Noble M10 Image
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Sports car builder Noble was established in 1999 in Leeds by Lee Noble, and specialised in fast, mid-engined, rear wheel drive cars.
Prior to launching Noble, he was involved in the design of other sports cars, with brand names such as Ultima and Ascari.
The body and chassis of every car was produced by Hi-Tech Automotive in South Africa on the same assembly lines as Superformance rolling chassis for such distinctive cars as replica Cobras.
Upon completion of the body shell, it was then shipped to the new Noble factory near Leicester, at which point the engine and gearbox were added, and the finished car was tested.
It was designated the M10 since it was the tenth design by Lee Noble.
As the designer of his own cars, the basic philosophy was to begin with a lightweight space frame, to which was added a powerful engine and a sporty aerodynamic body.
His design encompassed a mid-engine format which would provide good handling characteristics.
In terms of marketing, he pitched the price of each car such that it would be positioned in the affordable sector of the sports car market, and so reach a wide audience.
He resigned from Noble in 2008, and went on to create a new venture.
The Noble M10 was the first car to be designed and produced by the company.
It was launched in 1999 with a price tag of around $30,000 and, interestingly, he built the first two units in a garage situated near his home.
Since the car was superseded a year later by the more impressive M12, few of the M10's were actually sold since potential customers changed their allegiance to the forthcoming model.
The M10 was a two seater, only available as a convertible, with a composite fibreglass body and chassis, and a corresponding curb weight of only 960 kg.
It was powered by a Ford Duratec 2.5 litre, 24 valve, V6 engine that developed 168 bhp, and 162 ft/lbs of torque.
Linked to a five speed manual gearbox, it produced a top speed of 135 mph, with a 0-60 mph time of 5.9 secs.
It was fitted with 10 inch vented disc brakes all round.
Following the launch of the M10, Toyota introduced their MR2 convertible that same year which, outwardly, looked very similar to the M10.
Technical Data Noble M10
Engine, cc 2500
Cylinders, bhp 6, 168
Torque ft/lbs 162
Top Speed mph 135
0-60 mph, secs 5.9
0-100 mph, secs 16.9
Standing 1/4 Mile, secs 14.5
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Some of the typical competitors of the Noble M10 included the following: Lotus Elise, Porsche Boxter, BMW Z4, and Mercedes SLK 350. Noble performance:
Noble Lotus Porsche BMW Mercedes
Technical Data M10 Elise Boxter Z4 SLK 350
Production 1999 1996-2001 1996-1999 2003+ 2004
2004 Engine, cc 2500 1797 2480 2974 3497
Cylinders, bhp 6, 168 4, 117 6, 204 6, 230 6, 267
Torque ft/lbs 162 123 181 220 258
Top Speed mph 135 126 149 155 155
0-60 mph, secs 5.9 5.8 6.7 5.9 5.4
0-100 mph, secs 16.9 17.9 - 16.1 13.7
Standing 1/4 Mile, secs 14.5 14.7 - 14.6 13.8
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