Bespoke British supercar firm showcases M600 drop-top with semi-automatic gearbox
9 January 2015

Noble has revealed an open-top version of its M600 supercar at this year's Autosport International show. It is the first car from the British manufacturer to adopt a semi-automatic gearbox.

There are no immediate plans for the prototype, which has been dubbed M600 Speedster, to go into production. The company is instead referring to the car as a "research-gathering exercise".

Going against the company's long-standing loyalty to manual transmissions, the Speedster utilises a six-speed single-clutch semi-automatic gearbox rather than a dual-clutch unit, in order "to keep the raw feel that is associated with Noble cars", according to Noble managing director Peter Boutwood.

"People still love manual-shifting cars, but we have to keep up with other markets while keeping that gutsy, visceral sensation with the car, similar to the Ferrari 430 Scuderia," he said.

Power comes from the same 4.4-litre twin-turbocharged V8 used in the outgoing M600. The engine produces 650bhp at 6800rpm and enables a top speed "in excess of 200mph".

"If it makes production, our aim is for it to be one of the fastest cabriolets in the world," said Boutwood. 

Noble says there currently have been no structural changes to the carbonfibre-composite M600 coupé-derived body, despite the removal of the fixed roof on the Speedster. The company says it is happy with the stiffness of the prototype car in its early phase of development.   

The Speedster wears 255/30 19 tyres up front and colossal 335/30 20 tyres at the rear. Inside, it's fitted with leather trim, carbonfibre panels and an Alcantara-clad steering wheel. The centre console switches are finished in aluminium.


Our Verdict

Noble M600

The Noble M600 is one of the fastest and best-handling supercars we’ve tested

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10 January 2015
a throwback to the 90's. I have always liked the M15 better.

11 January 2015
I think Noble's biggest mistake was to have their press car painted a very 70's shade of pale blue. It made it look very dowdy, especially compared to the latest from McLaren and Ferrari.

Having seen a few in darker colours they look fantastic. I still think the front corners are too square and the lights too big but apart from that the looks pretty much compare to the brilliant dynamics.

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