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Salica drops Noble M12's top

2008-09-11 12:40
Bristol based Silica have done what Lee Noble neve

Silica have done what Lee Noble never could before he was fired by the company bearing his name – a convertible Noble M12. Looks like a Zonda at the front and a F430 at the back, with 367kW on tap, it easily follows both round road or track.

Vehicle Specs
Manufacturer Salica
Model GT
Engine 3.5-litre, turbocharged V6
Power 367kW
Torque 610Nm
Transmission Six-speed manual
Zero To Hundred 3.2 seconds
Top Speed 305km/h
Weight 1025kg
A shame Lee Noble never saw his plans through for the open topped M12 version of the supercar which carried his name.

Paul Bailey, the designer who penned the prototype Noble M12 convertible shown in 2004 before disappearing from product planning schedules, has joined forces with Salica cars, based in Bristol. Salica affords Noble M12 owners the opportunity to convert their cars for open topped motoring.

M12 owners can either have their cars converted by Silica, or order the significantly updated GT spec version which looks a world apart from the standard M12.

Hardtop M12 convertible - finally

The team at Salica have delicately redesigned the exquisite Noble M12 lines to accommodate the one-piece, hard-top removable roof – though it must be said the nose styling is a plainly brazen copy of the Pagani Zonda.

This lightweight roof unit can be detached from the car and stowed under the rear clam within seconds by one person.

A key reason the original convertible car was canned by Noble themselves was its removable hard-top necessitated the expulsion of one of the turbo’s from the engine bay; seriously inhibiting performance.

Huge performance

Salica have engineered around this problem by mounting a 3.5-litre V6 engine longitudinally – instead of transversely like stock M12s.

Offering the dry sump 3.5-litre engine in two states of tune, either turbocharged (367kW) or naturally aspirated (294kW), endows the Salica with huge performance credentials.

Driving the rear-wheels through a Graziano six-speed transaxle gearbox the turbocharged version dispatches 0-100km/h in 3.2 seconds.

Handling dynamics have always been the cornerstone of Noble badged cars, and the Salica improves on the original chassis dynamics by means of optional traction control and ABS systems.

The three section space frame chassis provides great torsional rigidity which ushers in a handling limit beyond the exploitative ability of mere mortals – hence the optional driver aids.

For those who simply cannot do without creature comforts air-conditioning is also available in the Salica GT.

All things considered the GT looks spectacular, more aggressive in silhouette than the Noble M12 ever was, and with the 367kW turbocharged power it now has authentic supercar performance credentials. Cheap it’s not though, with a $125 000 sticker price.

So, if the ongoing shenanigans at Noble automotive – including the pending fraud case against Lee Noble himself – have you gravitating away from the brand, yet you remain keen on the performance credentials, Salica’s GT offers a very compelling convertible alternative.


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