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Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Noble Car Review

Can Noble M600 compete with Supercar icons? A Ferrari F40, A Jaguar XJ220 and a Porsche 911 GT3 RS. EVO Magazine 's Chris Harris Finds Out.

Experience now teaches us that it is nigh-on impossible to discuss the Ferrari F40 in general terms. There we were, myself, Barker and Catchpole, in the presence of Maranello’s greatest ever street car, and every time a lone voice looked like it might offer a neat summary of its greatness, and perhaps a link to the conceit of this story – turbochargers in supercars – it would be lost in a flurry of huffing hyperbole.

The mode of delivery was the same. We all began sentences with, ‘The thing about the F40 is…’ and I would stand there primed with the dictaphone to record tasty morsels of wisdom, only to see the wistful look return to the eyes as snippets of that last F40 fang filtered back into the memory and swamped any chance of general comment. ‘It’s just so sharp, and that engine… Can you believe how strong it feels from 4500rpm?’

No, no, no! I wanted us to take three steps away from the car’s actual performance and think about it as perhaps the ultimate turbocharged object, but the hypnotic power of the F40 driving experience is all-consuming. It leaves you entranced, limp and desperate for another fix. It precludes group conversation of a general theme, because as you begin to contemplate its role, the sheer pungency drags you back into those moments behind the wheel: the noise, the thrust – the comedy headroom. So the dictaphone was re-introduced to the jeans pocket and we three just stood there on a windy moor and talked like seven-year-olds about specific aspects of the Ferrari F40.

Turbocharging wasn’t deemed to be the acceptable face of supercar powertrain development until, perhaps, 1985. Sure, Porsche had been force-feeding a 911 for a decade by the time the Ferrari 288 GTO arrived with 400bhp and coachwork by the gods themselves, but the 911 Turbo always occupied its own little sub-supercar niche. It was too useable, too efficient. More importantly, its 300bhp output didn’t quite tweak the pelvis of the teenage magazine reader with the same ferocity as a Countach or a Testarossa.
This was strange on Porsche’s part, because on the race-track its use of turbocharging was reaching its zenith in the 962, a 650bhp ground-effect Group C weapon that remains one of the most winning racing cars of all time. During its 15-year turbocharging adventure, Porsche would produce a blown flat-12 with over 1100bhp (917/30), a 2.1-litre six with over 500bhp (RSR Turbo) and the majestic Moby Dick with 750bhp. But the street representation of this lunacy was tame: it began with 260bhp, graduated to 300bhp and was switching to 330bhp when, in 1985, Ferrari decided to squeeze big numbers from a ‘little’ V8.

Two years later, we heard about the F40, and we conveniently forgot that a supercar was supposed to be a few aluminium panels encasing a vast V12 motor. The F40 changed everything.

Its legacies – its imitators – are assembled here today, attempting to deflate the F40 myth. The Jaguar XJ220 was the British response to a global economy flushed with liquidity and desperate to spend it on fast motor cars, although were we to judge eligibility for this test on the blueprint drawings for each of them, the Jag would not be here. It was never supposed to run a twin-turbo V6, and when depositors found that the promised normally aspirated 6-litre V12 had shrunk back into a steroidal version of the Metro 6R4 motor, so too did prospective owners shrink away from the order book.
The XJ220 was a commercial disaster, but its convoluted mechanical gestation unwittingly represents the core philosophy of turbocharging – attaching exhaust-driven superchargers to ordinary engines with the aim of producing big, cost-effective horsepower. I will never forget skiving off double German to nip into town and buy Autocar on June 23, 1993. ‘0-100 in 7.9sec.’ Its performance potential was unfathomable to a 17-year-old.

Strange that Porsche didn’t celebrate its experiments into the outer reaches of forced induction while it was still making turbo race- cars, but this was a problem finally resolved last year with the arrival of the 911 GT2 RS. ‘It’s a 935 with licence plates and traction control,’ said someone from Weissach. Better late than never. Of course, the 911’s reasons for being turbocharged are entirely different to the others. Whereas their vast engine bays are one-part engine, three-parts plumbing apparatus, there isn’t room for anything more than a flat-six behind the rear wheels of a 911.

