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The Noble M500 is a new, 'user-friendly' British supercar
We know the Noble M600; now meet its cheaper, friendlier, more liveable sibling
Well this is exciting. Noble has brought a new car to the Goodwood Festival of Speed, and it’s a brand new model that’ll sit below the M600 in both power and price. It’s the less scary, more affordable one.
‘Model’ is very much the key word for now, though. “I first sketched it six months ago,” Noble MD Peter Boutwood told us, “and this foam model was only finished yesterday.”
The Noble M500’s got our attention, though. In a performance car world where everything is endlessly teased, this is a surprise debut that’s got us rather worked up. It’s a bold looking thing, and while it’s easy to spot styling parallels from other corners of the supercar market, they’re all pretty exotic – check out the Bugatti Chiron-like circular shape around the doors.
As you might expect from the M500’s name, it’ll have around 500bhp, produced by a 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 sourced from Ford. The size has been chosen to dip the car below the expensive overseas tax bands that hobble the M600, and means this isn’t the engine you’ll find in the Ford GT (that’s a 3.5), rather something from Ford’s more prosaic US products. Don’t worry, though; the M600’s mighty V8 has Volvo connections…
The M500 will be mid-engined and rear-wheel drive, with power sent through a seven-speed twin-clutch automatic. “We do still fly the flag for analogue cars,” insists Boutwood. “It’s a bit sad to me, but a car at this level needs a paddleshift gearbox to sell. Hopefully we’ll do a manual, too…”
He’s also promising Noble’s trademark handling (which is good news), while you can expect few electronic aids beyond traction control, though Boutwood promises much more user-friendliess than the M600. The cabin will be bigger and more luxuriously appointed, at least.
The target weight is around 1,200kg, achieved via an aluminium chassis and fibreglass body. There’s no carbon, to keep the cost down, Boutwood saying the M500 will be “substantially cheaper” than the M600.
“I’d love more people to drive a Noble,” he says. “I want to open the brand up.” That doesn’t mean dropping to the £50k level the old M12 used to live at – we’d still expect a six-figure price tag – but the M500 will be less bespoke than the M600, making it much easier to put together. The target is for it to sell in much bigger numbers.
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