Sunday, 28 November 2010

Minty spearmint goodness:Noble M400

What does it feel like to own the only Noble in Singapore, find out below

Vital StatisticsCar: Noble M400Owners: 2Registered: 2nd November 2005Mileage: approx. 9,800 kmRevisited: 19th July 2010 / 22nd October 2010
With only one example in town, it's no surprise that the sight of the Noble M400 on our roads causes some amount of consternation, especially when you say, “It's not a Lotus.”
Previously a nondescript silver (some earlier snapshots here), the M400 (a track derivative of the earlier M12) has been resprayed in a fetching pearlescent White with fluorescent green accents, which serves to highlight its exotic, otherwordly looks even further.
The M400 is a true blue-collar, working class hero that has been endowed with supercar performance and dynamics without the corresponding price-tag.
Dubbed 'M400' for its spectacular power-to-weight ratio, the Noble puts out a seismic 400 (or 400.1bhp if you want to be precise) bhp per tonne (or 425bhp for its 1060kg kerbweight). For a sense of perspective, the modern day Godzilla, the Nissan GT-R (R35) doesn't even manage 290bhp per tonne!
View Image Details]' >Noble Automotive is the brainchild of founder/chief designer Lee Noble (started in 1999 and then sold in 2006 to entrepreneur and exotic car collector, Peter Dyson; Lee Noble would leave the company in 2008 to found Fenix Automotive, which also announced a new supercar dubbed the 'Fenix' in 2009 and slated for production in 2010), who combined Colin Chapman's lightweight rear-wheel driven philosophy with a hearty helping of 'HOLY MOLY' from the fire-breathing mid-mounted engines that served as donor powerplants to the Noble cars.
Due to the general lack of familiarity in Singapore, it's no surprise that most people instinctively (and rather predictably, we might add) say, “I'd rather have a Lotus,” or more bizarrely, “Why is the rear wing so big?”.
View Image Details]'This is in spite of the fact that many of them have never really experienced the Apocalyptic force-of-nature that is a Noble M400 before, not least because, well, there's just this single car in town and UK-based Noble Automotive no longer produces the M400 (the rights were sold in 2007 to a company in the USA called 1G Racing, which showcased and is now selling an updated version of the M400 called the Rossion Q1).
View Image Details]' Even our initial impressions were that this was some sort of a Lotus clone. However, it's not til you experience the elemental forces on tap from the M400 that you really appreciate the potent combination of a featherweight body with a twin turbocharged 3L V6 engine.
Although we seldom talk about straight-line acceleration, the M400's ferocious turn of speed compels us to mention its 3.5 seconds sprint timing to the 100km/h mark.
View Image Details]' With the augmentation by a pair of sweetly spinning turbochargers, the Ford-sourced V6 (from the Mondeo ST220) punches hard and keeps you down for the count as you ride the crest of the car's seemingless limitless wave of torque.
The close-ratio Getrag gearbox keeps you well within the turbo band and the shifts are precise and short-of-throw for satisfyingly quick action.
View Image Details]' Originally factory-shod in Pirelli PZero Corsa tyres, the current foot-wear takes the form of Falken Azenis RT615. However, the previous owner sold the car with an ultra-sticky set of Michelin Pilot Sport Cup tyres, which continued to offer stupendous grip even though it was coming to four years of age.
Ultimately, the plan may be to keep the Falkens' for street/demo use, but slap on a set of grippy Cup or Pirelli rubber for serious track work, thereby allowing the M400 to really shine. The car is currently under Exotic Tuner and there is some talk the owner will enter the M400 in a drag run at the 2010 Mettle Games, before it eventually takes to the track.
View Image Details]'The M400's role as track tool is clear enough when one slips into the cabin. Apart from the minor concessions to luxury in the Alcantara-clad bits (headliner, most consoles, seats and roll-cage frame), everything else is purely functional (especially the gauges, which allow one to keep an eye on the engine's vital statistics), which could also be why the interior looks like the parts were scavenged from a late night raid to the Ford and Demon Tweeks spare parts bin.
Anoraks might be interested to learn that the body and chassis of the Noble is built by Hi-Tech Automotive, which is based in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, after which it is shipped to Noble Automotive for everything else to be added.