The GT2 RS is modern, extreme turbocharging at its most impressive, but it certainly doesn’t subscribe to the lag-free driving characteristics expected of these new installations. Last year the semantics of GT2 RS road testing were unfashionably consistent: ‘old school’, ‘terrifying’, ‘ditch-magnet’. Many of us loved this car because it was unashamedly turbocharged – it didn’t attempt to hide how nature had given it 611bhp, and we christened it ‘old skool’. But how old school does a GT2 RS feel in the presence of a cackling, wheeshing F40?

Or, for that matter, the new Noble. For the F40, meeting the M600 must be like looking in the mirror and seeing a younger version of yourself from the future – thankfully without a DeLorean and Dr Emmett Brown. The M600 worships at the feet of the F40 and its basic recipe is undiluted flattery: twin-turbo V8, plastic-over-metal construction, a pair of driven wheels and a stark message on the inside front cover of the owners’ manual: ‘So, you think you’re f***ing handy, do you? Well, think again.’

When the roads are damp and the four protagonists’ collective power output confirms that my adding skills stop at 2200, there is only one car you drive first. The one with full stability control. Ignore the lips, lumps and flashes of colour and there’s little indication that this is the most powerful production Porsche ever made. All of the contact points are familiar to anyone who has driven a 911 – the key, the seat, the wheel – and when the motor fires it’s the clatter of single-mass flywheel rather than any intake or exhaust noise that gives the suggestion of oversize performance.

Is the performance intimidating? At first, yes. The throttle springing is light enough to encourage your right foot to venture deeper into the footwell and, it can be assumed, within a few minutes of first being acquainted with the GT2 RS, the curious driver will have felt a surge of boost and spied a yellow triangle flickering on the dashboard – he just won’t know if it was the traction control warning or the shift light, because his brain will be busy piecing together those last few moments. A few seconds ago, I was there; now I’m here. How did that happen?

The shove is addictive. To me, it just doesn’t matter that the GT2 RS is so mute you sometimes wonder if it’s propelled by an internal combustion engine at all: what you lose in aural gratitude you gain in squeeeeeeze. It’s the surging nature of the performance that is so addictive, but also the reason why those sage, purist voices side with natural aspiration as the optimum specification for enjoyable motoring. I’m not sure I agree. I arrived at this test in my GT3 and for the first few miles I drive the GT2 RS badly because I make the mistake of imposing the same driving method onto the turbo car. It just doesn’t work.

Powerful force-fed machines require a level of anticipation that is at first unsettling, but quickly becomes absorbing: you no longer react to the message of the vehicle and apportion throttle, brake and steering – instead you look further down the road, scouring everything from surface condition to camber, to glean information that will allow you to make the best possible deployment of boost . This way you find rhythm, you expose the brilliance of the Porsche’s chassis and the inherent benefits of 325-section rubber and a rear-mounted motor. The suspension is firm but supple enough to stop the car being deflected. You admire the steering’s transparency and you relax into a shockingly rapid form of motoring. Is it as good as a GT3 RS? No. Does it do things the normally aspirated car cannot? Absolutely – scare you shitless, to name just one.

Minutes later, I’m in the F40 – cramped, the wheel set too high and the fixed bucket pinching my midriff. It is over 130bhp weaker than the Porsche and those huge Pirellis are pretty fresh. The road is drying fast enough to tempt the unsuspecting driver (me) into waking that Veglia boost needle. In second gear, I push the pedal down, register the needle crossing 3000rpm, hear the gurgle-stammer of flat-plane-crank V8, wonder what all the fuss was about with this shoddily assembled kit car and then with virtually no warning, I’m left wondering if Thrust SSC has just rear-ended me. The car erupts with a violent hissing – like some angry snake – and launches itself forwards. But not for long: the shove lasts a fraction of a second and abates, but the noise continues. Slipping clutch? Slipping rear wheels – calmed by a small amount of corrective lock and greeted with grinning respect by the bloke behind the wheel.

Back at base, John Barker is wearing the perma-smile of a man recently enlightened: ‘It all goes nuts behind, the hammery engine note almost consumed by the whoosh and hiss of the blowers. And the chassis twitches and then the rear tyres are unstuck and – this is the magic bit – it feels comfortable with it, and so do you. You don’t back out, you steady your right foot, steady the boost, and the rear wheels paint lines as they scrabble on a smidge of opposite lock this way, a smidge that.’
In fact the throttle springing of the F40 might just define the way the car drives. It is much firmer than the GT2 RS’s and of course it is actually connected to something mechanical. Whereas in the Porsche you push to add extra performance, in the Ferrari you learn to add throttle, then hold it there and wait for the boost to arrive – it’s almost like pre-selecting the shove you require, and it demands accuracy. Genuinely, the Porsche feels normally aspirated next to the F40.

