What is it?
This is the Noble M600, a £200k car that intentionally eschews all the usual conveniences crammed into a mass-produced supercar.
So it’s a raw, very racy, slightly scary machine that aims to deliver deeper driving satisfaction than an entire car park full of Ferrari F430s.
It’s powered by a twin-turbo 4.4-litre V8, courtesy of a quite peculiar but also rather compelling combination of Ford, Yamaha, Volvo and American engine specialist Motorkraft. This small, exquisite-looking powerplant originally started life as a centrepiece for Ford’s now-defunct Premier Automotive Group, and it was designed for that role by Yamaha. In normally aspirated form it’s seen service in the Volvo XC90 and S80.
In the M600, the headline outputs sit somewhere between amazing and insane. Maximum power is 650bhp at 6800rpm, while peak torque is 604lb ft at 3800rpm.
What’s perhaps most startling but also most revealing about the M600’s rampant, rabid intention is its weight. Give or take an electric window switch here and there, it graces the scales at around 1250kg.
A simple bit of calculator work will tell you that it therefore has around 520bhp per tonne and at least 480lb ft per tonne. A Bugatti Veyron has 495bhp per tonne and 461lb ft per tonne. And the M600, remember, is rear-wheel drive and not four-wheel drive like the Bugatti.
What’s it like?
With these crazed statistics ricocheting around the outer edges of your imagination, and with the additional knowledge that the entire rear transaxle and six-speed manual gearbox have been designed specifically for the M600 by Graziano (the same company that produces bespoke transmissions for Ferrari, Lamborghini and Aston Martin), the price and pedigree of this car gradually start to make sense.
In fact, you realise PDQ that this is a very different kind of machine from the M12 and M400 that Noble produced at the beginning of the century. This car is truly on another level. The M600 is preposterously fast and clings to the road like the proverbial boiled sweet sticks to a blanket, yet it’s also eerily civilised. And that’s a real surprise.