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Monday 19th May 2008


NOBLE INTERVIEW

PistonHeads speaks to new Noble boss Peter Boutwood...

All has been quiet at Noble for a while but big things could be on the horizon. This week PistonHeads caught up with the company’s new boss Peter Boutwood, who told us that the new M600 will be conceptually similar to a Ferrari F40 and should be good enough to take on the world…

PistonHeads: Am I right in thinking that you are running the company?
Peter Boutwood: I am now MD of Noble Automotive.

PH: Who’s in charge of development of the M600?
PB: Our ethos at Noble is very strongly team led. Everyone at Noble is incredibly talented and experienced and has a strong part to play in the development programme.


PH: What has been happening since you took over?
PB: We have made great progress; we are now deep into a test and development programme and have made significant design improvements both to the exterior and interior of the M600.

PH: Is the company in good financial health and will it return stronger than ever?
PB: The company is in excellent financial health, never better. We intend to return with a car that will once more illustrate the fine qualities of a ‘Noble’. A car that rewards the driver without the use of invasive computer assistance, a British sports car that is focused on ‘real’ driving purity…’analogue not digital’.

PH: How far away is the M600?
PB: To be announced. We are determined not be pressured to release the M600 before it has been completely and thoroughly tested.  

PH: Can you give me the specifications?
PB: No detailed specifications at the moment. It will however be a carbon fibre body shell, twin turbo V8 powered, with a six speed gearbox designed and developed for us by Graziano Trasmissioni.

PH: What engine will it have?
PB: Yamaha designed Volvo V8. With twin-turbo development by Motorkraft USA and AER in the UK.         .

PH: What are the performance figures?
PB: More than sufficient!

Noble M600 Prototype Z1
Noble M600 Prototype Z1
PH: What handling characteristics will it have?
PB: The Noble characteristics - predictable, communicative and precise.

PH: Where is Noble positioning itself with the new car?
PB: Those drivers who seek something that is less ‘nannying’, rarer and individual, delivering top supercar performance at a more credible cost.

PH: Who are the nearest competitors?
PB: We do not consider ourselves to have ‘absolute’ competitors, obviously our cars will appeal to those already in the high performance market, however there is we feel no direct comparative car, the nearest we can equate in conceptual terms is probably the Ferrari F40.

PH: Which model would you like to beat?
PB: Everything.

PH: Is Noble one of the last all-British car manufacturers – should we pin the hopes of the British car industry on its shoulders?
PB: We would welcome the challenge; we strongly feel that the release of the M600 will adequately endorse our commitment to continuing British sports car excellence.

PH: Will there be any more models coming out in the near future?
PB: Yes absolutely, however we have no wish to either pre-empt or indeed provoke any further speculation at this time. 

PH: Will there be a convertible M600?
PB: No.

PH: How many cars do you hope to build?
PB: It is our intention to limit production to circa 50 per annum.

PH: Where will the M600 be made and what will it look like?
PB: We have yet to make a firm commitment to the location of the manufacture, although it our intention and wish if at all possible to make this car in the UK. We will have a small photograph of the first prototype M600 on our website very soon. This is not the final incarnation and it is heavily disguised, however the more accurate production visuals will be available after final wind tunnel and climate testing.

PH: How is the parts and servicing working at Noble at the moment?
PB: Really well, we have significantly improved our parts supply and have recently introduced, via our website www.noblecars.com, a Noble owners technical enquiry facility.

PH: Why should people buy the M600?
PB: Where to start? It will be, in our opinion, a car for the driver seeking the ultimate in speed and handling, a car that is fit for purpose, rewarding, challenging and rare.

 

Author: Oli S