This e-converted Ariel Nomad makes a case for fun-to-drive EVs

Built by BorgWarner as a test bed for electric-powertrain technologies
by Greg Potts | Nov 2, 2019
PHOTO: BorgWarner

Can electric cars really be fun to drive? It’s a question that petrolheads are still trying to get their heads around. Some have been bitten by the instant acceleration bug, others need more convincing.

The creation above may help to persuade some of those in the latter camp, though. It’s an all-electric Ariel Nomad that was converted by Michigan-based parts supplier BorgWarner. If you were to pick any car to provide a sense of fun, the Nomad would be at the top of most lists.

BorgWarner actually built the Nomad EV to act as a demonstration vehicle for its new electric-powertrain technologies, but it’s absolutely something we would love to have a go in.

It’s rear-wheel-drive, with two separate electric motors independently driving each wheel. Total power output is 268hp (putting it almost perfectly in between the supercharged and non-supercharged ICE Nomads) and the battery pack is a liquid-cooled 30kWh number.

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This being an Ariel, the Nomad’s bare frame not only allows BorgWarner to show off its technology, but it can also swap out different bits easily whenever new developments occur.

Currently, the most interesting piece of tech is probably the torque vectoring system, which can activate the regenerative braking on either wheel independently when the other is providing forward motion. This apparently improves steering response and reduces the turning circle. We can also imagine it’s great fun on a soft surface.

The whole build only took six months to complete, but it’ll likely be an ongoing project as electric powertrains continue to improve. So, what do you reckon? Thoughts in the comments below, please...

NOTE: This article first appeared on TopGear.com. Minor edits have been made.

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PHOTO: BorgWarner
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