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Noble's Ferrari killer is ready

2009-08-20 09:00
Vehicle Specs
Manufacturer Noble
Model M600
Engine 4.4l V8 turbo
Power 478kW
Torque 818Nm
Transmission Six-speed manual
Zero To Hundred 3 sec
Top Speed 362km/h
Weight 1 275kg
Noble has released official images of its M600 hypercar slayer, one of the most hardcore performance cars readied for release this year – with a price to match.

Despite the unhappy departure of company founder – and engineering genius – Lee Noble, the low-volume performance car specialist has forged ahead with its latest model.

Although M600 is set to retail for an astonishing £200 000, there is a nearly justifiable level of performance to go with the price…

Sporting a kerb weight of only 1 275kg, M600 rushes the 0-100km/h sprint in a shade over 3 seconds, before powering on all the way to 362km/h.

Pretty optimistic claims, yet considering the 478kW/818Nm turbocharged 4.4l V8 amidships and you start to get a handle on how those performance numbers come about…

Styling is nothing special. Rear view is the only M600 perspective most Porsche 911 Turbo/GT2 and Ferrari 599 GTB owners are ever likely to see though...

Volvo engine, Yamaha know how?

M600 is powered by a Volvo XC90 sourced V8 engine – a curious source of power for supercar baiting performance.

If one considers the XC90 V8’s architecture, you can see why Noble was so keen to use it though.

Despite a Volvo heritage this engine features radically oversquare dimensions (94mm bore versus 79.5mm stroke), which ensures uncanny revability.

The cylinder banks are also set at a 60-degree angle, instead of the regulation 90-degrees for most V8 engines, which ensures the XC90 V8 is rather compact, something which was a key packaging directive for Noble engineers.

Yamaha were consulted significantly with regards to boosting engine output. After adding twin turbochargers and applying their uncanny cylinder head and gas-exchange technology to the 4.4l V8, Yamaha managed to raise power output appreciably, from 232kW to 478kW.

Noble M600 customers will have option on reduced power output versions too, scaled down due to more restrictive ECU programming parameters from 478kW to either 404- or 330kW.

Instrumentation and finishing is gorgeous. Roadspeed dial is marked in mp/h, not km/h, just in case you though it was a bit slow...

Nor for the timid or inexperienced

Drive is to the rear wheels through a six-speed Graziano gearbox - Noble doesn’t believe in paddle shifters or dual clutch shenanigans.

Driver aids are conspicuous by their absence. Brakes are modulated by the driver’s left foot, instead of ABS pulse hydraulics, for example, and if you carry too much momentum into a corner there is no fancy Bosch ESP to help you out.

Traction control, almost symbolically, is disabled by a switch modelled on the RAF’s Tornado fighter bomber’s missile release tab – nice touch; the M600 is not for pacifists then…

Noble's M600 is set to make its public debut at the Goodwood Revival event in September.

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