Name: Lee Sinden
Car: Noble M600
Owned since: June 2017
Previously owned: Many TVRs, Ferrari 360 Spider, Audi R8, Lamborghini Diablo, Morgan Aero Supersports and Mercedes SLS AMG.
Why I bought it:
"I first discovered and fell in love with the Noble M600 at the Autosport show hosted at the NEC back in January 2012. The car in question was finished in 'naked' carbon fibre with a tinted blue lacquer. I remember standing in awe looking at the perfection of the visible carbon fibre weave, the shape, fit and finish and, of course, those mighty performance figures. It really was love at first sight, but sadly very much out of my price range at the time.
"As the past few years have ticked by, the limited number of journalist reviews I'd seen on the M600 all gave the car immense praise and described it as a modern day Ferrari F40. The dream of owning a Noble M600 never went away.
"Although there are currently only around 25 M600s in existence, by sheer luck I stumbled across a used factory car that Noble Automotive themselves were selling that just fell within my budget. Being a factory owned car, she'd been exceptionally well maintained and was fitted with the latest updates. A test drive had me grinning like a Cheshire cat and after some negotiations I was part of the Noble family."
Things I love:
"The M600 is a very focused driver's car, for people who love DRIVING.
"With a proper manual gearbox it feels like an old-school analogue supercar from the future. The on-the-fly adjustable engine mapping (450, 550 or 650hp) enables you to select the right amount of power for the road ahead at the simple turn of a dial. As you bury the loud pedal, you're catapulted towards the horizon and a sonorous V8 growl akin to an American muscle car engulfs the cockpit. A split second later fluttering noises join the V8 orchestra as the turbos come on song and warp mode starts. The whole experience is very intoxicating.
"Pushing on through the twisty stuff over dips or crests the car never feels unsettled or skittish. The chassis and suspension setup is magical. Firm enough to inspire confidence yet soft enough to iron the road surface beneath you as you make significant progress. The steering is perfectly weighted and gives great feedback. The gearchange is very precise and the pedals are well spaced for some heel and toe action. The car demands to be driven properly and the way it sticks to the road is pure witchcraft. The dimensions and proportions give a purposeful look while still being narrow enough to use in anger down a twisty country road.
"The carbon fibre body shell is a work of art. The quality and pattern of the carbon weave is perfect and I'm sure even Mr Pagani himself would be mighty impressed. The general quality of the M600's construction is excellent and certainly up there with the very best of the competition.
"The buying experience of an M600 is a rather special affair, too, as you get to deal directly with the team at the factory including the MD of Noble Automotive, Peter Boutwood. Peter's a delightful guy to deal with and has a wealth of knowledge about his product and always has a story to tell about the early development and testing days. Above all, you're really made to feel part of the family rather than just another customer in a swanky showroom. I really like that.
"I love the fact that the M600 is relatively unknown and yet in the hands of the right driver its capabilities are arguably better than alternatives on offer from the likes of Lamborghini and Ferrari. With a Bugatti Veyron beating power to weight ratio of 542hp per tonne, it's mind-blowingly fast - a true giant slayer. As everyone moves to the latest automatic gearboxes and gets hung up on Nordschleife lap times, finding purist manual cars is becoming ever increasingly difficult. Whilst the large majority of us would probably set better lap times in a Nissan GT-R, I don't see the fun in piloting a computer with all the cheat modes activated.
"I previously toyed with the prospect of owning a Porsche Cayman GT4 or an Aston V12 Vantage - both of which are great driver's cars that I'd be happy to own, but lack the pace and sparkle that the M600 delivers in such abundance.
Things I hate:
"My main gripe about the car is the interior. The ergonomics work well and the fit and finish is second to none but the architecture is just starting to feel a little dated compared to the some of the competition. Noble has recently introduced a new touch screen infotainment system which goes some way to addressing the issue.
"My only other criticism is the lack of ABS, although in Noble's defence the standard Alcon brake setup does a superb job at stopping such a light weight supercar. Even under very hard use I've never experienced the wheels locking up, so there's a strong argument that ABS isn't needed."
"The M600 is a bespoke hand-built supercar. As such, it's never going to be cheap to buy, run and maintain. However, compared to other bespoke, low volume, carbon fibre hand-built supercars with comparable performance (think Pagani, Koenigsegg and the like), my man maths tells me the base purchase price of around £270k is a bit of a bargain!
"Considering the performance on tap, the insurance, running and servicing costs are fairly reasonable due to the car's simplicity of design and lightweight construction. Failures and breakdowns should be very few and far between due to high quality components being sourced in the first place. Nothing has gone wrong yet and I don't expect any issues in the future."
"After experimenting with many cars over the years, I'm relieved to have finally found a car that I've fully bonded with. I've always had a desire to order a brand new car though, built to my specification and to keep forever; therefore unless a huge lottery win provides me with the funds to buy a McLaren F1 or Ferrari F50, my next step will likely be a brand new M600. Watch this space..."