One major question mark hangs over the Noble M600: its hefty £200,000 asking price. So is this 650bhp British supercar really worth an entire BMW 5-series more than a McLaren MP4-12C or a Ferrari 458 Italia?

For a car that is hand-built in small premises on the outskirts of Leicester, by a team of fewer than 20 people, this does sound like an awful lot of money, particularly for a car that few people will ever recognise. 

During the course of our road test, however, the M600 went faster than a McLaren F1 in almost every in-gear increment from 20-160mph. That being the case, you might begin to understand why Noble sees fit to charge such a fee.

Because in the end it is its raw, brain-mangling performance that defines the M600. Not just in a straight line but also around corners, under brakes, during acceleration, everywhere and anywhere. What we are talking about is one of the fastest cars that has ever been built for use on the public road, in light of which £200k no longer seems quite so crazy.

And Noble Automotive has previous when it comes to creating cars of truly stultifying performance. Noble’s first car, designed by company founder Lee Noble, was the awkward-looking but surprisingly excellent-to-drive M10. Then came Noble’s eureka moment in the form of the South African-assembled M12, over 1500 of which were sold in six years during the mid-2000s.

The astonishingly rapid M400 was the final and most dramatic derivative of the M12 before Noble embarked on the M14, which then became the M15, neither of which saw production. The M15 did, however, provide the platform for the M600, a car completed after founder Lee Noble left the company in 2008.

Top 5 Supercars

  • Ferrari 458
    The radical-looking, mid-engined V8 Ferrari 458 oozes supercar charm

    Ferrari 458

    1
  • McLaren 650S
    The McLaren 650S is much faster and more exciting to drive than the regular 12C

    McLaren 650S

    2
  • Lamborghini Huracán
    The Huracán is the successor to the Lamborghini Gallardo

    Lamborghini Huracán

    3
  • Lamborghini Aventador
    The Lamborghini Aventador replaced the long-lived Murcielago

    Lamborghini Aventador

    4
  • Noble M600
    The Noble M600 might lack the pedigree of a Ferrari, but it is a wonderful drivers' car

    Noble M600

    5

First drives

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • First Drive
    2 May 2016
    There's lots of work yet to be done, but the Aston Martin DB11's hardware has been signed-off. To experience it, we've driven a prototype
  • First Drive
    1 May 2016
    If you like Minis, going quickly and basking in the sun, then you're in luck; we've driven Mini's new John Cooper Works Convertible on foreign roads
  • Lotus Elise Cup 250
    First Drive
    29 April 2016
    The fastest, most track-focused and most expensive Elise ever made. It's simple, raw and immersive
  • Porsche 911 Targa 4S
    First Drive
    27 April 2016
    Slick looks, open-top fun and 911 handling sound brilliant, but the Targa has historically trailed the Coupé. How does the new model fare on UK roads?
  • Jaguar F-Pace 2.0d
    First Drive
    26 April 2016
    Jaguar's debut SUV wowed us abroad, but does it still impress as much here on the UK's roads?