Matched against the delay in power and torque delivery is a startling lack of inertia in the rest of the car. As Henry points out: ‘The whole car just feels so light, you can’t believe they strapped an engine that potent to something so insubstantial. Just to get in it, the car feels light – unlike this, which after the F40 feels like a sitting room on wheels. One of these side bolsters probably weighs as much as an F40 seat.’ For the avoidance of doubt, we’re sitting in the Jaguar XJ220.

A few minutes into driving the 542bhp XJ220 I have to resist the temptation to head back to find John Barker and bow down before him. The heavy controls, vast exterior dimensions, vast interior dimensions and utter recalcitrance of the powertrain at normal road speeds simply do not square with the machine John hustled around the West Circuit just 1.6sec shy of a Lambo LP640 (evo 131). The force required to push the accelerator down is shocking after the Porsche and the gearchange isn’t interested in being hurried. Right now, I can’t even summon the courage to wake the turbochargers, which leaves me driving a 3.5-litre normally aspirated V6 in something the size of a whale shark. Remind me why we plonked an XJ220 into this test? Intimidation has a new name.

The big Jag needs speed and space to uncover its character. Get it up and planing and the ride smoothes, the car finds balance and you are granted a window into what was, for a while, the world’s fastest car. The gearing is preposterous by modern standards – you almost have to ride the clutch to get it rolling – but the need to reach 220mph with just five forward ratios was more important to the marketing department. In powertrain terms, this is not a communicative car: the long-travel throttle and heroic turbo lag combine to demand a concentrated version of the anticipation technique learnt in the GT2 RS. Only here you choose your moments more carefully and give the gearchange plenty of time.

You find yourself chastising the car for being in possession of such a characterless engine, then your eyes sneak a glance at a speedometer that reveals startling information, and in that split second you understand the XJ220. This is a car unconcerned with the manner in which it delivers forward motion. It was built to deliver numbers, which it does in impressive quantities, but after the F40 it is a flat experience.

The unassisted steering is a highlight at speed, even if it does kick-back at times, and the chassis has uncommon balance and excellent damping – but again, you have to be travelling very fast to unravel these aspects of its performance and the car never fizzes with exuberance the way the Ferrari does.

Seems John finds the XJ220 a very different beast on the road too: ‘You never feel totally relaxed with it here – you want to see what happens over the edge of grip to feel comfortable. It has loads of adhesion but the weight of the steering gives it an old-school supercar feel. You get it straight before giving it the beans.’ Too right.

The last time I drove a Noble it broke traction on me in a straight line at a not insignificant speed somewhere in Scotland, with the company’s MD in the passenger seat. I loved it for being so raw. This is the finished production car and it now has a carbon body, which Noble claims takes the kerb weight down below 1200kg. If ever a car didn’t need an improved power-to-weight-ratio, it was this one.

Think of the M600 as the antidote to the 911 Turbo S and McLaren MP4-12C, and you’ll be much closer to understanding why, despite not offering ABS or stability control for £200K, it will always be a car we adore. It is a newer, faster interpretation of the F40 formula: simple, lightweight, terrifyingly fast.

You have three engine maps to chose from: Road (450bhp), Track (550bhp) and Race (650bhp). In shandy mode, the car is considerably faster than my GT3. Switched up a notch, it demolishes the Jag and F40, and matches the Porsche. Those brave enough to use everything the twin-turbo Yamaha V8 can offer will experience a level of performance far removed from even the new McLaren. Yet there are no paddles behind the steering wheel, no chassis electronics to allow the driver to hold full throttle and then leave the computer to decide how much of that request should be routed to the rear wheels. The driver asks, the powertrain responds; the rear Michelins decide if they can cope. In third gear, on cold, damp asphalt, they cannot.

