Noble M600 Alternative Classics

Noble M600 | Alternative Classics

Noble M600 | Alternative Classics

If you’re looking for a 2000s hypercar, the most obvious choices you’re likely considering are the likes of the Ferrari Enzo or Pagani Zonda.

But, if you can live without a star-studded badge, there is an alternative that is far more affordable than those two incredibly rare and generally unattainable targets. It’s called the Noble M600, and it’s what the Ferrari F40 would look like if it were built in Leicester.

In an incredibly similar vein to the F40, the Noble M600 was a back-to-basics machine that shunned needless frivolities such as, erm, ABS and stability control, in the pursuit of a purer driving experience. The only safety features included were a power-control knob, simple traction control and your own sense of self-preservation.

This simplicity meant that, while the M600’s price competed with ‘entry’ level hypercars like the Lamborghini Murcielago, its raw acceleration figures had more in common with the likes of the Bugatti Veyron.

Noble’s disinterest in nannying electronics didn’t make the M600 a simple car. The company’s test mule in its bare carbon-fibre body proved as much, as did the car’s twin-turbocharged Yamaha-sourced V8. Volvo used the same motor, sans the turbos, in its S80 and XC90.

Naturally, the M600 served up a very different driving experience to either of these cars but – for a 650PS (478kW), mid-engined supercar with little-to-no electronic driving aids – it was shockingly benign and remarkably comfortable to boot.

Sadly, the styling was less impressive. Described on paper, the M600 sounds precisely how a mid-engined supercar should be: low-slung with a front bumper that gulped air like a blue whale hoovers up plankton, shapely hips and an aggressive rear diffuser. However, in the metal, the Noble lacked the drama of a Lamborghini or the attention to detail of a Pagani. Few will be surprised the M600 hails from straight-shooting Leicester.

The matter-of-fact design philosophy carried through to the inside, which was ergonomically sound but visually uninteresting. On the upside, Noble used few off-the-peg parts, and the M600 was practical for a hypercar.

Despite everything the M600 has going for it, the lack of a fancy badge makes it incredibly rare – it’s thought just 30 have been built (compared to 400 Ferrari Enzos), and you can still buy them new today.

Noble M600: why buy one?

The Noble M600’s USP is a distilled driving experience modelled on the legendary Ferrari F40. The cars shared many things in common – both used twin-turbocharged V8s, lightweight carbon-fibre bodies and had chassis that communicated like an Atlantic data cable.

Avoiding electronics meant Noble had to get the fundamentals right, starting with its weight. At just 1,275kg, the M600 made a Lamborghini Murcielago – a car that weighed 1,565kg even in lightweight SV form – seem needlessly podgy, thanks to that carbon-fibre bodywork underpinned by an aluminium tub and a space frame steel chassis. A 60:40 weight balance meant most of those kgs sat, usefully, above the driven rear wheels. But the M600’s light weight was as much about the fancy kit it didn’t have as it was about the exotic material used in its construction.

We understand that every vehicle is unique, which is why our Agreed Valuation policies take the true value of your classic car into account.

While flappy paddle gearboxes and carbon ceramic brakes with ABS and brake-force distribution seduced everyone else, Noble stuck to its guns. Gear shifts were carried out manually via a six-speed short-throw box, while braking came from six-pot front; four-pot rear Alcon callipers with 380mm and 350mm ventilated discs, respectively.

Reassuringly, Noble decreed traction control a good idea. The company was so keen you should use it; the ‘off’ button hid under the toggle-switch guard from a Tornado jet. The one used to stop you accidentally launching its payload.

Why this was a good idea will become abundantly clear when you sample Noble’s missile-like performance. Power came from a 4.4-litre V8 initially developed by Yamaha for Volvo.

For the Swedes, it produced 315PS (232kW), which cranked up to a maximum of 659PS (485kW) in the Noble courtesy of Motorkraft in the US, who uprated the conrods, crankshafts and pistons. The addition of two Garrett turbochargers finished the job.

As you’d expect of a car with a 530PS (390kW)-per-tonne power-to-weight ratio, better than a Bugatti Veyron, the Noble was thunderbolt quick – 0-62mph took just three seconds, despite being very much traction limited. And the stats got more impressive the quicker you went: 0-120mph took 8.9 seconds, 0-150mph went in 14 seconds, 200mph took 29.8 seconds and top speed was a giddy 226mph.

If that sounds too hot to handle, Noble’s Adaptable Performance Control was a tiny concession to the outrageous performance, allowing you to choose from three different power settings called Road (456PS), Track (558PS) and Race (659PS).

Weirdly, you didn’t need it. Not in the dry, at least, because the M600 handles like a cat, preferring to understeer unless you bring the throttle into play, which frees the rear into arching, easy-to-control power slides that belie its 335-section rear tyres.

This easy-going nature carries through to the slick gear shift, light clutch and velvety ride quality, which means the M600 is a car you can enjoy pootling about in (while revelling in the bassy V8 beat and distant chirrup of its turbochargers).

It’s even relatively practical for a low-production hypercar, the front seats have loads of legroom and headroom to accommodate someone well over six-foot tall, and you get a 911-style frunk under the bonnet that will swallow a couple of soft bags. Fuel economy of around 25mpg should be possible on a cruise, but single digits come easy if you go hell for leather.

Noble M600: problems to look out for?

Buyers of the M600 report the ownership experience to be first-rate. Problems are dealt with directly by the factory – often via MD Peter Boutwood himself – and the company’s use of proven parts, and the car’s relative simplicity, mean it has a reputation for being tough. Obviously, it’s worth having an impending purchase inspected by an engineer familiar with the vehicle.

The carbon-fibre bodywork is, without doubt, the cause of the biggest concern; repairs on it could run to eye-watering numbers, so check it with a fine-tooth comb. It’s also worth noting the M600 does not like E10 fuel. In terms of servicing, owners report a basic inspection costs around £1,000, which is very reasonable for a car like this.

Noble M600: how much to pay?

The question should be: where can I find one? Because examples of the M600 up for sale are few and far between. Past auction results indicate you can expect to pay around £135,000 for a relatively well-used 2011 car with a healthy 35,000 miles on the clock.

The only car we could find for sale was a 2013 M600 Carbon Sport, which amongst other things, features a bare carbon-fibre bodywork. It was up for £200,000 with just over 10,000 miles on the clock. Expect to pay closer to £300,000 for a car with just a few miles.

Get an online quote now
Get an online quote in minutes or call us
Monday to Friday from 09:00 - 19:00
Saturday from 09:00 - 14:00
Sunday from 10:00 - 14:00
or Arrange a call back.

Get an Online Quote Now

Arrange a Call Back