Giving the Nomad a star rating here is redundant, really, because the tally typically indicates the interior’s quality versus its rivals, and the Ariel has none.

What it is like – almost precisely the same, in fact – is the Atom, which means two seats, a whole heap of metalwork, a gearstick, some pedals, a formidable-looking steering wheel and a tiny, button-festooned instrument cluster behind it. The chief difference on our test car, and the reason for a few extra buttons on the dashboard (such as it is), is the windscreen, although even this is optional on the Atom.

Nic Cackett

Nic Cackett

Road tester
Listing the features of the Nomad’s spartan cabin is like cataloguing the innards of a Challenger tank

Naturally, listing the features of the Nomad’s spartan cabin is like cataloguing the innards of a Challenger tank: what’s there is less interesting than what it does, feels and looks like. In this, an Ariel product is unlike much else you’ll ever get into. But there is an LCD display which houses the speedo, rev counter and various warning lights, while the Nomad comes fitted with Ariel's road pack including headlights, fog lights, a catalytic converter and mudflaps.

This fact is made patently clear by the entry procedure, which can be achieved quickly only via a feet-first dive through the side or else a clamber over the top, followed by freefall into the seat.

Neither is outrageously difficult, but you do rather suspect that, like a new pair of skinny-fit Diesel jeans, the Nomad isn’t going to be the right shape for everyone. 

Nevertheless, if you can make your peace with both, Ariel’s austere cockpit is a splendid place to sit. The £1794 addition of the windscreen means that a helmet isn’t necessarily required (although we’d recommend sunglasses, given the breeze at speed or the splatter potential elsewhere), which, in turn, means that without realising it, your mindset is tweaked from go-faster tunnel vision to panoramic fun-a-scope.

Other options including sportier braking set-ups, four-piston Alcon brake calipers, a rally-spec wishbone suspensions set-up, a quick release steering wheel, FIA spec equipment, while inside you can have Bluetooth, a TomTom motorbike sat nav, sump guard and various carbonfibre panels.

The layout and the brilliantly exposed mechanical nature of it all do the rest. Better still, it looks just as good plastered in muck and sweat.

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Mercedes-AMG GT Roadster 2017
    First Drive
    29 March 2017
    It's the slower and cheaper of the two AMG GT Roadsters, but these adjectives are harsh given this excellent open-top's broad range of talents
  • Mercedes AMG GT C Roadster 2017
    First Drive
    29 March 2017
    Mercedes-AMG GT Roadster arrives with an upgraded chassis over the Coupé and tweaks that make it even more thrilling to drive
  • First Drive
    29 March 2017
    Sporty GT Line styling gives Kia's city car the visual lift it needs to go toe-to-toe with its European rivals, and the 1.2-litre engine does a power of good for its drivability
  • Volkswagen Golf 1.0 TSI 110 SE Navigation
    First Drive
    29 March 2017
    This is a first UK drive of the 2017 Volkswagen Golf, which comes with an updated infotainment system and a lower price. What's not to like?
  • Volkswagen Golf R
    First Drive
    29 March 2017
    A facelift for the fantastically capable all-rounder delivers more power and new tech to the cabin, improving on an already exceptional formula