The Noble M12 GTO-3R Sports Car

The Noble M12 GTO-3R – A close look at this sports car including performance, technical data, features, comparing rivals, history, used prices

from Classic to Modern

THE CAR

The Noble M12 GTO sports car was launched in 2000. Following its success, the company then introduced the M12 GTO-3 in 2003 which featured:

  • An extensively tuned 3 litre Ford Duratec V6 engine, fitted with twin Garrett T25 turbochargers, that ran 0.7 bar of boost, and an intercooler
  • Composite glass fibre body on a tubular steel space frame chassis
  • A substantial carbon fibre rear wing and a front splitter which, between them, produced a marked increase in down force

Then, in 2005, Noble launched a variant aimed specifically at the track.

This was the two door, two seater, rear wheel drive Noble M12 GTO-3R, which took over where the GTO-3 left off.

An important feature, only on the GTO-3R, was referred to as an automatic torque biasing differential, produced by Quaife Engineering.

It was a form of limited slip differential that utilised helical gears, instead of clutch mechanisms, that were activated either by mechanical means or by computer.

The benefit of this system was that power was concentrated on the particular wheel requiring additional torque, such as when coming out of a fast turn.

The cabin’s particularly spacious interior had leather trim, there was additional sound-deadening to reduce noise from both the engine and track, it included an engine start button, both seats and steering column were adjustable, and there was a full roll cage

In terms of distinguishing between the two variants, the GTO-3R was fitted with twin covered headlights, and a specially designed alloy steering wheel incorporating ten spokes.

It used AP Racing’s 13 inch vented and drilled discs all round, and had a curb weight of just 1080 kg, only 100 kg more than the GTO variant.

Priced at $50,000, only 165 of the GTO-3R’s were built, with a substantially lower figure in respect of the GTO and GTO-3 variants.

THE ENGINE

Powered by the same all-alloy, DOHC, 24 valve mid-engine as in the GTO-3, the five speed manual gearbox was replaced with a six speed manual Getrag unit in which the gear ratios were revised with the result that, when travelling at the legal speed limit, the engine was turning over at only 2700 rpm.

The engine of the M12 GTO-3R developed 360 bhp at 6200 rpm, well below the redline of 7200, and 358 ft/lbs of torque at 3500 rpm, with most of the power being available around 3000 rpm.

With a compression ratio of 8.5:1, the car produced a top speed of 170 mph, with a 0-60 mph time of 3.5 secs. Technical data:

COMPETITION

Typical competition for the Noble M12 GTO-3R included the following sports cars: Porsche 993 GT2 Club Sport, Corvette ZO6, and Ford GT. Noble performance:

SPORTS CARS FOR SALE

On the second hand market, the typical selling price of an M12 GTO-3R sports car, in good condition, was between $51,000 and $58,000.

This concludes my Noble M12 GTO-3R Sports Car Review.

The Noble M12 GTC Sports Car

The Noble M12 GTC – A close look at this sports car including performance, technical data, features, comparing rivals, history, used prices

from Classic to Modern

THE CAR

The M12 GTC sports car was one of three M12 variants introduced at the Birmingham Motor Show in 2002.

This groundbreaking model, priced at £45,000, was the first Noble sports to be offered in the form of a convertible, and was based on the M12 GTO-3.

In terms of marketing, the GTC was positioned in the under £50,000 sector so that it would be seen as a viable alternative to the higher-priced Porsche 911 Carrrera Cabriolet and Morgan Aero 8, whilst Lotus Elise convertible owners would be attracted to the higher performance on offer.

The car’s roof section was reminiscent of the Porsche and Triumph TR Targa tops, and consisted of two detachable composite fibreglass panels which, when removed and stored behind the seats, left the rear section in place.

However, to achieve the full benefit of open top driving, the rear section could also be removed, although there was nowhere on the car for it to be fully stored away.

The acknowledged high build quality of Noble sports cars meant that the GTC was as draught-free as its coupe counterpart.

Another unique feature was that the car’s rear section had been re-styled to create an area suitable for storing luggage, which could be accessed by way of the engine cover that could be raised hydraulically via a lever in the cabin.