Surprisingly, there's even a decent amount of storage space in the M400, especially behind the seats... not that we'd expect this to be a compelling point to purchase the car of course.
View Image Details]'On full throttle runs, the M400 also emits all the right noises that you'd expect from a dedicated sports-car. The gasps, sighs and wheezes help turn any drive in the Noble into a full-blown mind blowing experience and there's nothing close to asthmatic about this car whatsoever.
Needless to say, the Noble garners loads of variety of attention from car-spotters and ignorant bystanders alike, so travelling incognito is somewhat of an uphill challenge.
View Image Details]'During our time with the car, we found owners of much more exotic vehicles rubber-necking to catch a better glimpse of the M400.
The perfectly weighted steering is razor-sharp and the turn-in, near immediate. Apart from the off-set pedal placement, the controls are easy to modulate and the braking force, painfully effective (4-pot AP Racing callipers all-round).
View Image Details]'Contrary to what many may expect of a sportscar, the clutch action is unexpectedly light and will not require thighs the size of small buildings to operate. More importantly, the M400 is raw, yet retains some element of comfort, since the damping and ride are well-sorted and surprisingly civilised, even despite its track-ready credentials.
View Image Details]' From the get-go, the M400 gets into stride almost instantly (thanks to its flyweight) despite just a smidgen of turbo-lag. Once the turbos kick in, prepare to reel in the horizon as the M400 bends time and space with neck-straining ease and spits you towards your destination with all the explosive spurt of a wayward spitball.
View Image Details]'However, never mistake the M400's power as being unfocused and misdirected, since the agile chassis easily allows drivers of all skill levels to exploit the car's potential: it's as scary (or not) as you want it to be, but never forget that the engine is mid-mounted, which can typically make for some tricky handling at the limit.
Moreover, unlike so many modern cars (sportscars included), there's no form of traction control (electronic or otherwise) nor ABS, save for your discipline, self-restraint and right foot.
View Image Details]'With the potential violence and 'Judgement Day'-type pyrotechnics from the twin-turbochargers a mere foot-prod away, it is even entirely possible to exit every corner in a state of opposite lock Nirvana, not that Motor Prime condones this sort of anti-social behaviour, of course!
View Image Details]' The Noble's compact proportions allow one to place the car confidently; it almost seems as though the car wraps even closer around you like a pair of sleek Oakleys when you get into the cabin. If it's purely superficial aesthetics you're after, you're unlikely to be convinced by the M400, since in these minds, the Lotus more often than not will seem to be a more appealing package.
(Conclusion after Fast Facts)
FAST FACTS : Noble M400ENGINEEngine: 2967cc, 24-valves, V6, twin-turbochargedMaximum power @ rpm: 425bhp @ 6500rpmMaximum torque @ rpm: 529Nm @ 5000rpmBore x Stroke (mm): 89 x 79.5Compression ratio: 8.0:1
TRANSMISSIONDriven wheels: Rear with Quaife LSDTransmission: Getrag 6-Speed ManualGear Ratios: 3.15/1.95/1.52/1.19/1.31/1.03:1 / R 3.87:1Final drive: (1st-4th): 3.87 / (5th-6th): 2.76
PERFORMANCE0-100km/h: approximately 3.5 secondsTop speed: 282km/h
SUSPENSIONFront: Wishbones, Coil Springs, Dynamic Dampers, Anti-Roll BarRear: Wishbones, Coil Springs, Dynamic Dampers
BRAKES & TYRES/WHEELSFront: 330mm x 13" AP Racing discs; 4-pot callipersRear: 330mm x 13" AP Racing discs; 4-pot callipersWheels: (f) 8.5x18; (r) 10x18Tyres: (f) 225/40 R18; (r) 265/35 R18
DIMENSIONSL x B x H: 4089 x 1885 x 1143 mmWheelbase: 2438mmLock-to-lock: 2.5 turnsKerbweight: 1060kg
Based on mere appearances alone, it's easy to mistake the M400 for just another Lotus clone, but as with everything else, one needs to appreciate the raw fury of the Noble's unleashed elemental forces to truly understand its place among the rarefied echelons of sportscars... like Wrigley's Spearmint's finest, the M400 provides enthusiasts with a welcome breath of fresh air. - story by dk ; photos by Vanq

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Our meeting with Lee Noble

It's the big day, and our chat with Lee Noble.

