Noble M600 Finally Enters Production [w/ Video]
Though there isn’t a single high-volume British car company that’s still British-owned left, the cottage industry of kit and limited-production car builders in Ol’ Blighty is still fairly healthy. One such independent marque is Noble. Started by Lee Noble (who has since left to form his own company and design a new supercar) with the M12 in 2001, the company has since gone on to produce a series of boutique trackburners powered by emboldened versions of engines found in otherwise vanilla extract-spiked automobiles such as the Ford Contour (Mondeo to John Q. Rest-of-the-world).
Noble’s latest effort, however, has taken longer than expected to make its way into production. But after a wait of roughly two years, the monstrous M600 is finally ready for the road and the track. And by all accounts, the patience of those who ordered one long ago will be handsomely rewarded.
For starters, there’s the powerplant under the hood. It’s a 4.4L V8 designed and built by Yamaha and usually found in the engine compartment of the Volvo S80 and XC90. In the M600, however, it breathes through a pair of turbochargers that help it produce up to 650hp. Why “up to”? There’s a rotary switch on the dash with positions labeled Road, Track and Race; the first one serves up 450hp, the second yields 550hp, and the third is 650hp.
And even though the chassis is stainless steel rather than aluminum, the M600 still weighs in at a pretty svelte 2,775 lb, even with a rather nicely trimmed cabin. Paired that with the explosive power on tap and it’s no surprise 0-60 mph happens in the 3 second neighborhood on the way to a projected top speed of 225 mph. It seems like just yesterday that that was hypercar territory.
One thing that isn’t quite in hypercar territory is the M600’s price. At £200,000 (or about $316,500), the newest Noble is pretty pricey, but that’s still about one-half to one-third the price speedometer-pegging heavyweights like the Bugatti Veyron and Koenigsegg Agera. So the M600 also has bang-for-the-buck going for it too. Hell, even the notoriously nitpicky Jeremy Clarkson loved it (see below)!
About the only thing the Noble M600 doesn’t have going for it is the fact that there’s no word yet on U.S. availability, but considering the M12 was able to be sold and registered here as a kit car (even though, admittedly, a fully assembled car with no engine installed stretches the definition of “kit car” the way Christina Hendricks stretches a form-fitting turtleneck), there may be hope for the M600 on these shores yet. Until then, watch the video with the cranky Englishman and look at the pretty pictures.