It’s always interesting to see someone experience the madness of a Ford Raptor for the first time. More times than not, they’re completely blown away by what this full-size stock truck is capable of. Especially if that person has an extensive background in road going vehicles like DriveTribe’s editor, Jethro Bovingdon. Old Jethro got his hands on the new Gen II Raptor and took it out to Johnson Valley California where he could give the offroad beast a proper romping. However, he needed something to compare it to in order to fully appreciate just how good of a truck it really is. And what better choice than another vehicle that was designed specifically to be used in an offroad type setting, the Ariel Nomad.
Now let’s be honest, these two vehicles aren’t even close to being the same. The Raptor is built for hardcore offroad use, where they Nomad is more rally car than an offroader. But nonetheless, until Ram builds the Rebel TRX or one of the other top manufacturers steps up and builds something that deserves to be considered a genuine competitor to the Raptor, the Nomad will have to work.
Offroad and Raptor enthusiasts all over the world have been up in arms about the new Gen II Raptor. The main reason is Ford’s controversial decision to use the EcoBoost V6 motor. We here at Moto Networks have been leading the charge on that front as someone in the office has a gen-1, and because of that we’re emotionally invested. But instead of talking about how we much we dislike the V6 exhaust note in a full-size truck, we’ll focus on what makes the Raptor so appealing in the first place. It’s offroad capabilities. And when it comes to that, there’s just no other production vehicle that touches it.
Jethro Bovingdon is your typical auto journalist from the United Kingdom. Now bare with me on that comment while I explain. Being the editor of popular car publications like EVO and now DriveTribe, he’s been able to drive some of the most incredible cars on the planet. Emphasis on cars! But something he, and most other UK-based journalists, hasn’t spent a whole lot of time doing is offroading. Which is why I found it so interesting to see him get behind the wheel of the Raptor out in its natural habitat, the Johnson Valley desert. In between the massive smile and uncontrolled laughter, you can clearly see the look of genuine shock and amazement on his face as he hits massive whoops at over 80 mph, and the truck just takes it without breaking a sweat. Again, I take you back to that comment I made about people experiencing the amazing Ford Raptor for the first time.
The same can’t said about his time in the Ariel Nomad, at least not the entire time. For the first part of the drive, Jethro takes the Nomad over the same terrain he was driving the Raptor, only at a quarter of the speed. And even still he paid the price of a being brutally thrown around inside the car. Although once he drives a little further and gets onto a dried up lakebed with a smooth surface, the Nomad starts to really shine.
A comparison between these two vehicles really is somewhat pointless seeing as how they are so different. Each specializes in a different style of offroading and although the Raptor can do anything the Nomad can do, we have to admit that smashing the Nomad around that dry lakebed would be a complete blast. But when you consider that the Nomad has a sticker price that’s almost $25,000 more than Raptor, according to the MSRP of each, it seems like a no-brainer to pick the Raptor. Especially taking into account all the other utility it offers. And based on Jethro’s reaction to this amazing truck, it’s safe to say he feels the same way.