If you haven't heard of Noble, there's a good reason - this tiny British Automaker has imported just a handful of sports cars to the United States and doesn't currently offer a car for sale here. The few Nobles that have made it stateside have been simple but brutally quick machines with precious few electronic aids to dilute the connection between car and driver.
Noble was founded 1999 by Lee Noble, a British entrepreneur, car designer and engineer....
His intention was to create lightweight sports cars with mid-engine, rear-wheel drive layouts and ultra-crisp handling. The company's first two efforts, the Lotus Elise-like M10 and ultralight M12, were consistent with his goal, and several hundred examples of the latter were exported to lucky owners in the U.S. as kit cars to skirt government safety and emissions standards.
In 2006, Noble was sold to Peter Dyson, an American entrepreneur, auto enthusiast and M12 owner. Under Dyson, Noble has focused on producing vehicles that eschew the computer assistance devices and electronic nannies employed by most modern sports in order to provide a raw, "analogue" feel.
The first vehicle developed under Noble's new management, the M600, embodies the company's "back to basics" ethos and forgoes anti-lock brakes, stability control and a dual-clutch gearbox in the name of purity.
The M600 utilizes a Yamaha-designed 4.4-liter V8 first seen under the hood of the Volvo XC90 SUV. In its application in the Noble, the mill is force-fed air by a pair of twin turbochargers and makes an impressive 650 horsepower. Weighing just 2750 pounds thanks to the extensive use of carbon fiber, the M600 has a better power-to-weight ratio than the mighty Bugatti Veyron.
Like previous Nobles, the M600 was not engineered to meet U.S. crash test standards and, as no North American distributors have stepped forward to sell it as a kit car, it is unlikely to make its way stateside.