Finally after correspondence with Lee, we finally got to meet the man himself, the founder of Noble and his latest venture Fenix.

I must say, right from the off, i thoroughly enjoyed the visit. It took us two hours to get to his house. The satnav coordinates that he gave us took us to his area, but not his house, in which we had to ask an old lady to direct us to his house.

We arrive at a pretty white house in the countryside, i was excited but nervous about meeting my design hero, we rung the doorbell and the man himself answered

"Sat nav take you the wrong way", he says, "They all do that" he added. He was a very nice man, as soon as we came in he asked us if we wanted a drink and invited us to go into the living room, as we were heading to the living room we noticed a half-built M12 sitting in the back garden, "I'm doing it up for a friend" he says

We head into the living room, we sat down, and Lee was more than happy to answer any questions that i had. In my conversation, i asked how many M12's and M10's were built?

As regards the m12 said Lee he wasn't 100 percent sure because of the American market, but reckoned he had built about 1700 cars, now as regards the M10, he said 6 and he started to recount the M10's in order and who had bought them, which was good because it was 11 years ago.

I wondered where his passion for designing cars came from, he said that he had wondered about that himself but from being young he had had a job repairing lawn mowers, and also use to design and build model aeroplanes with his dad, i suppose that's where his design and mechanical interest started.

The conversation turned to his early cars, such as the Ultima and the Prosport, and told us amusing stories about his racing days, including one where he went a whole night mending his Lotus Europa and still won the race in it the next day.

I asked him about the Midtec spyder, i said "Yeah, the Midtec, it looked a bit..." "Weird?" Lee finished, he said he'd done the chassis, and left it to a workmate, who used to live in a caravan, and would go to the gym for 9 hours at night to design the body.

After the Midtec, while lee was chatting, i pulled a book out of my bag, a Brooklands book of Noble sports cars ( which compiled a list of road tests from magazines from the M10 to the M600 ) He'd never seen it before and was really interested, so interested, he has now become it's new owner.

After giving him the book, we asked him a big question, what was his greatest achievements, for engineering, he said it was the M12, for design the M14 and for interior he chose the M15.

He went on to talk about the M12 and how reliable it was, he told us a problem regarding the oil sump which was something he didn't dismiss, he spent the whole weekend resolving the problem, which happened on the first 20 cars, what that impressed on me, was here was a man who took pride in his work and wanted to do a job well after all his name and reputation was attached to the car.
We later got around to talking about the new Fenix which is something he is very excited about and without giving anything away in a word is going to be AWESOME.
My conclusion about my visit to see mine and many enthusiasts design hero is, here is a man that is so passionate about designing and building sports cars that which each design he just gets better and better but i think deep down inside he lives for the challenge to build the ultimate sports car. Roll on 2011, bring on the fenix...!

Lucas Wilson

Latest noble pic

This latest pic is from lee noble himself.

Monday, 15 November 2010

Crash!! Wrecked Nobles

Of course we all knew that not all 1500 nobles will make it through life unharmed, so here are some crashes
2005. Noble M12 GTO-3R
2006. Noble M400

2003. Noble M12 GTO-3

2005. Noble M12 GTO-3R

2002. Noble M12 GTO

Noble car review

In America the Saleen S7 is one of the top players, can the M400 be as good, plus it's got 2 other rivals to deal with, the Morgan aero 8 and the Lamborghini gallardo spyder, Automobile magazine finds out what happens

