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Noble - marque/manufacturer information

List of all Noble cars

Noble Automotive Ltd., more commonly known simply as Noble, is a British sports car manufacturer.

It was established, in 1999, by Lee Noble in Barwell, Leicestershire, for producing high-speed sports cars with a MR drivetrain layout. Lee Noble is the chief designer and owner of Noble.

Noble is a low-production British sports car company, currently producing the Noble M15. Its past products include the M12-GTO3R and Noble M400. The M12 and M400 share chassis and body, but differ in engines, suspension, etc. The M15 has a new space frame chassis. The body of the Noble is built by Hi-Tech Automotive in Port Elizabeth, South Africa alongside Superformance cars. Once the body shell is completed, it is sent to the Noble factory where the engines, suspension, etc. are added.

Noble is no longer manufacturing the M12 or M400. The exclusive dealer for Noble in the US, 1G Racing from Ohio, has also obtained the production rights to the M400 from Noble Automotive, and is expected to release an updated version, named Rossion Q1.

Noble M10

The Noble M10 is a two-door, two seater model built in convertible form only. It is powered by a naturally-aspirated (i.e., no forced induction) 2.5-litre engine. It was introduced in 1999, but is no longer in production, having been replaced by the M12.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. The M10 is able to match the performance of the Lotus Elise in every respect. The Toyota MR2 Spider is noted for having a somewhat similar appearance to the M10.

Noble M12

The Noble M12 is a two-door, two-seater model that has evolved through three coupe versions (GTO, GTO-3, and the current GTO-3R). A convertible variant (The M12 GTC) has been shown at motorshows but is yet to make production. All M12s have been powered by modified turbocharged Ford Duratec V6 engines. The M12 GTO used a 2.5-litre version of the engine, while the GTO-3 and GTO-3R were upgraded to the 3.0-litre Duratec. Power has progressed from 310 bhp (231 kW) to 352 bhp (262 kW).

The M12 has a full steel roll cage, steel frame, and G.R.P. (fibre glass) composite clam shell body parts. These cars are extremely lightweight and stiff. Although looking to be track derived, the M12 performs very well on both road and track, with surprisingly good ride quality, but a rigid feel. This is achieved by having no anti-roll bars on the car. This allows suspension to be made hard without making a back breaking ride.

The GTO3R weighs 2380 lb (1080 kg), has 352 bhp (262 kW) and does 0-60 mph (0-97 km/h) in 3.8 seconds. In their initial review of the M12 GTO3R, Road and Track indicated a 0-60 mph performance of 3.3 seconds, but subsequently listed it as 3.7 seconds. Its top speed is listed as 170 mph (274 km/h). Lateral Gs are reported in excess of 1.22.

Noble M400

The M400 is the track variant of the M12 and weighs the same as the GTO3R. It has 425 bhp (317 kW) and has been reported to do 0-60 mph (0-97 km/h) in as little as 2.97 seconds. Car and Driver (March, 2007) achieved a 0-60 mph time of 3.3 seconds and a 0-100 mph time of 7.8 seconds. Noble indicate only that the car is capable of achieving 0-60 mph in under 4.0 seconds. Its top speed is listed as 185 mph (298 km/h), but that is optimistic. A top speed of 177 mph (285 km/h) has been achieved by Noble's former press officer. Lateral Gs are reported in excess of 1.4. The model designation M400 is derived from the fact that the power and weight specifications for the car correspond to 405 bhp (298 kW) per tonne. It has both a 3 point seatbelt and a 4 point harness. The most notable differences from the M12 are the use of bigger turbos that generate higher boost, a front anti-roll bar, stiffer springs, different shocks, Pirelli P Zero tyres, a smoother gearchange, different seats, and a slightly narrower central tunnel. The M400 is designed to be an outstanding track car that is also pleasant to drive on the road.

Noble M14

The Noble M14 debuted 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. It was based on the chassis of the M12, with only minor modifications. It had a new body and a more up market interior. Following the debut of the car Lee Noble decided that the car was insufficiently different to the M12/M400 to justify the price increase despite having taken a number of deposits. Noble instead developed a brand new car, the M15, developing further from the M12 and M14.

Noble M15

Production of the M15 began in early 2006. The Noble M15 is intended to appeal to a far broader market and compete directly with the Porsche 911 Turbo and Ferrari F430. As a result the Noble M15 will have a number of features not previously found on Nobles such as Sat nav, traction control, electric windows and ABS.

Despite increased comfort and usability compared to previous Noble cars Lee Noble has stated that he expects the M15 to be significantly quicker than the M400 around a race track. It is able to accelerate from 0-60 mph (0-97 km/h) in 3.5 seconds and has a top speed of 185 mph (297 km/h).

The car is based on a brand new platform with a longitudinally mounted engine connected to a bespoke gearbox created by Graziano. The double wishbone suspension is a development of the system mounted on the M400. Mounting the engine longitudinally allowed the designer to increase cooling flow to the engine which allows the 3.0l twin turbo V6 to produce 455 bhp (339 kW). The engine has been designed to meet emissions regulations and the new steel/aluminium space frame has been designed with a view to passing crash test regulations around the world. The M15 is planned to be the first Noble which gains European and US type approval.

The car appeared in Top Gear and presenter Richard Hammond was very impressed. It was a lot quicker around the Top Gear-track than the old Noble. According to Richard this has to do with the new, stronger gearbox which enables Noble to allow more boost and let the same engine produce more power.

The designer's opinion:

“The M12 is a great car, but it’s very focused and I wanted to produce a supercar people could use everyday,” said founder Lee Noble. “It was time for Noble to take a big step up in terms of refinement, practicality and style.”

List of all Noble cars

Source: Wikipedia

Infobox

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