The carbon body is beautifully finished, the cabin sparse and well built. The Ford switchgear is naturally unbecoming of something that costs Ferrari 458 money, but just as the F40 was forgiven its shoddy interior fittings, so should this car be cut some slack. It is all about the driving experience: the thrill of deploying 650bhp onto the road surface with no assistance. The car rides well at low speed and settles further once up and running, all the time giving that delicious feeling of low mass and limitless torque. John reckons losing 50kg in body mass and keeping the same suspension settings has slightly altered the car’s balance, though: ‘It feels different; a bit firmer, less supple in detail. I preferred the previous one myself, but it’s a proper car, a legendary turbo car already. Love it.’

In fourth gear, at relatively low speeds, it squirts past traffic with disdain, and it somehow makes a virtue of its lag characteristic. In this respect it neatly dissects the Porsche and the Ferrari, being a little slower to respond than the 911, but better than the F40. All the whooshing and chattering is there in abundance, building as the acceleration burgeons from around 3500rpm and pulling all the way to 6500rpm.

In fact the M600 helps us define what it is about certain turbocharged cars that really matters, because turbocharging done well, and by that I mean giving brutal performance and theatre, adds to a car’s greatness. I cannot say for sure if the Noble would be a greater car if it had a 600bhp non-turbo V12 that revved to 9000rpm, but the suspicion is that it would lose that barmy roll-on characteristic, those blissful moments on full afterburner when the car almost takes control of itself and leaves the driver breathless. These things, only turbocharging can deliver.

Which brings us back to the F40, for me the greatest road car ever built. There are dozens of aspects that contribute to its greatness – among them steering, appearance and historical significance – but once you drive the car, and you find yourself feeding opposite lock into its countless little slithery moments, laughing aloud at how easy it is to do such things in a 478bhp turbocharged, mid-engined Ferrari, you are left under no illusion that the F40 is a better car for being turbocharged. So much of its overall performance, be it objective speed against the stopwatch or the peripheral theatre that comes through noise and even those great silver intercoolers that dominate the engine bay, the car owes to forced induction.

And here we are, poised to enter a new era of turbocharged performance. If these cars prove anything, it’s that there are exciting times ahead.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Servicing and Parts For Your Noble

Whilst On this blog i usually talk about Cars For Sale, but i understand also about maintaining these wonderful cars. Tyre figures provided by www.BlackCircles.com, other figures provided by Plans Motorsport, Dunsfold, Surrey, UK (www.Plansmotorsport.com) All prices include VAT at 20 Percent.

PARTS PRICES

Tyres (Pirelli P Zero Rosso): £156.40 Front, 207.34 Rear
Front Set Brake Pads: £133.39
Brake Discs (front pair): £513.60
Clutch (complete): £456.00
Oil Filter: £13.18
Air Filter: Recleanable

SERVICING

6000 Miles from £419
12,000 Miles or Annual from £669
24,000 Miles from £719



Tuesday, 13 December 2011

CAR FOR SALE

This car is a real gem, it may not be the cheapest M12 GTO but this 2002 REG model has all the upgrades, including a numberplate ending in GTO.






2002 REG in Viper Blue
ECU Upgrade
LSD Upgrade
Trackday Sump
Double Fan Upgrade
Boost Controller
Also:
New Air Filters, Rear Tyres, Battery, Alternator, Colour-Coded Front Wing
Air Con, Sony Sound System with Steering Wheel controls, Spare Key and Alarm Fob, Factory Alarm and Immobiliser

Well Looked After and kept in a garage through 5 years of ownership with extensive paperwork covering Servicing and Extras

Serviced in August 2011
MOT'd Until June 2011

Reduced Price: £19,995

Location: Hants, UK
Phone: 07071033253
See More Info: http://www.pistonheads.com/sales/3255702.htm

Noble on Top Gear for next year

Top Gear is back in January 2012, and with a India Special in the bag (being shown on BBC2, 28th December at 8:00 Pm, UK only) the shown was seen in Lecce, Italy with a Noble M600 (away from its owner in Monaco) a McLaren MP4-12C and a Lamorghini Aventador.

For those interested, Jeremy will be in the Noble, James in the McLaren and Richard in the Lamborghini

See footage of the scene here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=YCoNmCOg7Wc

New Noble Forum

Following the demise of the Noble Rossion Forum, and Ex-member has now started a new site called Noble-Speed.com

The Site adress is here: http://noble-speed.com/content.php?1-the-front-page
Look out for me on the forum as 'Noble Fan' and i'd love to answer any questions about Noble.

