Noble M500 supercar reaches pre-production stage
Niche British supercar marque Noble stunned us with the reveal of the M500 concept at the 2018 Goodwood Festival of Speed, and a promise of a production version in short order.
Noble has been quietly working behind the scenes on getting the M500 into production and at this year's Goodwood FoS, scheduled for next week, the company will unveil a pre-production prototype.
Pre-production prototypes are typically used for final testing as well as for certification and registration purposes. They also provide plant employees with an opportunity to iron out any production snags before the first customer examples are built. Noble estimates that development of the M500 will be finalized by late 2022. It's possible deliveries will start shortly after that date.
The M500 is the replacement for Noble's M600 supercar, whose platform it shares. The M500 targets a different buyer, with Noble promising a much cheaper price tag, and as a result it skips the 650-hp V-8 of its predecessor in favor of a V-6 estimated to spit out around 550 hp. Final specifications will be announced closer to the market launch.
The V-6 is a tuned version of the twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V-6 found in multiple Ford products, such as the F-150 Raptor. Fans of the brand will note that the M600's V-8 was also from an outside supplier. It was the same 4.4-liter V-8 developed by Yamaha for Volvo, though the M600 had a pair of turbochargers bolted on.
In an era of electrification and advanced driver-assist features, Noble plans to keep things old-school with the M500. For example, the sole transmission is a 6-speed manual (the concept had a dual-clutch automatic). There is also no ABS or airbags, making the M500 for the brave only.
Noble hasn't announced pricing but is thought to be targeting a starting figure of about 150,000 British pounds (approximately $183,350), down from the 206,000 British pounds ($251,870) for the M600. To help get the cost down, the M500 forgoes a carbon-fiber body like on the M600 in favor of less expensive composites. This body is wrapped around a tubular steel chassis. A carbon body may be made available, should buyers demand one.
Production will be handled at Noble's facility in Leicester, U.K., where M600 production came to an end in 2018.
The 2022 Goodwood FoS runs in the U.K. from June 23-26. For more coverage, head to our dedicated hub.