This Sweet Ariel Nomad EV Built by BorgWarner Previews the Off-Roader of the Future

What’s not to love about a 270-hp buggy with loads of suspension travel, regenerative braking, and torque-vectoring rear-wheel-drive?

byChris Tsui|
Electric Vehicles photo


As if the Ariel Nomad wasn't cool enough on its own, propulsion systems manufacturer BorgWarner just converted one to run on electricity alone, proving that even when the oil runs out, the tube-chassis off-road sports buggy can still live its best life.

Created by the company's engineering department as a research and development exercise, the Ariel Nomad EV lets BorgWarner show off its electric know-how figuratively and literally thanks to the machine's see-through design. The rear-wheel-drive electric Nomad EV gets two electric motors—one for each rear axle—connected to their own power inverters. Torque vectoring enables both forward propulsion and regenerative braking while considerably improving steering response, according to chief engineer Paul Diemer. To make sure things remain operational, the company's own heat management system pumps coolant through the vehicle's battery and inverters via an electric pump.

BorgWarner didn't reveal many performance specs, only highlighting the components used to build this sweet off-roader, but it did share that the liquid-cooled, 350-volt 30-kWh pack delivers a peak power of 200kW. That's approximately 270 horsepower, which regardless of the Nomad EV's increased weight (we suppose due to the electric drivetrain), it's still a heck of a lot for a small and agile off-road vehicle.

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"Our new high-voltage demonstration vehicle illustrates BorgWarner’s leadership in electrification,” said company 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."

As rad as the Ariel Nomad EV looks, we're sure whipping it around in the dunes is even better. And while the video BorgWarner provided with its announcement shows some of the vehicle's capabilities, it left us wishing for some unedited footage of the Nomad dominating the off-road course in complete silence. After all, that's probably the second biggest difference between this off-road EV and its normal counterparts.

A couple of years ago, a rumor claimed that the Ariel Atom's successor would be a 1,200-horsepower electric hypercar due in 2020. If by any chance Ariel is still in the process of sourcing that car's electric powertrain, we're sure BorgWarner might be able to help.

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