Listen, it's all right to think about driving an exotic sports car. We've finally put behind us all those images of the characters on Miami Vice--the culture cowboys, drug dealers, and pro athletes driving around in trashy symbols of conspicuous consumption. The exotic car is once again a symbol of success, not privilege. It's a way to satisfy your thirst for the deepest drink of automotive enthusiasm.
And it turns out that the exotic-car market is booming. Lamborghini president Stephan Winkelmann tells us, "There are more and more people who can afford exotic cars, not just in the United States and Europe, but all across the world."
So it's only natural that on Saturday mornings in Orange County, California, one of those places on the planet that is so affluent that exotic cars are a common sight, lots of guys lace up a pair of Piloti driving shoes and go to "cars and coffee," an informal, early-morning pageant of impressive sports cars--fast cars and historic cars. This is the promised land of exotic motoring.
Yet, as you walk among the sea of red Ferraris, you can't help but want something a little more distinctive for yourself. And if you're going to dream, why not dream about something truly rare, the kind of garage art that would make even this knowledgeable crowd sit up and take notice? The question is, can you really drive garage art on the street? Is a true exotic just too extreme for real life?
You couldn't find a more diverse assembly of garage art than the four exotics we have gathered here. Few cars look the part as well as the Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder. Stripping away this car's roof actually improves its appearance, as sullen geometry gives way to wild extravagance. At the other end of the spectrum lies the Noble M400, a brutal, pieced-together bit of track-day kit, a thinly disguised racing car.
No two examples of garage art could be further apart in spirit than the Morgan Aero 8 and the Saleen S7 Twin Turbo. The Aero 8 looks as if its classically English shape has been partly melted by a hyperspeed hair dryer, which in a way it has, since this car is derived from the streamlined Morgan Aero that competed at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2002 and 2004. The Saleen S7, on the other hand, is a racing car without any kind of disguise: it looks made, not styled. Like so many things American, it's direct and functional, but it's been jazzed up with lots of louvers (there are ninety-two openings in the bodywork) and a paint job of spectacular quality.

You could spend half a day telling stories about the technology in these cars. The Gallardo's combination of a mid-mounted V-10 engine and all-wheel drive is kind of futuristic, and the Lambo also embraces every available electronic driver's aid in order to be able to safely express its speed on the street. Meanwhile, the Noble M400 attacks the ideal of speed with the same sort of seriousness, but its technology has been trimmed down to a hard-core combination of fiberglass bodywork, a spaceframe chassis, and a twin-turbo V-6 engine.
In a way, the Aero 8 is just as retrograde as any previous Morgan, being a classic, handbuilt car. But it also happens to have been nicely updated with a 325-hp, 4.4-liter BMW V-8 and a chassis fabricated from aluminum. The Saleen S7 actually started with an English chassis design, but it has evolved into something essentially American. It's a conventionally conceived yet cleverly integrated combination of carbon-fiber bodywork, a space- frame of steel tubes bonded to aluminum honey- comb, and a twin-turbo, solid-lifter overhead-valve V-8.
We felt pretty comical burbling around in these cars. The Morgan is far lower than it looks, and speed bumps crash the independent rear suspension to the bumpstops of the dampers. The Noble's low-effort steering makes it easy to maneuver, but there will be no hitting the drive-thru at In-n-Out Burger--the windows roll down only part of the way, and the opening to the outside is about the size of a mail slot.
Meanwhile, the Saleen S7 is insane in an enclosed parking garage. The exhaust pulses from the 750-hp, 7.0-liter powerplant echo off the concrete like an artillery barrage. The Saleen's front aero splitter has been specially reinforced to withstand abuse when the nose of the car inevitably scrapes on any sloping concrete ramp. In comparison, the Lamborghini drives like a real car during these exercises in functional practicality, not least because its semiautomatic, servo-actuated transmission makes it easy to control the 520-hp V-10.
So, yes, we felt foolish driving around in supercars on city streets, but we actually learned a few things. First of all, supercar engines will happily endure extended periods of 30-mph puttering, a testament to the wonders of electronic engine management and sensibly engineered cooling systems. Even the twin-turbo V-8 in the Saleen, which had a horrible lean surge below 3000 rpm, never budged the needle of its water-temperature gauge.
But we also learned that while exotic-car machinery can withstand metro duty, exotic-car drivers cannot. The driver is packaged like something of an afterthought in an exotic car, so there's no running out from Starbucks with your cup in hand and leaping into the driver's seat. The S7 is a racing car, with the broad door sill, flat-bottomed steering wheel, and small pedal box to prove it, even though it's easier to get into than a Ford GT. The Noble is a similar proposition, but not as extreme. The Morgan Aero 8 is by far the worst in this regard, as the door access forces you to thread your legs over the high-bolstered seats and into the tiny pedal box (no room for a dead pedal here), and the steering wheel is always in the way. As for the Lamborghini, well, it's pretty good, actually.