Sunday, 31 July 2011

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Thursday, 30 June 2011

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

The Fenix Supercar is back!

The Fenix Supercar has now got more funding and development is continuing. Also the smaller, lighter coupe we mentioned is still being developed, it well have 350 Bhp and will be out in next few months, according to an e-mail from Lee the other day.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Thursday, 12 May 2011

Recent Noble track day photos

Pistonheads arranged a track day at Silverstone, here are some of the members cars
A members Noble M10 put on a fine display


A original M12 GTO is no slacker!


M12's lined up at the track


" Riocket" Chasing a S1 Elise


A modified M400 makes for great photography


A M12 GTO-3R shows its grunt












Saturday, 7 May 2011

News: Fenix 'GT' to be put on hold



The Fenix Supercar (above) is to be put on hold due to finance issues. Instead Lee Noble is working on a smaller, lighter coupe that should be ready in a few months. We hope to bring you more news soon.

Latest Noble pic

A great looking American Noble M400


Saturday, 30 April 2011

Poll Results: How Many Owners Has Your Noble Had?

Total Members Polled: 37
1 owner: 27%
2 owners: 22%
3 owners: 38%
4 owners: 5%
5 owners: 8%

Poll Provided By Pistonheads.Com

Friday, 29 April 2011

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Noble M400 (USA)

Noble is a British brand, but it made the choice to go on sale in America, but what was the reception?
The story starts when Noble ran under 1G Racing (now Rossion) 1G wanted to sell the car (Noble M400) in its homeland of the US. There were a number of good reasons for this decision, chief among which

is that it selling it there meant more buyers of the cars and also that it would provide a nice alternative to Callaway Corvettes and Shelby Mustangs. The body and major components are made in South Africa, just like any other Nobles, but instead of being sent to Nobles factory in Leister, it was sent straight to 1G's HQ in Ohio. Unfortunately at this point there was a problem. The Noble didn't meet the US car regulations that meant it could be sold in America. Noble found a way round the problem, they sold the car without the Engine and Transmission, and then sourced you the right engine and Transmission that you had to attach yourself. This qualified it as a kit car, which meant it went round the regulations. Did it work though? Yes it did, the Americans loved it for its Handling and straight line speed and that they were good to modify. It was sold there in 2007 from its one dealer in Ohio at $94,229 dollars. In 2008 1G changed its name to Rossion and brought out a more upmarket version called the Q1.

Monday, 18 April 2011

PH: Carpool; Noble M12

A Noble M12 is one route to track-day bliss. However it might not be that straight-forward, as Martin Bond (aka mgbond) explains:
"Well, where do I start? Once I learned to drive I always wanted nice cars but was not what you'd call a petrol head. After I went through a few sporty-ish cars I was in a position to buy something a bit better and my friends convinced me to get a Lotus Elise. I bought one, joined forums, went on meets and was hooked. "Three years later I was ready for an upgrade and was toying between a Lotus Exige S2 or a T350c TVR, when a work colleague suggested that I get a Noble. I wasn't quite sure so I went to a dealer (as there happened to be one nearby), sat in it and thought 'yeah not bad'. I went on the forum to research what to look out for and then completely ignored all the advice, thinking instead that I'd sort the issues out over time. I wish I hadn't done that... "Three months in I blew the diff' and not long after it needed a new ECU. These issues among others cost a pretty packet but I had to deal with them because by then I was in love. It just proves that you need to buy with your head. I got an early car and these have issues that need to be sorted (most have been done by now). The later cars were much better. "My car is now sorted but after pushing the limits a bit far last year I had to rebuild the engine. It's now back on the road (currently being run in) with everything new and upgraded to make the next five years as rewarding as the last five. "Mine is the 2.5 V6 version which should be delivering 310bhp, although it was only running at 280bhp. Often they never made the power without a remap. When mine gets mapped in the next couple of weeks it should produce over 400bhp and with just over a ton to pull it should keep the grin etched on my face. The rush as the turbos spool-up is very addictive. "A few years ago the work colleague who had suggested that I buy one came with me on a track day at Brands and his girly screams as we flew round paddock hill bend will stay with me forever. He's currently looking to purchase one! "There are a few of us down South and we meet up quite a bit. May sees 27 of us at Silverstone with the Factory bringing two M600's. Can't wait for that. "If anyone is looking for a Noble, drop me a line as I can help with advice having been a frequent user of the PH Noble forum for a long time. Owning a Noble has got so much better over the last couple of years. "Some top blokes (who are frankly mad) have come along and they just won't stop developing new things for the cars and I'm starting to lose count of how many are now over 500BHP - some will be delivering over 600 soon. I drove one of these bad boys last year and I have never felt anything quite like it. Bring on the next five years."

