Noble M600 2012 Review
Noble, the British sports car manufacturer has quite a reputation for creating unique exotic cars, and their latest creation is no stranger to this concept. The Noble M600 2012 is built upon the success of the previous models, the M14 and M15, and same as its siblings the M600 is designed to be one thing and one thing only, and that's a simple and fun-to-drive sports car that does not come with tons of electronics and driving aids.
One of the most interesting characteristics of the M600 is that it comes with an engine that was previously fitted in the Volvo XC90. The decision of fitting an SUV engine in a sports car is quite interesting and does not so far-fetched when you realize that this is in fact a Noble we're talking about.
However, the 4.4 liter DOHC Yamaha V8 engine in the M600 has been mated with a couple of turbochargers that pushes the unit to its limits. The entire package is able to develop 650 horsepower and 604 lb-ft of torque, but in case you want to take things a bit slower, the M600 does come with a switch that enables the driver to lower the amount of horsepower sent to the rear wheels down to 550 or 450 HP.
If set to deliver the highest possible performance, the M600 will go from 0 to 60 mph in just 3.0 seconds and will continue to accelerate until it reaches 225 mph.
The 4.4 liter power plant is mated with a six-speed manual transmission as a standard, and that's it. There's no option for an automatic gearbox, which once again corresponds withNoble's way of building their super cars in order to deliver a more "mechanical" feel. Things don't stop here however and the British manufacturer made sure nothing is compromising the thrills of driving the M600, so in other words "luxurious" features such as ABS or ESP are not available. In fact, the only electronic aid available is the traction control which can also be completely turned off.
The chassis of Noble's latest supercar has been built using stainless steel, which normally would make the car heavier than it should, but due to the fact that the body is constructed out of carbon fiber the total weight of the M600 is merely 2,810 pounds (1275 kg). That's quite a feat considering the fact that there's a big V8 unit sitting at the back end of the car.
Overall, the Noble M600 2012 stays true to its roots and promises to deliver a fun and exciting driving experience. Unfortunately, as much as we'd like that, the M600 is not affordable to gearhead out there because it comes with a price tag of $287,960. If however you can afford to buy a sports car but the M600 is not your cup of tea, the Noble's key competitors are the Audi R8 and perhaps the Dodge Viper, the latter also offering a more aid-free driving experience.
The Noble M600 is a car produced not in competition to the current supercar establishment, but one, we believe, that offers those serious about their driving, an alternative philosophy and a more rewarding driving experience. One of the most frequent questions we are asked is ‘what of the current supercars is your competition?’ Our honest reply is ‘none whatsoever’.
Hand built in England, carbon bodied, rare and exclusive, the M600 does not compete or align itself with any other currently available supercar. Super light and with incredible power, the M600 boasts an impressive power to weight ratio of 542bhp per tonne, but that’s only half the story, the rest is the stuff of legend.
The ethos of the Noble M600 has developed from a small team passionate about cars and the driving experience. The M600 evolved from our research of the currently available ‘supercars’ most of which lean heavily on computer assistance, fashionable (but often inefficient) ear paddle shift, over assisted brakes and inopportune traction control. With the creation of the M600, Noble Automotive thought it time to break the mould, feeling that this now ubiquitous ‘digital’ driver assistance can disengage and negate the driver experience and reward. We have also noted, when turning off these devices, that computer generated support can often cosmetically mask and flatter inferior chassis and handling characteristics. We decided that with the introduction of the M600 it was time to ‘get back to basics’, to concentrate on the more ‘analogue’ qualities of design by utilising a principle of pure engineering integrity from the chassis up, putting the driver back in control. The philosophy behind this radical and refreshing premise is best summed up by Peter Dyson, owner of Noble Automotive Limited;
‘Noble is a labour of love, of no compromise and challenges fought. The car speaks for itself, and absolutely reflects what the Team and I envision a true drivers car should be. It is no question uniquely ‘out of sync’ in today’s automotive world, one overrun with cars that cannot
make up their minds as to whether they want to be a car that rewards or a car that gives hollow praise by electronically ‘covering’ the errors.’ Designed and engineered with a purity that rewards driver skill, the M600 is neither dictated to nor hindered by unnecessary computer assistance. It puts you back in the driving seat.