You can't imagine just how good it felt to finally get out of town and let our quartet's engines really rip. As soon as you stand on the throttle pedal, it's clear that the Lamborghini's V-10 alone is worth every cent of the money. The whoop as the ten cylinders chime in together sends a shiver up your spine--the same one you feel when you first approach a race circuit and hear the cars before you can see them. The six-speed semiautomatic transmission--so frustrating at stoplights where its slow clutch take-up constrains any hooliganism--comes into its own on a twisting road, allowing you to tear off quick, melodious upshifts as if you were Lamborghini test driver Valentino Balboni.
The twin-turbo, 750-hp V-8 in the Saleen S7 lies at the other end of the spectrum, where sheer thrust, not rpm-related spin, is what impresses. Thick intake ducts envelop the V-8 as if it were being attacked by a giant carbon-fiber squid. Thanks to a combination of 5 psi of boost and 7.0 liters of displacement, the power curve is broad and deep from 3000 rpm all the way to the 6500-rpm redline. The sound is broad and deep, too, as the engine sits just inches behind your head. The shifting action of the RBT six-speed transmission can't come close to the slick Ricardo six-speed in a Ford GT, but despite all the stiction in its action, the linkage still finds the shift gates very positively.
There's not much romance to a description of the Noble M400's engine, a Ford Duratec 3.0-liter V-6 boosted with twin turbo- chargers. An Ohio company called 1g Racing sells the Noble chassis and parts kit, although the spec engine comes from AER in Texas. The cars themselves are designed in England but are built in South Africa. Yet as soon as the electric fuel pump clatters to life in the engine bay just behind your head, you realize this is going to be a real racing-caliber experience. In fact, this engine has the harsh, flat bark of a racing engine, and the long-travel throttle pedal lets you modulate it like music. As you'd expect with a Ford V-6, midrange power is the message here, and that power swells across a wide range of rpm. When you shift the sticky, notchy Getrag six-speed into a taller gear, the turbo waste gates call out to you with a chirp.
Tractable power is what the 4.4-liter BMW V-8 installed in the Morgan Aero 8 is all about. After years of obscure engine choices as Morgan tried to keep up with U.S. emissions requirements, the German-built V-8 delivers a vintagelike elastic powerband that lets you cruise around all day in any three selections from the superfluously sophisticated six-speed gearbox.

It's hard to know what people made of it when they came around a corner on a road through the San Jacinto Mountains and discovered a 220-mph Le Mans racing car going the other way. We have to say that driving the Saleen S7 on a mountain road is a little bit like flying a jet fighter around your living room. It easily keeps its temper, but it's useful to remember that it might tear off your head at any moment. Refrain from childish muscle car antics like romping on the gas pedal, or else things will go bad in a pillar of tire smoke as the turbos light off. On a positive note, the broad field of view forward through the S7's canopy inspires cornering confidence, and the 2750-pound Saleen's 106-inch wheelbase and lengthy overhangs even help the car ride very comfortably.
We were expecting the Noble M400 to be much the same proposition, as previous iterations of this basic car have made its reputation as a track-dedicated device. When you sit in the dark interior, as barren of visual interest as a farm implement despite the suedelike trim throughout the cockpit, you steel yourself for a harsh and unpleasant experience.
Yet it turns out that the M400 loves the open road. Its combination of 425 hp and only 2337 pounds delivers the kind of miraculous vehicle dynamics that make a driver feel close to omnipotent. The M400 really is brilliant: direct like a track car and yet docile enough for the street. Noble also deserves a lot of credit for recently civilizing this car with good seats, low-effort power-assisted steering, and a new, resilient suspension setup with Multimatic-tuned dynamic dampers. Still, the steering lacks on-center feel, and when a front wheel compresses over a bump, there's a strong steering effect. While the Noble is street-friendly, it's set up for narrow, bumpy country lanes in England, not highways in America.
The Morgan Aero 8 is equally British, despite its makeover with a modern chassis fabricated from aluminum. The suspension calibration is soft enough to keep the tires firmly on the road, delivering a breakthrough in cornering grip for the Morgan nameplate. The car is quick, too, as the 325-hp V-8 has just 2520 pounds to motivate. The trouble is, the Aero 8 still feels quite willowy in the process, as both the chassis and the bodywork shudder over bumps.
The Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder is the most modern car in this group, a carefully engineered convertible that manages to feel stout enough for serious speed. It rides extremely well on bumps (although it hates choppy pavement), yet there's so much roll stiffness assigned to the front end that the car steers with razorlike sharpness, like a great big go-kart. Unfortunately, the 3462-pound Gallardo also occasionally feels like a great big go-kart, as the steering effort for this all-wheel-drive car is quite high and the brakes require a firm push on the pedal. Even so, the Gallardo always feels completely usable, and you're never hesitant to use all the power and cornering grip at your command.

