Suspension is accomplished using double wishbones and coilovers front and rear and an antiroll bar at each end. Speedline forged alloy wheels contribute to the low unsprung weight, 9.0x19-inch in front and 12.0x20 at the rear, and are shod with 255/30 and 335/30 Michelin Pilot Sport rubber. The rear tire dimensions, by the way, are shared with the Carrera GT.
Alcon developed the M600’s massive brakes, which incorporate 380mm front and 350mm rear vented discs mounted on lightweight alloy bells. The front discs are semi-floating for better heat dissipation. The cast alloy monoblock calipers are six-pot in front and four-pot at the rear, and use Pagid high performance pads.
Not only do these massive brakes lack ABS, they also lack a servo. Instead, a race-style twin master cylinder looks after leverage. If you aren’t used to such brakes, they can cause a moment of panic the first time you approach a bend at speed and find that the pedal requires a much greater shove than anticipated. But you can lean on them pretty hard without locking up, and they are progressive and full of feel.
In the dry, mechanical grip is phenomenal. When the big rear tires do eventually let go, you get plenty of warning. So long as you’re not being a lunatic with the throttle, breakaway is progressive. You can even indulge in easily manageable power slides if you have the space.
As a pure driving experience, it wouldn’t be a stretch to describe the Noble as a bigger and more powerful Lotus Exige. The steroids they use in Barwell, Leicestershire are obviously very effective.
Noble is very much a cottage industry in the traditional British sense, employing just 15 people. Managing director Peter Boutwood joined the company at the end of 2006. An automotive designer and F3 racer, his inspiration for the pure driving experience came from the Ferrari F40, which with no electronic aids has a reputation for being dangerous in the wrong hands. The aim was to build an even faster car with similar driving purity, but which would handle really well.
While it may superficially resemble the M14 and M15 concept cars penned by company founder Lee Noble, who left in 2006 after a disagreement with his partners, the M600 is actually an all-new design. This prototype has a glass-fiber bodyshell, but the production cars will be made from carbon fiber. The prototype’s weight is 2,800 pounds with fluids; the production cars will weigh closer to 2,700 pounds and therefore will be very slightly more accelerative.
The interior is typical of low-volume sports cars. It is well finished for this type of car, but is never going to cause sleepness nights in the trim departments at Audi or Porsche. The M600 also has one neat touch for those who like their mil-spec hardware. The switch located under a red-painted guard cover that allows you to disarm the traction control is the missile launch button from an RAF Tornado fighter-bomber. Fox two!
The Noble M600 has the makings of greatness, and the fact that a small company can produce a car so mechanically finessed is astonishing in itself. Noble is truly one of the Davids with the know-how to slay the Goliaths of the establishment.
British understatement and form following function seem to be the M600s design tenets, and for some, the fact that it does not look as spectacular as its Italian rivals may be a drawback. But for those bored with mainstream supercars, who also value purity in their driving experience, the M600 might well be the perfect panacea.
Longitudinal mid engine, rear-wheel drive
4.4-liter V8, dohc, 32-valve, twin-turbocharged
Double wishbones and antiroll bars front and rear, coilover springs and shocks
Six-piston monoblock calipers with 380mm rotors (f), four-piston monoblock calipers with 350mm rotors (r)
Length/Width (in.): 171.7/75.2 (height not specified)
Wheelbase: 100 in.
Curb Weight: 2,756 lb
Peak Power: 650 hp @ 6800 rpm
Peak Torque: 604 lb-ft @ 3800 rpm
0-62 mph: 3.0 sec.
Top Speed: 225 mph
MSRP: $300,000 (est.)