What are the key differences between Nomad and Atom?

4th August 2023

The Ariel Nomad and Ariel Atom are both high-performance vehicles crafted by Ariel Motor Company, but they serve different purposes and have distinct characteristics. Here are the key differences between the two:

1. Design and Purpose:
- Ariel Nomad: The Nomad is an off-road-focused, lightweight, and rugged buggy-like vehicle. It is designed for use both on and off road, to tackle rough terrains, including sand, mud, and rocks, making it suitable for adventurous off-road driving. The Nomad's design incorporates a roll cage for safety, a raised suspension for ground clearance, and large off-road tires for improved traction.
- Ariel Atom: The Atom, on the other hand, is a high-performance on road and track day car built for speed and agility. It is designed to offer an exhilarating and pure driving experience on paved surfaces. The Atom's minimalist design features an open-wheel layout and a low centre of gravity, optimised for sharp handling and high-speed cornering.

2. Terrain and Driving Experience:
- Ariel Nomad: The Nomad is adept at conquering challenging off-road conditions. Its off-road capabilities allow owners to explore and enjoy remote places that are inaccessible to conventional vehicles. The driving experience in the Nomad is focused on adventure, with the thrill of tackling different terrains and off-road challenges.
- Ariel Atom: The Atom excels on smooth surfaces and tracks. Its design prioritises precise handling, quick acceleration, and high-speed capabilities. Especially at home on racetracks where the Atom can be pushed to its limits and experience the pure joy of speed and responsiveness.

3. Body and Chassis:
- Ariel Nomad: The Nomad features a reinforced tubular steel chassis with an incorporated roll cage, offering excellent structural integrity and protection during off-road excursions. Its body is made of lightweight composite panels, providing durability without sacrificing performance.
- Ariel Atom: The Atom's frame is also constructed with a tubular steel chassis for strength and rigidity. However, unlike the Nomad, the Atom has an exposed design, with minimal bodywork, emphasising its lightweight construction and open-wheel layout.

4. Performance:
- Ariel Nomad: The Nomad is equipped with a range of engine options, which vary based on the model and customer preferences. The power output typically ranges from 235 - 300 bhp from the larger 2.4 litre Honda K24 engine ensuring sufficient torque and power for off-road driving requirements.
- Ariel Atom: The Atom's performance is the epitome of lightweight engineering. It offers a thrilling power-to-weight ratio, with a multitude of engine power outputs from 120 bhp in the first Atom to 350 bhp in the latest. Special editions include a high-power normally aspirated Atom Mugen and the astonishing Atom V8, capable of delivering astonishing acceleration and top speeds from its 500 bhp 3.0 V8 engine.

5. Practicality:
- Ariel Nomad: The Nomad provides more practicality with a more spacious cockpit and off-road capabilities. It can accommodate two occupants and clever cargo solutions, making it suitable for adventurous journeys or outdoor activities.
- Ariel Atom: The Atom is more focused on the driving experience rather than practicality. It is designed as a two-seat sports car with minimal storage space, headlining performance and agility over utility.

In summary, the Ariel Nomad and Ariel Atom are both exceptional vehicles, but they cater to different driving preferences and environments. The Nomad is tailored for both on and off-road adventures and exploration, while the Atom is designed to deliver unmatched on-road, track performance and driving excitement.