It is rumoured that there is some stiff competition out there, and although Noble Automotive is a low volume motor manufacturer, we do pride ourselves on our individuality,
attention to detail and engineering excellence. The development of the M600 has been an incredibly intense and rewarding journey, a journey in its literal sense, we shipped the development prototype to the USA. Crossing the continent from East to West we experienced the most dramatic and demanding of climates and terrains in order to prove and test the efficacy and engineering of the M600. In company, for comparative purposes, with a Porsche Carrera GT and, for some of the journey, a Ferrari Enzo. We drove from Chicago westward; the journey included every type of environment, from the incredibly hot Death Valley in California to the mountains and snow of Utah, from the infamous Pikes Peak to the Bonneville Salt Flats, and finally, to a hot and dusty race track in Phoenix Arizona
where the M600 was tested and evaluated against some of the fastest and most respected supercars in the world. Nearer to home, in the UK we completed a full wind tunnel
aero program. Climatic wind tunnel testing and durability program. Acoustic noise, vibration and harshness testing. Four post rig for damper and suspension tuning and thousands of miles of both road and track testing.
Aesthetics are of course subjective, beauty is certainly in the eye of the beholder. However there are certain engineering absolutes, particularly when creating a supercar featuring such massive power and performance, which dictate, in order to have full aerodynamic and cooling efficiency that certain design criteria must be met.It is our belief that form should always follow function, there is much in the philosophy, ‘if it looks right it probably is right’.
Utilising extensive wind tunnel testing we have strived to maintain the form to be as minimalist as possible whilst providing the ultimate aerodynamic and cooling efficiency. Nothing is cosmetic; every element of the shape and design is intrinsic to performance efficacy.
Noble Automotive take great pride in our reputation for the excellent ride and handling of our performance cars. We firmly believe that the chassis is the fundamental foundation of any performance car. This is particularly the case with cars which do not feature a great deal of computer technology. Computer assistance can often mask deficits in the chassis design and it is not until these electronic driver aids are turned off that the flaws are revealed. There is no engineering logic which dictates that precise and effective handling should be to the detriment of comfort and ride quality. We believe that an effectively designed and engineered chassis should be able to combine both high speed capability and driver comfort. Our engineering, based on a ‘back to basics’ ethos, devotes a huge amount of time and resources in ensuring that the chassis is as efficient and effective as possible. This is ably demonstrated by the M600, the high speed handling is superb and the ride is both comfortable and smooth.
The chassis built by hand for both safety and efficiency features:
* Stainless steel and aluminium tub construction with an integral safety cell.
* High ‘H’ point sill sections for side impact protection.
* Rear crash structure.
* Front boot carbon composite crash structure.
The M600 has a massive 650bhp available, this amount of power, or indeed the power delivery, is not always either appropriate or required, however with the Adaptable Performance Control function you can select the power output to reflect both the location and suitable driving conditions.
The M600 features three APC settings, the chosen setting is displayed on both the APC dial and the dashboard display. The APC adjusts not just the power output but also tailors the boost curve, traction and throttle response relative to the selected mode.
R O A D
The ‘comfort’ setting and represents circa 450bhp, this also supports full traction control and a gently progressive boost curve and throttle response.
T R A C K
The mid-range power setting circa 550bhp, this setting features a little less intrusive traction, a steeper boost curve and more initial response to the throttle.
R A C E
The full power setting of circa 650bhp, this allows increased wheel slip, an aggressive boost curve and a heightened reactive throttle ‘tip in’ to allow effective and responsive heel and toe operation.
Note: The three power settings are titled merely to title and denote the power delivered, the literary terms Road, Track and Race in no way reflect recommended use or location.
