Home Automotive Noble M500 prototype review: Brit supercar maker returns with manual V8 Reviews 2023

Noble M500 prototype review: Brit supercar maker returns with manual V8 Reviews 2023

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Noble… it’s been a while?

You may vaguely remember the Noble M600. Come to think of it, Noble itself isn’t a household name, so let’s start there. In the early 1990s, he produced a mid-engined sporting his car with excellent chassis fluency that caught his attention. The British cottage industry brand then stumbled and revived a decade ago with a supercar, the aforementioned M600. It also has a sleek chassis, but this time the twin-turbo Ford V6 has been replaced by a twin-turbo 4.4-liter Volvo Yamaha V8. 350 horsepower became 650 horsepower.

It was pretty punchy in its own right.

It was strong. And most of the traditional safety aids have been removed altogether. Noble only sold a few dozen so far, perhaps because it was a little simpler to look at. shame. This is his one of those cars that far exceeded the sum of its not-so-exotic parts. It was terrifyingly fast and chatty with feedback, but it wasn’t the kind of car that grabbed people’s hands. I needed to know what I was doing. Also, the carbon body was expensive to manufacture.

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So this is the next chapter, right?

correct. Noble left, reunited and he returned with the M500. The aim is to offer an equally compelling driving experience, preferably for as low as £150,000. It’s still in the prototype stage at the moment, but it still uses a lot of what it has inherited from its big brother, like the same steel spaceframe chassis and double wishbone suspension, the same wheelbase and hydraulic rather than electric power steering.

But back to the twin-turbo Ford V6. Now it’s his brand new 3.5 liter twin his turbo made by Ford Raptor and not by Mondeo. Ford recently changed the spec of the engine, moving the manifold and interfering with the rear chassis rails, causing some problems for Noble. It’s just part of the development process for low-volume manufacturers.

However, the engine is not underpowered. 505bhp and 550lb ft of torque is a lot on a car with a final weight of just around 1,200kg. At the moment, it weighs a few hundred kilos more than that, mainly due to the body panels of the prototype. Fiberglass is used for the final production. It is heavier than carbon, but the cost is greatly reduced.

Is that a manual gear lever between the seats?

That’s right, and as far as you and I are concerned, this is great news. A manual, a Graziano 6-speed in the original Audi R8, a gate that clicks open, everything. Obviously rear-wheel drive only, the production version will be fitted with a limited-slip differential and traction control. However, ABS brakes are still not offered. This could be a potential oversight for those attracted to the M500’s more natural driving experience. Time will tell.

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What do you think of the design?

It’s a smarter, better-looking car than the M600. A sharper line extends from the nose and extends beyond the Ferrari-esque headlights. The cabin and lower hull are connected by flying pillars that direct air across the back deck at the top and to the radiators at the bottom. The C shape has something in common with the Bugatti Chiron. The rear engine cover may be a little taller, but other than that, you’ll find it’s a light, small and agile car.

And horribly unrealistic?

No, it’s actually surprisingly versatile. Underneath the nose is the luggage compartment, which easily matches what Porsche managed to cut in the front of his 911, and is nicely trimmed to boot. Alf. The cabin is Alcantara bolt holes, but with some minor quirks. The steering wheel has a flat bottom for easy access, but it looks a little odd. People with big feet may find their toes rubbing against the underside of the steering column and may need to move the seat slightly to the left to keep it perfectly aligned with the steering column. Or right wheel.

And lots of good news. The driving position is just right, the visibility is good, and the seats are great. You’ll feel comfortable in your car in no time. And it’s fun to drive. There’s a bit of lag and then the turbo kicks in really hard and fast, but the power delivery doesn’t intimidate you, nor does it feel like the torque overwhelms the traction. Even if it does, we already know that the chassis and steering are solid and we will be able to handle it.

So isn’t the M500 a hairy and terrifying proposition like the busty M600?

Acceleration is slightly less, but the smoothness of the chassis is the same, light and nimble, and smooth to operate. The open-gate R8 gearbox is great, the levers crunch through the gates, the pedals are perfectly positioned, the steering is precise, just a little too sharp off-center at the moment, and on Even a little deflection will bubble up the feedback. bumpy road.

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Is there a market for cars like this anymore?

I suspect it will be difficult to find a broad market because it is not technologically advanced. But when you imagine it as a manual McLaren, or a Lotus Emira with more (and lighter…) power, the appeal starts to show.

specification: 3496cc twin-turbo V6, 6-speed manual, RWD, 505bhp, 550lb ft, 0-62mph 3.6s, 185mph, NAmpg, NAg/km

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