Noble Automotive Ltd., simply known as Noble, is a British sports car manufacturer based in Leicester, England. Noble Automotive Ltd., was founded in 1999 by Lee Noble in Leeds, West Yorkshire, for producing high-speed sports cars with a rear mid-engine, rear-wheel drive layout. Lee Noble was the chief designer and owner of Noble. In August 2006, he sold the company. In February 2008, he resigned from the company and declared his new venture, Fenix Automotive in 2009. The company has since shifted to larger premises at Meridian Business Park near Leicester.
Noble is a low-production British sports car company, its past products include the M12 GTO, M12 GTO-3, M12 GTO-3R and Noble M400. The M12 GTO-3R and M400 share chassis and body, but have minor differences in engines and suspensions.
Noble introduced the M600 in 2009. This is the car which takes Noble into Hyper Car territory. With 650 bhp (485 kW) available from its purpose built 4.4-litre V8 Yamaha twin turbocharged engine. So, the carbon fibre, light weight bodied car is aimed firmly at the established Ferrari/Porsche brands.
Noble M10 (1999–2000)
The Noble M10 is a two-door, two seater model manufactured in convertible form only. It is powered by a naturally aspirated (i.e., no forced induction) 2.5-litre engine. It was launched in 1999, but is no longer in production, having been replaced by the M12. Only a few were ever made, as customers moved deposits onto the M12 as soon as its credentials were announced.
Noble M12 (2000–2008)
The Noble M12 is a two-door, two-seater model. It is initially planned both as a coupe and as a convertible. All M12s have been powered by specially tuned turbocharged Ford Duratec V6 engines. These cars are tremendously lightweight and stiff. Although looks to be track derived, the M12 performs very well on both road and track. 0–60 mph (0–97 km/h) in 3.7 seconds was published in the official brochure of the M12 GTO-3R, Road and Track indicated a 0–60 mph performance of 3.3 seconds, but consequently listed it as 3.5 seconds. Its top speed is listed as 170 mph.
The M400 is the track variant of the M12. So, its power-to-weight ratio is over 400 bhp (300 kW) per ton, and is the figure from which its model name derives. Also, it has 425 bhp (317 kW; 431 PS) and has been reported to do 0–60 mph (0–97 km/h) in as little as 2.97 seconds. The most significant differences from the M12 are the use of forged pistons, T28 turbos, a front anti-roll bar, stiffer springs, different shocks, Pirelli P Zero tyres, a smoother gear shifter, and a slightly narrower central tunnel as the driver now sits a bit more central than previous models.
The Noble M14 unveiled at the 2004 British Motor Show and generated significant interest in the motoring press. It was planned to compete with the Porsche 911 Turbo and Ferrari F430. Also, it was based on the chassis of the M12, with only minor modifications. It had a new body and a more up market interior. Noble developed a brand new car, the M15, developing further from the M12 and M14, although the cars have few common components.
Production of the M15 was planned to start in early 2006, but has not taken place. The Noble M15 was planned to appeal to a far broader market and compete directly with the Porsche 911 Turbo and Ferrari F430. As a result, the Noble M15 was expected to have a number of features not formerly found on Nobles. These features include such as satnav, traction control, electric windows and ABS. The company also issued a press release about the M15, stating that the M15 will be developed after the introduction of the M600. The M15 of the future will be different than the car shown in 2006. The car was based on a brand new platform with a longitudinally mounted engine connected to a bespoke gearbox built by Graziano.
Noble started sales production of the M600 in 2010. It has a Volvo twin-turbocharged V8 engine (producing 650 bhp, 485 kW, 659 PS), a carbon fibre body shell, and a 6-speed gear box, made by Yamaha. The competitor of Noble M600 in the same category as the Ferrari F430. The 2,800-pound (1,300 kg) M600 can accelerate from 0–62.1 mph (100 km/h) in 3.5 seconds and requires only another 4 seconds to achieve 100 mph (160 km/h). So, the brake discs in the Noble M600 are steel. The Noble comes with no ABS or ASM and TC as those features will be optional, making the Noble M600 a pure driver’s car.