When the Noble M600 rolled off a transporter into the Autocar studio for an exclusive photo shoot the good news is it looked like it would justify its rumoured £100,000 price tag. Then we found out the M600 will cost double that.
This is obviously a whole different ball game and in an instant changes the way you look at the car. The Noble went from undercutting a Porsche 911 Turbo to a 911 Turbo, a Cayenne, a Cayman and change for some track days.
This, however, doesn’t detract from the fact the Noble still looks absolutely fantastic in the flesh. Bespoke parts and touches like the logo picked out in the mesh of the side vents add to the sense of a quality product. The interior is fabulously well finished and a world away from Nobles of the past.
The engine is a Volvo unit, but it is developed with Yamaha, and fitted with twin turbos. The idea of using another manufacturer’s engine as a basis in a supercar is hardly cutting corners – just look at the McLaren F1.
But despite all this the Noble is undoubtedly a very expensive car. Not quite in the league of Koenigseggs but it is Murcielago money. And if you think I’m sitting on the fence here, you’re right I am.
I think that people will put worth on different aspects of the Noble in an attempt to justify the price. What I mean by this is performance-wise it is up there with the best. 225mph and 60mph in less than three seconds? That makes it one of the fastest cars on the planet and in some ways a bit of a performance bargain.
No fancy F1 tech and driver aids? Check out the spec list of a new Ferrari 458 Italia and then work out what you would spend the £50,000 change on. Then again the Noble is hand-built, rare and British, which is important to a lot of people.
The big question for me is how quick it will go around a track. If Noble has not lost its monumental ability to set up a chassis, this M600 could be one of the fastest road cars ever created. At the same time Noble needs to shed memories of the past very quickly and reinvent itself as a true supercar maker, in the way Zonda and Koenigsegg established themselves as serious players.
It won’t be easy but I wish Noble well. There’s always room for another British supercar.