The Noble M15 Sports Car

The Noble M15 – 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 M15 sports car, introduced in 2006 and priced at £74,950, was targeted at the market sector dominated by the likes of the Porsche Turbo, Audi R8, and Ferrari F430.

In this respect, new features added to the car included traction control, ABS, satellite navigation, air conditioning, and electric windows.

Although performance was still to the fore, it was interesting to note that this two seater, fixed head coupe was to be positioned as a grand tourer, rather than a track day racer, as was the case with some previous models in the M-Series.

It featured a composite fibreglass body on a steel space frame chassis, incorporating an integral roll cage for additional safety, that was significantly stiffer than that used in the M12, resulting in much improved handling characteristics.

The new chassis had been reinforced with additional aluminium panels, and designed primarily to incorporate the new engine format. Consequently, it had a curb weight of just 1250 kg.

It was fitted with AP Racing 330 mm vented and drilled discs all round.

Of note were the sweeping curves of the front wings, and the distinctive headlight assembly in the shape of an arc, together with enormous air intakes and a fastback rear.

Furthermore, the huge rear diffuser increased down force to ensure that the car was planted firmly on the ground at high speed.

Unlike previous sports cars from Noble, the engine was positioned longitudinally, which significantly increased both cooling and turbo performance.

By moving the engine and gearbox forward slightly, front/rear weight distribution now stood at 40/60%.

It used 18 inch rims at the front and 19 inch at the rear, and the rear track was increased by 2.5 cm to improve high speed cornering.

With compartments at both front and rear, there was adequate room for luggage.

Both the interior and carbon fibre framed seats were trimmed in leather.

The rear spoiler seen on previous models was removed to portray a more civilised aura in a car designed for everyday use, rather than the track.

THE ENGINE

The Noble M15 was powered by a Ford Duratec 3 litre, DOHC mid-V6 engine, with four valves per cylinder, and fitted with twin Garrett T25 turbochargers plus an intercooler.

With a compression ratio of 8.5:1, it developed 455 bhp at 6800 rpm (with redline at 7200), and 455 ft/lbs of torque at 4800 rpm.

As such, it ranked as the most powerful sports car produced to date by Noble.

Fitted with a Graziano six speed manual gearbox, it produced a top speed of 185 mph, and a 0-60 mph time of 3.4 secs.

Production ended in 2011 when the M15 was succeeded by the Noble M600. Technical Data:

COMPETITION

Typical competition for the Noble M15 included the following cars: Porsche 996 Turbo S, Ferrari F430, and Audi R8. Noble performance:

This concludes my Noble M15 Sports Car Review

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