Each of these four cars does its best to fit into conventional society. The Noble M400 has a three-point seatbelt for everyday use, as well as a four-point harness for track use. The Saleen has a clever electric plug in the engine compartment so that you can trickle-charge the battery between outings. The Gallardo Spyder's electric top takes just twenty seconds to retract or deploy. And the Morgan Aero 8's cloth top flips back by hand. Trunk space is in short supply in all four cars, although fitted luggage is available in all but the Noble.
These cars are meant to arouse passion in enthusiasts, so it's no surprise that we felt passion both good and bad about each of them. The Noble had all the aesthetic presence of something plucked from a hardware bin, and our young guys, road test coordinator Marc Noordeloos and assistant editor Sam Smith, showed a lot of disdain for its kit-car-like, Ford Mondeo--derived shift lever and switchgear. But these objections didn't keep the M400 from being everyone's favorite car here--fast in a pure and extreme way, but compact and comfortable every day.
The Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder has everything in both aesthetic and mechanical presence that the M400 lacks. Most of all, the Gallardo is a practical automobile, a huge statement about what exotic cars have become in the last decade.
Noordeloos and Smith were both keenly disappointed by the Morgan Aero 8, a measure of their hopes for a racing car wrapped in a vintage body. Instead, they discovered a kind of Plymouth Prowler, a gorgeously updated visual experience of a familiarly vintage driving experience. Conversely, creative director (and Brit) Richard Eccleston really loved the car. As he explained, the Morgan makes you cherish it because it's all about mechanical soul, the simple thrill of a working mechanism whirring and growling (and occasionally smelling of oil) as it goes down the road. In a way, the Morgan also has a quality the Noble lacks, because it's about the beauty of the bits, not the thrill of the driving dynamics.
There was no loving or hating the Saleen S7; it is simply from a different world. It is the automotive equivalent of a nighttime aircraft carrier landing in a jet fighter, an experience so extreme that it barely relates to automobiles as we know them. It's a dead solid miracle that the S7 can be driven on the street at all, although Steve Saleen tells us that he runs errands at Target and Wal-Mart in his own car. We learned that you can drive the Saleen on the street without being desperately scared or desperately uncomfortable, although you probably have to be desperately insane to do so.
The unifying factor here is the unreconstructed commitment it takes to drive an exotic car. These are extreme automobiles. They can be driven in the real world, but they're not of it, and perfectly transparent utility is not in their skill set. In the end, this is the point of an exotic car. It is designed to be all about the car, not all about the driver. And the kind of person attracted to such a vehicle is no more like an ordinary driver than a Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder is like a Chevy Aveo. That's why drivers like you and us care so much about exotic sports cars such as these.

Latest noble pic

I love this origonal press photograph

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Colour M12 poll

This is a survey on pistonheads about what colour the members of the site's M12s are
Total Surveyed:71 members
Blue - Azure:
Blue - Indigo:
Blue - Portofino :
Silver - Titanium:
Silver - Larch:
Red (Monza or Burgundy):
Diamond Black:
Jasmine Yellow:
Green (Mallory or Racing):

M600 production

we can now tell you that the M600 production is up to number 5, they were taken from one dealer and are in the middle of being put together, as well as production cars a new press demonstarter is being built.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010


This M12 is so eye catching i had to put it on

2002 M12 GTO
33,600 miles
Rose Wine Metallic with Montana Black and Grey Leather Sports Seats
Driver and Passenger Race Harnesses
Momo 3-Spoke Steering Wheel
Turbo Boost Gauge
Air Conditioning
Alarm and Immobiliser
Nav Trak
Engine Start Button
Remote Control Sony CD/Tuner
Tailored Luggage Bags
Track Day Sump
Full Armourfend
10-Spoke Alloy Wheels
Full Service History.M.O.T until Jan 2011