Saturday, 16 April 2011

First LHD M600 delivered

This great new car is going down to its new owner in Monaco, nice colour

Monday, 11 April 2011

Latest Noble pic

New owner Peter Boutwood and the M600, but no one could beat Lee though...

The Fenix GT is close

It is almost here, the new Fenix GT will be launched this summer, so what are we going to expect? The Fenix is the unofficial sucsessor of the Noble M14 and M15, both great cars that never made production. It will be offered with a choice of two GM LS3 and LS9 V8 engines, the LS3 is the base model and will give out 480 BHP and the more powerful will have 638 BHP. With either of the engines the car will top out at over 200 mph. Normally this sort of performance would cost over 100,000 pounds, but it is being offered at 70,000 pounds. About 100 of these tailor made supercars will be built every year, designed with speed and comfort in mind. The workforce is tiny, with just 2 men building the cars. There is certainly a lot to look forward to. Lucas Wilson

Friday, 1 April 2011

Latest Noble pic

A Noble M10 and it's owner, R Haycock, fantastic

CAR FOR SALE

Okay, so you'll probably have recognised that this is not a proper noble, but it is quite a good replica, 3 of these have been made. They are based on series 1 MR2's and have been tuned by a company called Crisp to develop 400 BHP Scratch on passenger door and slight crack on back bumper

Just had service

Black leather seats in good condition

CD Player with Ipod connection

AIR Con

PAS

Alarm

Passenger Airbag

7 owners

82,000 miles

£6.500 pounds

Hurry though it's had 3 offers


Monday, 28 March 2011

M600 at the Monaco Top Marques

The New M600 will be at the Top Marques show in Monaco, at the grimaldi forum. Here you will be given the chance to drive the 225 mph car between the 14th to the 17th of April
Floorplan above, Noble stand top left-hand corner.
New M600.

Sunday, 20 March 2011

1070 BHP!

Despite being such a good candidate, the Noble M12/M400 never really made it as a tuning car. So it's exciting when two people have a go, the Noble 'M490' (left) we are familiar with, it had now had a new paint job since we last featured it, the blue one we are not, both have been tuned by Pistonheads members, both have been tuned by Montune, they have been fitted with larger turbos. The blue one has a entirely custom engine built by companies, Montune and MR Yellowshed, the new engine has made it one of the most powerful Nobles in the world.
They are overpowered, over here and utterly wonderful.

On The Front Cover... EVO Magazine Issue 89

I'm a avid reader of EVO magazine. They have got very good photography, which shows on this cover, a Noble M400 with it contenders, a Corvette Z06, a Lotus Exige and a Porsche 911 GT3 RS. To read the review click here: http://noblesportscars.blogspot.com/2010/10/noble-car-review.html

