The Ferrari 296 GTB produces 819bhp. For a road car, this is absurd. The car it replaces, the F8 Tributo, already has way too much power, and it’s far from the only current supercar with the kind of output that’s mostly useless away from a big track.
Imagine our delight, then, when small British outfit Noble announced this week it was to bring out a new supercar with nearly 270bhp less than the 296. Ladies and gents, give a warm welcome to the M500. This is the car Noble revealed way back in 2018 in concept form, and now, the production version is ready to show off.
It’s not overburdened with technology, nor does it have to lug around a heavy hybrid system. It’s built around a tubular steel space frame derived from the structure of the M600. In the interest of lowering costs, the M500 switches its big brother’s carbon fibre body for one made of fibreglass. The footprint is pretty much the same – the length matches that of the M600, and it’s mere millimetres wider.
There’s also a downgrade in the engine department, with the M600’s twin-turbo Volvo V8 swapped for a 3.5-litre Ford V6, again with twin-turbos. So, you might think of this as a budget Ford GT, or perhaps a spiritual successor to the M12, Noble’s second production car. It used a Duratec V6 boosted by a pair of snails, as a reminder.
Power makes its way to the rear wheels via a six-speed manual gearbox with a gated shifter arrangement. No fancy-pants dual-clutch gearboxes here, but if you can change cogs the old fashioned way fast enough and launch cleanly, a circa-3.5sec 0-60mph time should be possible.
Like the M600, you get double-wishbone suspension at each end of the car with passive dampers. It doesn’t have anti-lock brakes or airbags, although you do at least get hydraulic power steering. If the M600 is anything to go by, the M500 will also have switchable traction control.
The interior is a far cry from the sort of luxury space we’ve grown used to in modern supercars. There’s a simply-shaped dashboard clad in Alcantara, two bucket seats, and a trio of (presumably off-the-shelf) screens – two in the centre console, and one forming the instrument cluster.
Further technical details aren’t forthcoming at this stage, and Noble hasn’t settled on a price yet either. The company did however tell Autocar the M500 will cost “around £150,000.”
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