If A Lunar Rover Were Built To Thrash It'd Probably Be This EV Ariel Nomad

Illustration for article titled If A Lunar Rover Were Built To Thrash Itd Probably Be This EV Ariel Nomad
Screenshot: BorgWarner (YouTube)

Industrial supplier BorgWarner has picked the preposterously impractical Ariel Nomad to demo some of its new electric car propulsion tech. Obviously, the company has a sense of humor to balance out its pragmatism.


The Nomad is a weird little dune buggy-thing you’re undoubtedly familiar with if you watch Top Gear or regularly read sites like Jalopnik. For the rest of you, these cars are basically just skeletal frames wrapped around an engine, two seats, and suspension.

That makes the car a perfect candidate for duty BorgWarner’s Electrified Demonstration Vehicle–the company’s engineers could not only easily bolt its new EV tech to the lean car, but the Nomad’s mechanically-exposed nature makes it easy for company reps to point out various parts of its prototype powertrain.


And oh yeah, it looks fun as hell. This little clip the company just put out takes you through a nice little overview while giving up some good action shots.

A company press release goes into a little more detail:

“A benefit of the vehicle’s electrified powertrain is its improved steering response made possible through torque vectoring. This feature allows both forward motion and regenerative braking, delivering a dynamic and controllable driving experience. Another key technology is BorgWarner’s thermal-management system, which circulates coolant via an electric pump through the inverters and battery pack. The liquid-cooled, 350V 30kWh pack delivers peak power of 200kW.”


“The vehicle also is a proving ground for BorgWarner’s partner companies. Cascadia Motion, a BorgWarner-owned company, developed the rear-wheel-drive system featuring two separate BorgWarner High-voltage Hairpin (HVH) 250 electric motors and eGearDrive gear sets, each one independently controlling a rear wheel. This system, also featuring two of BorgWarner’s inverters, gives complete authority over the vehicle and enables more power and durability.”

Lightweight off-road vehicles are kind of the ultimate application of electric power anyway, in theory. They’re typically only used for short ranges, they really benefit from low-end torque, not to mention a consistent application of power, and they don’t usually spend long periods of time at high speed.

This EV-ified Nomad would actually make a pretty fun weekend thrasher as-is, but it doesn’t look like BorgWarner is planning to make this a mass-market retrofit kit. It does mean, though, that some of the people working on EV tech are at least doing a decent job acting like car enthusiasts. So the car community’s got that going for it. Which is nice.

Reviews Editor, Jalopnik | 1975 International Scout, 1984 Nissan 300ZX, 1991 Suzuki GSXR, 1998 Mitsubishi Montero, 2005 Acura TL

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Fe2O3 is character

“these cars are basically just skeletal frames wrapped around an engine, two seats, and suspension”

.... that somehow start at $78,000 and go up to the $90k range

Just thought I’d add in that tidbit. Reminds me of certain German car companies who charge you for “deleting” things. I’d go Exomotive long before Ariel. And probably just home-build something before Exomotive.