Noble reckoned that the M15 "represents a major departure from its current models". It's aimed at buyers who are seeking a more exclusive and driver-focused alternative to mid-engined cars in the £110-130k price bracket, while also tempting those who are eyeing up the 2007 Lotus Esprit. The Esprit is scheduled for launch in 2007-8, and the mid-engined, all-alloy £75,000 car may house the Mercedes SLR McLaren's AMG V8 powerplant.
The M15's chassis is all-new -- Noble PR man Simon Hucknall described the car as sporty but benign, and designed to be a driveable, everyday road car. Hucknall added that the new configuration meant the car will have no commonality with the company's current cars, although it's similar in size to the M14 concept.
However, Hucknall said that Noble wants to move away from track day image. If that worries you, he also said that Noble remains true to its principles: there'll be no trick electronics like traction control and it remains RWD-only. The inherent safety comes from the benign chassis, he said.
“The M15’s fresh styling and engineering emphasise our desire to present a genuinely all-new car to the market,” said company boss and design chief Lee Noble. “While the Noble M12 series continues to win us accolades for its performance and dynamics, we’ve worked hard to ensure that the M15 is in a different league altogether. As before, this has been achieved without us having to resort to big, heavy engines or trick electronics. The M15 will be nothing less than a pure-bred driving machine.”
Among the M15’s highlights will be:
- Dry-sumped engine with 455bhp/455lb-ft of torque
- In-line drivetrain using a new, bespoke gearbox
- New, 57 per cent stiffer spaceframe chassis
- Generous boot space, front and rear
- New interior with high levels of standard equipment
The M15 will sit above Noble’s current models from launch, leaving the completed range as follows:
- Noble M15: £75,000 (est)
- Noble M400: £55,995
- Noble M12 GTO-3R: £49,950
Sadly, we can't bring you pics yet -- full details and pictures of the first complete M15 will be available in March.