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Nomad buggy is back - kind of

2010-02-25 09:53
Remember the boxy Nomad 4x4?

It was a uniquely South African GM project – mounting a (very) boxy little body on a Firenza chassis and adding a LSD diff to the rear, enabling fair sand-driving capability.

Back in the late 1970s and early 1980s they developed a loyal following, despite being (extremely) utilitarian to drive. GM even built a few (less than 100) 4x4 variants.

We’ll its back – minus all-wheel drive and under Chinese stewardship.

Built by Chinese manufacturer Zotye (based out of Zhejiang), the new Nomad has very little in common with its famous namesake. In fact, it’s actually a first generation Daihatsu Terios…

Japanese power

Both the models on sale in South Africa are rear-wheel drive only – so forget about any soft-roading.

They’re both powered by Mitsubishi engines too, a 1.3l (62kW/107Nm) and a 1,6l (78kW/134Nm) shifting via five-speed manual transmissions.

Although the new Nomad’s suspension is rugged (coils all-round with a solid rear axle) and offers fair ground clearance (185mm), it’s more of an urban conveyance with faux SUV style than anything else.

Chinese value

Standard safety features include all-wheel ABS brakes assisted by EBD. Comfort and convenience features tally power steering, electric front windows and a CD player.

Price, as with all these Chinese re-engineering jobs, is the key.

The Zoyte Nomad 1.3 retails for R119 995 and the 1.6 for R139 995, which includes a 3year/75 000km service plane and 100 000km warranty. We have no idea where the dealers are located though….

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