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Noble car review

Autocar is the first magazine to try the production ready M600, here is the review.
What is it?
Although we’ve driven the M600 at various stages throughout its gestation, this is very much the 64,000 dollar moment for Noble’s £200,000 supercar. Because this is the first time anyone outside the factory has been allowed to drive the full-production M600, complete with carbonfibre body that reduces the kerb weight to “under 1200kg” plus an interior that, claims Noble, entirely justifies the car’s price.
The big news, apart from the fact that the car has finally made it into production and has subsequently acquired a waiting list for itself, is the new lightweight bodyshell. So impressed has Noble been by its team of carbonfibre craftsmen, and so keen is it not to give its secrets away to any potential opposition, they won’t officially say who has carried out the work. All we can say is that the company is British, is based not a million miles away from Noble’s sizeable new premises in Leicester, and has indeed done an extremely decent job.
The finish of the carbon itself is as good as you’ll see on any Lamborghini, while the quality of build throughout the rest of the car has also taken a big leap forwards, inside as well as out.
And because the production M600’s body is “over 50kg” lighter than the glass-reinforced, plastic-bodied car, road tested by this magazine last year, it’s faster than ever against the clock because the power-to-weight ratio has been improved – from 520bhp per tonne to over 545bhp per tonne. So although the Volvo-sourced twin-turbo V8 still produces a thumping 650bhp and 600lb ft, Noble reckons the 0-60mph and 0-100mph times have both been reduced, while fuel consumption has got fractionally better, too.
What’s it like?
We already knew how monstrous the M600’s straight-line performance was; and its handling, steering, ride and general dynamic resolve. And not a lot has changed on these fronts, save to say that the Alcon-developed brakes now have much better bite than before, while the ride has become a tad livelier in the production transformation, possibly because of the reduction in kerb weight. To all intents and purposes, though, the M600 remains as stupefying as it ever was in its raw ability.
What is new is the increased sense of refinement and quality that the full production car now displays, even in its minor detailing. There are still elements that disappoint, considering how much the M600 costs; the quality of its Ford-sourced switchgear, for example, and the apparent flimsiness of the fuel-filler cap are not exactly synonymous with a car that costs more – quite a lot more – than a Ferrari 458 Italia. Or a McLaren MP4-12C.
But Noble is convinced that the M600 will appeal to a different kind of customer, compared with the McLaren and Ferrari; to the sort of customer who wants a more intense experience behind the wheel, and not someone who wants to drive a supercar that adheers to the normal template.
Logic would suggest that anyone with £200k to spend on a mid-engined road rocket is bound to at least take a look at the new McLaren when considering an M600; and common sense says that, when they do, they are bound to be impressed by the 12C’s equally huge performance and by its infinitely superior every-day usability. Yet for a select few – Noble eventually wants to make just 24 cars a year – the M600 does indeed provide a sufficiently different, unquestionably more raw, driving experience compared with the McLarens and Ferraris of this world, in light of that Noble may well just pull it off.
Should I buy one?
If you are sufficiently a) wealthy and b) unhinged enough in the first place to be turned on by a car that boats 650bhp, has no anti-lock brakes and weighs less than a Renault Clio, the M600 is most definitely worth a test drive. But be warned, once you have sampled this car you’ll either love it or hate it. And once you’ve fallen for it there’s no going back.
Steve Sutcliffe
Noble M600 4.4 V8
Price: £200,000; Top speed: 225mph (est); 0-60mph: 3.0sec (est); Economy: 25mpg (est); CO2: na; Kerb weight: 1198kg; Engine type, cc: V8, 4439cc, twin-turbocharged petrol; Power: 650bhp at 6800; Torque: 604lb ft 3800; Power-to-weight: 542bhp per tonne; Gearbox: 6-spd manual

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Celebrity Noble Owner: Vernon Kay

A few years back Family Fortunes host Purchesed a brand new Noble M400, although he did scratch it

Noble trackday

A Trackday on the 10th of March 2011 hosted by pistonheads member TuxMan. Car Jornalist John Hayman will be there, we'll get some photos very soon

Latest noble pic

A rare green M12

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Noble M12 Crash, South Africa




We got these amazing shots yesterday, the driver hit a bridge, but amazingly walked away from the accident.

Monday, 28 February 2011

Prince of Bahrain buys a M600

The Prince of Bahrain has just bought himself a brand new Noble M600.

He sent one of his Representatives to the Romans international dealer in the UK, one of just 2 places where the M600 is sold. His Representative said that the Prince was looking for his dream car collection, and just like that, in the the same day, he bought a brand new M600, as well as a Mercedes CLK GTR and a Ferrari Enzo. Romans international told Autoblog " We represent the World wide distribution of the M600" and they also said that the prince got the first Left-Hand drive M600. Lets hope he enjoys it.

Saturday, 26 February 2011

Latest noble pic

Yes even serious people, like Roger Helmer(left), member of the East Midlands parliment, like fast and exciting cars, like the Noble M400

Friday, 25 February 2011

News flash!