A regular feature of many convertibles was that the chassis would require additional strengthening to allow for the increased stresses created by removing the roof section.

However, this was not necessary with the GTC owing to the rigid steel space frame chassis used in conjunction with the coupe variant.

Large 33cm AP Racing vented and drilled disc brakes all round were retained, as was power assisted steering.

The spacious cabin had leather trim as well as adjustable steering column and seats, the latter being fitted with anti-roll hoops.

It had a composite fibreglass body, 18 inch alloy wheels, and a kerb weight of 1080 kg.

THE ENGINE

The M12 GTC was powered by the same 3 litre, V6 engine as used in the M12 GTO-3 variant.

However, the only difference was that only one turbocharger was used, with a maximum boost of 0.6 bar, unlike the two fitted to the GTO-3.

Furthermore, as a result of the modifications to the car’s rear section, the intercooler was now re-positioned.

This arrangement developed 290 bhp at 6000 rpm, and 290 ft/lbs of torque at 4750 rpm, the greater majority of which was available around 3000 rpm.

Linked to a six speed manual gearbox, it produced a top speed of 160 mph, with a 0-60 mph time of 4.5 secs, both of which were slightly slower than the GTO-3. Technical Data:

COMPETITION

Typical competition for the Noble M12 GTC included the following sports cars: Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet, Morgan Aero 8, and Lotus Elise Sports Racer.

This concludes my Noble M12 GTC Sports Car Review

The Aston Martin Virage Sports Car

Aston Martin Virage – A close look at this sports car including performance, technical data, features, comparing rivals, history, used prices

from Classic to Modern

THE CAR

The V8 Series of Aston Martin sports cars had been successfully produced since 1969, and a replacement was well overdue.

Consequently, in late 1988, and as a natural evolution, the successor was introduced at the Birmingham Motor Show as a 2+2 coupe, and designated the Aston Martin Virage sports car.

It was positioned as the company’s premier and exclusive model, and the timing of the launch coincided with the acquisition of the company by Ford of the US.

In terms of styling, it’s sleek lines, which produced a drag coefficient of just 0.34, resembled that of a Lagonda rather than the classic lines of the V8 Series.

It was fitted with spoilers both front and rear, and stylish flush headlights.

The influence of Ford was noticeable in the fact that, as a cost-cutting measure, a number of the car’s’ components were sourced from a wide range of companies, including the Parent.

Although it used aluminium body panels, it was still a heavy car with a curb weight of 1790 kg.

When production ended in 1995, Aston Martin had built a total of 365 Virage sports cars.

THE ENGINE

The Virage was powered by a front-engined, all aluminium, 5.3 litre, 32 valve, DOHC, V8 unit with the head modified by Callaway Engineering in the US, and incorporated a modified intake manifold and Weber-Marelli fuel injection.

This developed 330 bhp at 5300 rpm, and 350 ft/lbs of torque at 4000 rpm.

Fitted with a ZF five speed manual gearbox and using a 9.5:1 compression, it produced a top speed of 158 mph, with 0-60 mph in 6.5 secs.

Interestingly, the majority of customers preferred the optional Chrysler three-speed Torqueflite automatic transmission.

Towards the end of production, an optional six speed manual gearbox from the Vantage sports car was offered.

In January 1992, as part of a programme of improvements, existing customers were able to replace the original 5.3 litre engine with a 6.3 litre V8 unit that had been incorporated in the Aston Martin AMR1, a Group C sports car racer that was entered in the 1989 Le Mans 24 Hours race.

The new engine developed 500 bhp at 6000 rpm, and 480 ft/lbs of torque at 5800 revs, which gave the car a top speed of 175 mph.

The conversion included fitting larger vented disc brakes, 18 inch wheels, air dams and side air vents.

For Technical Data, see original article below

COMPETITION

Typical competitors of the Aston Martin Virage sports car were the following: Porsche 964 Turbo, and Ferrari 550 Maranello.

For Comparative Technical Data, see original article below

This concludes my Aston Martin Virage Sports Car Review