T C T R A C T I O N C O N T R O L
We believe in freedom of choice, but not at the expense of safety. Traction can be totally de-selected, in order that this function is not utilised in error we have provided the ‘are you sure?’ fail-safe switch guard. This feature, as used in fighter jets to prevent accidental missile firing, ensures that the process requires a two stage action. Lift the switch guard...push the button, traction is off. The traction automatically resets to the ‘on’ position after the engine is turned off.
In keeping with our ethos, we were determined to give the purest and most rewarding drive possible. We discovered during our research with other performance marques,
that the brakes were often over assisted, we believe that this can result in a lack of ‘feel’ and driver ‘feedback’ giving less capability for modulation at high speed. The brakes, developed for the M600 in partnership with Alcon. feature semi-floating front disc with cast aluminium alloy monobloc calipers. The monobloc six piston front and four piston rear caliper
designs ensure high strength with low weight and provide a firm brake pedal in all driving conditions. Caliper bore sizes are staggered to ensure even pad wear and the pin mounted pads provide low threshold pressure and low noise. The calipers clamp 380mm front
and 350mm rear ventilated discs both of which are mounted to lightweight aluminium bells. Friction is provided courtesy of Pagid performance pads.
The wheels, manufactured by Speedline in Italy, are exclusively designed for the M600, featuring forged aluminium alloy 9Jx19 fronts and 12Jx20 rears. Tyres are Michelin Pilot Sport 255/30-19 fronts and 335/30-20 rears.
The M600 is primarily designed for speed and handling however this is not at the expense of either comfort or practicality. The cabin features a traditional British hand built finish, with your choice of leather or Alcantara. Natural finished polished carbon door cards and centre
console, hand turned knobs and bezels and fine quality wool carpets bound to the edge with leather. The seats, designed and created exclusively for the M600, are of lightweight carbon fibre composite construction which can be bespoke upholstered to individual requirements. The seats also feature carbon fibre inserts for the optional five point harnesses. The 330mm flat bottom steering wheel is also hand stitched and can be finished in either Alcantara or leather.
The luggage space, situated to the front, is fully carpeted and bound in leather and is both spacious and practical. We also offer the option of a beautiful calf leather travel set bespoke to the luggage area.
We firmly believe that every M600 should reflect both the personality and individuality of the owner. The M600 is meticulously hand-built in England and will be individually finished to the owners taste and aesthetic requirements. Each M600 will carry on the dashboard an identification plate featuring the unique build number. We are all at Noble Automotive immensely proud of what we create. To reflect this level of personal commitment every car will discreetly, but proudly display the name of all of those involved in the build on the door sill kick plate. During the build the customer will be invited to view the progress of the build and to meet those engineers and personnel involved in its creation.
It is our belief that a personal relationship between the customer and manufacturer is one of the huge benefits of low volume hand crafted motor manufacturing.
Top Speed: 225mph (estimated)
0-120 mph: 8.9 seconds (Autocar)
Engine: Yamaha V8 4439cc Twin Turbo.
Power: 650bhp @ 6800rpm.
Torque: 604lb ft @ 3800rpm.
Power to Weight: 542bhp per tonne.
Transmission: Graziano 6 speed manual.
Installation: Mid, longitudinal, rear wheel drive.
Chassis: Stainless sheet steel tub with tubular space frame.
Body: Carbon Fibre Composite.
Steering: Power assisted rack and pinion.
Suspension: Independent double wishbones with coil over shock absorbers,
front and rear roll bars.
Brakes: Front; Alcon 380mm semi-floating discs with six piston calipers.
Rear; Alcon 350mm discs with four piston calipers.
Wheels: Forged aluminium alloy. Fronts; 9Jx19. Rears: 12Jx20.
Tyres: Michelin Pilot Sport. Fronts; 255/30-19. Rears: 335/30-20.
Fuel Capacity: 68 litres.