With 13 inches of travel and incredibly beefy Fox dampers, the Ford Raptor definitely has the hardware to be considered a “Supercar of the Sand.” Watching the camera mounted to the rear suspension really shows how much work it is doing to soak up all the bumps of the desert.
The driver likens it to shooting down river rapids, because at high speeds on loose ground, the truck never really has total grip. You just slide around as the ground undulates beneath the truck like water.
The Ariel Nomad is no slouch itself. Derived from the Ariel Atom track car, the Nomad is the lightweight alternative to the six thousand pound Raptor but it retains all of the offroad ability and laughs plus open air feel for those that love a good sandblasting. It does cost nearly twice as much as the Raptor, but what it can do with a 230 hp Honda engine in the back is incredible.
The downside to the lightweight and smaller size, however, is that the Nomad does not smooth out the terrain for you like the Raptor can. Continuing the water analogy, the Nomad is the jet ski to the Raptor’s offshore race boat. Great fun in the right conditions, but can’t match the overall speed in the rough stuff.