New 225mph supercar will take on Ferrari and Lamborghini

British sports car maker Noble is planning to propel itself into the highest echelons of 
the supercar-making business with this — the new 650bhp, 225mph M600.

These pictures show the M600 in its finished form. Production will start at a new factory in Leicestershire this autumn; deliveries are due to begin in November.

Exclusive Noble M600 driven on video

See the full Noble M600 gallery

Although prices for the M600 remain to be set, Noble is expecting to have to return some of the 70 deposits it has taken for the now defunct M14 and M15, because the M600 will be a much more expensive car.

“Although rumours have suggested that this car will cost much less, we’re expecting the M600 to be priced at around £200,000,” said Noble managing director Peter Boutwood. “Many of those on the waiting list put deposits on an M14 or M15 in expectation that it would cost £75,000, and it’s only right that we return their money. Even allowing 
for that, we’re expecting the early interest on this car to account for at least a year’s production.”

The M600 will compete with the fastest and most focused supercars on the market. Unrelated to the M12 that went before and radically altered from the M14/M15 projects begun by former principal Lee Noble, the M600 has a stainless steel tub, a steel tube skeleton and chassis, and carbonfibre body panels.

Weighing 1275kg, the M600’s longitudinally mounted, twin-turbo V8 engine will give the car 520bhp per tonne — enough for 62mph in 3.0sec, 100mph in around 6.5sec and a maximum speed of 225mph.

The M600 is the first Noble to use a V8 — a 4.4-litre Volvo unit fitted with twin Garrett turbochargers and a Motec ECU. In development tune the engine has been providing as much as 750bhp, but in the finished car it will be slightly reined in.

Drivers will be able to cycle between three ECU settings, providing 450, 550 or 650bhp at 6800rpm. In the highest-output setting the engine will also serve up 604lb ft of torque at 3800rpm.

The M600 has a 40 per cent front/60 per cent rear weight distribution. It runs on 19in painted alloy wheels at the front and 20in wheels at the rear, both wearing Michelin Pilot Sport tyres.

It will come with a switchable traction control system that’s deactivated using the missile launch switch from a Tornado fighter bomber. It has no conventional ESP system, though, and no anti-lock brakes.

“This is a car designed to provide a pure and uncorrupted driving experience that you’re totally in control of,” said Boutwood. “The driving experience we’ve targeted is closer to that of a Ferrari F40 or a McLaren F1 than those of more modern, more ‘civilised’ supercars. The M600 will do nothing on the driver’s behalf.”

In that vein, the new Noble has fixed-rate dampers, a fixed-ratio steering system and Alcon brakes with iron discs and only a very modest level of servo assistance so that, according to Boutwood, they have plenty of feel and are easy to modulate.

Although semi-automatic, paddle-operated gearboxes are becoming de rigueur on supercars at this price point, the M600 has a six-speed manual unit made by Graziano.

“We tested various paddle-shift systems during the conception of the M600, such as the one on the Ferrari Enzo, and found them all to be pretty unsatisfactory,” said Boutwood. “A good manual gearbox is just as fast, easier to maintain and gives the driver better control.”

Asked why the firm is abandoning its familiar £50,000-£75,000 price point, Boutwood said, “Demand for the £50,000 British sports car has dried up. We’re pitching the new M600 at a price point of around £200k because we believe that gives the car its 
own niche in the market. It’s uncharted territory for us, but we’re confident that the M600 is worthy of it.”

Noble will appoint a new dealer network for the M600 in the next few weeks and will 
give the car its first public outing during the Goodwood Revival on 19-21 September.

Matt Saunders

Blog: Is the Noble worth £200K?

Twitter - follow autocar.co.ukSee all the latest Noble reviews, news and video

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Comments
23

19 August 2009

no mention of a ring time...

19 August 2009

Looking at front-on photograph, you could easily mistake this for just another tacky result of a small-scale sport car company. But side and back on, what a car...

19 August 2009

Noble might have made some good cars, but £200k!!! They're out of their depth. By a factor of 3 or 4. This is like Vauxhall pitching the VXR8 against an AMG Merc. Whoever dreamt up this strategy needs to get out in the real world. It's just too easy to see a niche such as Supercars where others are making good profits, and to think you can have a pop. MG tried it and failed miserably. I predict a similar fate for this car.

19 August 2009

Yeah, 200k is a bit much, 430 Scuderia, F599, GT2, LP560, etc all undercut it. Granted it will probably outpace them all on-track but really the price should be 100k or less. It's really gonna face some stiff competition. The biggest advantage Noble had was that they gave supercar performance for sportscar prices, this isn't the case here, even though it could be hard to touch on-track.

19 August 2009

[quote noluddite]Noble might have made some good cars, but £200k!!! They're out of their depth. By a factor of 3 or 4. This is like Vauxhall pitching the VXR8 against an AMG Merc. Whoever dreamt up this strategy needs to get out in the real world. It's just too easy to see a niche such as Supercars where others are making good profits, and to think you can have a pop[/quote]

Too right.

From a company respect perspective, a 911 Turbo competitor (where the M600 was first pitched) would have been a far better idea. The original Nobel was a success because of the price and ability. Same too can be said of TVR.

The £200,000 mark is a different, much harder league to make it in, especially considering the styling.

Sadly, this strategy is following the path of other British manufacturers who have failed.

 

 

It's all about the twisties........

19 August 2009

Nice car, but I'll have a Lambo with some cash in my pocket :-)

19 August 2009

The £200K price tag quoted is a complete joke to me considering the car still looks just like the stillborn M14, a car that was due to cost one third of this one's price and has a bought in Volvo engine with some turbos strapped to it.

I'll take an F458 so I can listen to a bespoke engine, rather than one from a school run special and have the £50K change to mend it when it goes wrong!

19 August 2009

The end of Noble I fear !

19 August 2009

Can't disagree with other posters here. If the Noble offered huge performance for R8 money then you might have an interesting choice to make, but would you really buy one of these over a 458 or Gallardo? This seems doomed to failure, unfortunately.

19 August 2009

It's impossible to be sure without seeing the car in the metal, but the fit and finish look very good for a low volume car and as has already been mentioned the styling looks good from most angles. The comments so far seem pretty negative but haven't people on these forums been crying out for drivers cars without all the modern "driving aids" that drive up weight and decrease driving enjoyment? this sounds like just such a car so come on, give it a chance and a least wait for a few reviews before sticking the hatchet in.

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