Above Video: This episode from Carfection features Henry Catchpole driving the Ariel Nomad R, it includes plenty of onboard footage with full engine sound, and it’s well worth watching.
The car has four-piston Alcon brakes, and black 18 inch alloy wheels shod with Yokohama AO52 tires front and back. Suspension consists of Bilstein MDS dampers (adjustable for compression and rebound) and custom-made Eibach springs.
The performance of the Nomad R is just as impressive as you might expect, with a 0 – 60 mph time of 2.9 seconds and a top speed of 121 mph – which is limited by the close-ratio gearing.
The 2021 Ariel Nomad R Shown Here
The car you see here is said to be the final Ariel Nomad R that was built of the five that were produced in total.
With just 987 miles on the odometer this Nomad has barely been broken in, the owner has fitted it with uprated Öhlins suspension front and back and it has a light mounting bar with four spotlights up top for keeping trails well-lit after dark.
This Nomad R is now being offered for sale on Collecting Cars out of Warwickshire in the United Kingdom. If you’d like to read more about it or register to bid you can visit the listing here.
Images courtesy of Collecting Cars
Articles that Ben has written have been covered on CNN, Popular Mechanics, Smithsonian Magazine, Road & Track Magazine, the official Pinterest blog, the official eBay Motors blog, BuzzFeed, Autoweek Magazine, Wired Magazine, Autoblog, Gear Patrol, Jalopnik, The Verge, and many more.
Silodrome was founded by Ben back in 2010, in the years since the site has grown to become a world leader in the alternative and vintage motoring sector, with well over a million monthly readers from around the world and many hundreds of thousands of followers on social media.