Stansted Essex,United Kingdom

01279 647776

Latest noble pic

Great shot by EVO of a 2001 M12 GTO and a 2005 M400

Monday, 8 November 2010

What i've been doing

Well a couple big things, going to see the Noble M600 at the MPH show, and also that I'm going to meet Lee Noble soon, but more on those later, I'm showing you some Noble memorabilia I've been collecting 3 items with one on the way thinks to the magic of eBay. I'll show you some pics, first some Noble brochures I've got, a 2000 M12 GTO brochure and a M12 GTC brochure, with an M10 brochure on the way, and a noble sports car portfolio book all pics above.

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Noble car review

In 2000 the origonal M12 GTO was relesed to the press, Autocar find out what it's like.
We suspected all along that the Noble M12 GTO would be a bit special. Ever since an awkward-looking red sports car called the M10 arrived at Autocar’s offices and ran rings around a Lotus Elise, Noble has been a name to watch out for. But bulldog-chewing-a-wasp looks scuppered any hope of sales success and the M10 scurried back to Leicestershire never to be seen again. Some drawing board time for Mr Noble then, the results of which fell through the letterbox a year later. It was silver, called the M12 GTO and it looked rather better than good.
In exchange for £44,950 you get double wishbones at each corner and adjustable dampers. If that looks a bit more Autosport than Autocar, then the huge 330mm cross-drilled and ventilated Alcon brakes and 225/50 ZR18 and 265/35 ZR18 Bridgestone S-02s reinforce the race car connections. Two Garrett T25 turbochargers have a steroidal effect on the 2595cc Ford Duratec V6. Noble rates the engine of the M12 at 310bhp, but with just 980kg to punt along it feels much stronger than that, and from just 3500rpm it can summon 320lb ft of torque. With a power-to-weight ratio of 316bhp per tonne it is only one horse shy of the 317bhp per tonne the mighty Porsche 911 GT2 manages.
The M12’s standing-start acceleration is only just on the sane side of comfortable; a vicious melee of g-forces, rapid gearchanges and that ever-present and ever-vocal turbocharger. It thumps through 30mph in 1.7sec, 60mph in 3.9sec and passes 100mph in a deeply impressive 9.4sec. After that, drag takes its toll and at around 130mph acceleration becomes merely strong. Flexible, too; in fourth gear the 911 Turbo only just manages to peg the Noble up to 120mph. The Mondeo-derived gearbox is more than up to the task and the brakes are dazzling.The M12 is blessed with a peach of a chassis. Mechanical grip in the dry is staggering and we don’t think we’ve ever driven a road car with more wet-weather adhesion. And there’s finesse, too; a classic all-round double wishbone set-up gives something approaching a masterclass in control, response and enjoyment. A near-complete absence of body roll should scupper all chances the Noble has of riding comfortably, but that simply isn’t the case: the M12 flows over tricky roads. Pity the steering, though competent, isn’t quite up to the exceptionally high standards set by the rest of the package.
Though we doubt many people would consider an M12 as everyday transport, it is more than up to the task of mooching around with Mondeos. Access isn’t that great, the door sill has a habit of snagging Achilles tendons and the door itself doesn’t open wide enough. But once inside the seat is comfortable, visibilty is surprisingly good thanks to the low scuttle, and there’s ample head and shoulder room. Pity about the driving position though. To a man, everyone who drove the car wanted to be able to move the fixed seat backrest, bring the wheel closer to their chest and shove the pedal box between two and four inches back into the footwell. As it stands, the M12 can be a little awkward for long journeys, but we’re sure individual customers can tweak some of these problems out.What you really want to know is whether you should actually go out and buy a Noble M12; a car built in tiny numbers, costing more than a BMW M3 and with little dealer support. The answer is yes. It’s normally the shoddy details that prevent cars like this from going all the way, but not in this instance. And don’t confine it to track days; it’s a fantastic road tool as well, a car that will get you places absurdly quickly, and with a big grin. It is one of the most exciting cars we have ever driven.

New vid, Noble vs Morgan vs Rover