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No one would have accused the regular Ariel Nomad of being boring, what with its open chassis, light weight and off-road-friendly suspension. But Ariel apparently wanted even more excitement, since it created the 2021 Ariel Nomad R. It gets a new engine, transmission, suspension tuning and some wild performance.
Instead of the standard 235-horsepower Honda K24 2.4-liter engine of the standard car, or even the supercharged version of that, Ariel swapped in a lower-displacement Honda K20 2.0-liter engine with its own supercharger. Despite the reduced displacement, the Nomad R’s engine makes 335 horsepower, which is 45 more than the regular supercharged Nomad and 100 more than the naturally aspirated one. Torque comes in at 243 pound-feet. Sending power to the rear wheels is a six-speed sequential manual transmission. According to Ariel, it’s the latest version of the transaxle used in the V8 Ariel Atom and the 3.5R variant and comes with straight-cut gears and a limited-slip differential. Combined, this powertrain will get the Nomad R to 60 mph in a claimed 2.9 seconds on the way to a top speed of 121 mph.
The rest of the car gets upgrades, too. All four corners get 18-inch wheels with a set of Yokohama A052 summer tires that barely have tread. Behind the wheels are four-piston brake calipers, and the brake bias is adjustable. The suspension uses Bilstein MDS shocks that have adjustments for compression and rebound.
The disappointing part about the Nomad R is that there won’t be many of them. Only five will be built. No price was given, but it’s safe to say that it will be high, and even if you can afford one, they may be sold out already. The good news is that you can probably get a fair bit of the fun with a regular Nomad fitted with the supercharger, as well as the company’s upgraded brake package.