What happens when a dedicated fun vehicle goes electric? Supplier BorgWarner has an idea of how to create that—from the Ariel Nomad off-roader.
The Ariel Nomad is essentially a jacked-up variant of the small toy builder's Atom, itself little more than a tube-frame chassis with one of a handful of different engines thrown in the back, from relatively mild Miata-based builds to brain-scrambling variants equipped with compact (and incredibly expensive) V-8s. Here in the States, the Nomad is assembled with a 2.4-liter Honda inline-4 making 230 horsepower.
BorgWarner's Nomad concept is little more than a simple technology showcase, but Ariel's platform (if you want to call it that) is no stranger to unique powertrain treatments. In this case, we're talking about twin BorgWarner HVH250 motors mated to a 350-volt, 30-kilowatt-hour battery pack that can deliver 200 kilowatts of peak power—or 270 horsepower.
"Our new high-voltage demonstration vehicle illustrates BorgWarner’s leadership in electrification and gives us a fantastic tool to showcase our extensive capabilities, collaborate with industry partners and evaluate BorgWarner’s current and future technology at a system-level," said BorgWarner CTO Hakan Yilmaz.
"We will continue to embrace projects such as this EV demonstration vehicle that help us validate next-generation products and, ultimately, propel the industry toward a cleaner, more energy-efficient world."
BorgWarner's take on the Nomad uses independent gear sets for each rear wheel, enabling advanced torque vectoring. It's also packing most of the tech you expect in a modern EV, like regenerative braking and a water-cooled battery.
A car (again, a loose term) as simple as the Nomad isn't going to be an opportunity to show off much in the way of autonomy or other future-proofing technology, but it's still a fun experiment in electrified performance.
Sadly, an experiment is all it is, but we suspect it's only a matter of time before somebody decides that building electric Ariel variants would be a fun way to separate green-focused track or off-road enthusiasts from their money.