The Ariel Nomad is about as close as you can get to an offroad capable go-cart. Something about having a minimalist exterior with no body panels so you can see all the parts working is simply fascinating. That minimalist mentality is spreading to other boutique manufacturers. One of those companies is an American company that goes by the name Exomotive. Like Ariel, Exomotive originally built a track focused minimalist car they call the Exocet, and it is perfect for embarrassing high-dollar sports cars at local track day events. And now they’ve created an offroad capable version and it has a few tricks of its own up its sleeve.
They call it the Exocet Off-Road and this thing is an absolute beast. The standard model comes with the drivetrain from a Mazda Miata that’s been tuned up to produce roughly 252hp. Considering the car only weighs about 1,500lbs, that works out to be fantastic power to weight ratio. But what’s really impressive about the Exocet is its offroad capabilities. Not only is it fitted with aggressive all terrain tires that will help you hook up no matter what the conditions may be, it’s also been widened and stretched from the original track only version. However, what really separates the Exocet Offroad from the competition is its suspension system. This offroad go cart has a whopping 14 inches of suspension travel. That’s nearly the same amount of travel you see from the king of production offroad trucks, the 2017 Ford Raptor. And that’s the rear end travel on the Raptor too which is almost a full inch more than the front. That extra suspension travel would’ve made a world of difference when the Nomad battled the Raptor in a recent shootout. When the Raptor was able to soak up most of the bumps the Nomad was bounced all over the place.
As nice as the suspension system is on the Exocet Off-Road, that’s not its claim to fame. What is though is a combination of two things, the price and the customization options. The tested model you’re seeing here with the 252hp Miata engine is listed at just $22,000, and if you’re willing to sacrifice some power there’s a 130hp version that’ll only cost you $14,000. That’s a drop in the bucket compared to the $70,000+ sticker price of the Nomad. But in my opinion what really makes the Exocet Off-Road so appealing is the ability to customize it to your specifications. Most notably, the powertrain options. Even though the car weighs next to nothing, you can opt for a more powerful engine, including two V6 options and the granddaddy of them all, the 6.2L LS3 V8. The estimated power coming out of that LS3 is in the 430-525hp range depending on exactly what other modifications you choose. Talk about an absolute blast. Can you imagine having a 500hp engine in that thing and taking it out to the sand dunes or smashing it out in the desert? Sounds like a great way to spend the weekend right? Watch the Exocet Off-road in action to give you an idea as to how badass these things really are.