It seems due to reasons unknown that the fenix automotive website has shut down, we'll try to keep updated for you

Monday, 21 February 2011

Poll results


So, as chosen by you, the new Fenix's biggest rival is the Ferrari F458 italia, a surprise win, with most bets going toward the McLaren Mp4-12C or the Noble M600

Friday, 18 February 2011

Noble car review

The M15 was a milestone in Nobles history, and CAR magazines Angus Fritton was one of the first to drive it.
The M15 is Noble's slant on an everyday supercar. With it, the British sports car maker wants to take on the Porsche 911 GT3, but at £74,590, the Noble undercuts the Porker by £4500. By taking a swipe at Germany's finest, Noble is trying to elevate itself into the big league.

It uses a tubular steel spaceframe chassis clothed in GRP panels, similar to that found in the existing M12/M400. The M15 uses an evolution of the same bi-turbo V6 Ford-derived engine but where it differs is in its layout. Where the V6 is mounted transversely in the M12, the M15 adopts an inline engine layout. With it comes a lower centre of gravity and better packaging. It's longer, wider, lower and much faster than any Noble before it.

Give me the lowdown…
The Noble Grand Tourer concept originally made its debut as the M14 show car in 2004. That used the existing M400's chassis and mechanicals. But the M15 throws out much of that hardware in favour of a new chassis, a new layout, new gearbox (built by Graziano), a new interior and fresh styling. Underneath that glass rear window lies a 3.0-litre V6 pumping out 455bhp – with 30bhp and 5lb ft of torque more than the searingly rapid M400. The M15 will crack 60mph in just 3.5sec before continuing to 180mph. Keeping it in check is a limited slip diff and massive 330mm brake discs.
What's it like to drive?
I've simply never covered ground faster. The M15's damping is incredible, allowing body control so supple yet perfectly balanced that startling speeds can be maintained with little effort from the driver. It proves that you can still have a forgiving ride and decent high-speed body control. The steering is sharp but not too frenetic and the gear change is remarkably light and accurate.

Is it a stripped-out racer?
Far from it. Open the door and you're greeted by the smell of leather from the deep bucket seats. Not a hint of glass fibre or glue. The M15 features touch screen sat nav that also controls the stereo, air con, electric windows and a driver's airbag. It's not terribly exciting but it's well built and goes some way to justifying the £75k list price.
How does it fit into the Noble range?
The M15 is already quicker than the stripped-out M400 around a track but that isn't the point of the new car. It's designed as the GT of the range, equally capable of trips to southern France or everyday use. Greater sound deadening and a better interior goes some way to fixing the faults of the M12 but it's still a more hardcore proposition than its rivals.

Verdict
The fastest, most desirable and most complete Noble ever. Insanely fast, responsive and hugely rewarding to drive. The only factor limiting its appeal is the price (on the steep side) and the badge (on the obscure side). Bear in mind an Aston V8 Vantage sells for similar money and suddenly the M15 starts to look like a tad on the risky side.

Saturday, 12 February 2011

CAR FOR SALE

This GTO-3 in grey is fantastic, here is what you need to know



2003,
M12 GTO-3,
20,000 miles,
alloy wheels,
air con,
full service history,
well maintained with new rear tyres,
gorgeous rare red interior,
Tel: (01702) 713016 ,
£23,990 pounds,

The M12 engines

As you may have noticed, we had a recent poll about which was the the best engine to be fitted to a Noble M12, and it came out 50/50, so here's a history of the engines
Both the 3.0L and the 2.5L started out life in a Ford Mondeo, they were then picked up by former owner Lee Noble from Ford for just £400 pounds a pop.
The 2.5L was lightly breathed upon, and dropped into the company's first car, the M10, the engine produced 168 BHP.
The engine in the M10 and original M12 GTO were taken up north to be tuned by a company called John Noble engines (no relation to Lee Noble)
The M12 was the next car to receive the 2.5L engine.
The 2.5L engine in the M12 GTO was a bit more powerful, thanks to it being a bit more engineered and with the addition of twin turbos, it produced 310 BHP.
Unfortunately, the used all the 2.5L engines Ford had, so Lee Noble had to go for a 3.0L mondeo engine, but this time it was tuned by Roush, a company famous for tuning Mustangs
The engine first appeared in the 2002 Noble M12 GTO-3, producing 340 BHP
The 3.0L next appeared in 2003 with the M12 GTO-3R, producing 352 BHP
and then the M400, the last car with the engine, producing 425 BHP
So, there is the history, i hope you enjoyed the article.