Noble Automotive - M500 Price: POA
Last Updated On: 06/02/2022
The long-awaited new Noble M500 is the company's follow-up to the much-lauded M600, which was first seen 2009.
Announced as a concept at the 2018 Goodwood Festival of Speed and since developed into this working prototype, the M500 iwill be a cheaper and less powerful car than the M600 that it effectively replaces as the company’s only model.
Like the M600, the M500 is a two-seat, mid-engined supercar built around a steel chassis. But instead of a twin-turbocharged Volvo V8, it's powered by a twin-turbocharged 3.5-litre Ford V6, as used in the Ford GT supercar. As standard, the engine makes just over 500bhp (hence the name) and nearly 600lb ft, but Noble intends to bring the M500 to market with approximately 550bhp.
The M600 made 650bhp on its maximum boost setting. This output, which made the M600 one of the most potent supercars of its era, is soundly beaten by today’s mid-engined alternatives. With 550bhp, the M500 will be a closer match for the current crop of ‘junior’ supercars.
Instead of the M600’s carbonfibre bodywork, the M500 has a slippery new glass-reinforced composite body that contributes to the lower cost. But underneath, the steel tubular chassis is “70% M600”, according to Peter Boutwood, Noble’s managing director.
The M500 is the same length as the M600 and only millimetres wider but has been redesigned to allow more interior space. Fundamentally, the chassis and suspension are sufficiently similar that Noble expects the ride and handling to be “very much like an M600”. The M600 finished second in Autocar’s Britain’s Best Driver’s Car contest back in 2010 – beating the Ferrari 458 Italia into third – since which time the idea of its passive set-up with very few driver aids has in some ways become more appealing to enthusiasts.
The M500 has double-wishbone suspension at each corner with coilover springs and passive dampers. There is hydraulically assisted power steering but no anti-lock brakes or airbags. The only gearbox option is a Graziano-sourced six-speed manual with a metal gate and shift action unique to Noble.
In the cabin are two Recaro Podium seats (although less hardcore options will be available), which offers a good driving position, although the pedals are marginally offset, and a simple digital instrument pack. Climbing in and out has been made easier than the M600 by a chassis redesign that made the door sills smaller.
Final testing of the M500 has begun and Noble Automotive expects the first customer deliveries to begin later this year.