MOTORING: Ariel releases off-road version of its Atom

2015 Ariel Nomad. Photo: PA
2015 Ariel Nomad. Photo: PA

British fun-merchant Ariel has released an off-road version of the ballistic Atom.

The Somerset-based firm has unveiled the Nomad; essentially an Atom with chunky tyres, more ground clearance from longer-travel suspension and a full roll cage.

The latter will be especially handy for peace of mind, because with a 2.4-litre Honda engine beneath the skeleton frame the Nomad is good for a terrifying 235bhp at 7,200rpm.

It weighs just 670kg and if you take the windscreenless wonder onto the road it sprints from 0-62mph in 3.4 seconds on the way to a face-reshaping 125mph. You’d better hope you don’t hit a wasp at those speeds.

And if that’s not enough, Nomad buyers will reportedly be given a whole spectrum of upgrades to choose from, including better dampers, brakes and wheel/tyre combinations. There could be upgraded seats, too.

The chassis will come in various colours, Ariel will add ‘roof lights’ and there’s even a luggage rack for anyone who doesn’t mind getting their suitcase covered with small, brown chunks of Britain.

Unfortunately this is one expensive buggy, with a price tag of £27,500 plus VAT and before any added extras.

But if value could be expressed in grins, the Nomad might just be a bargain.