from Classic to Modern
The Noble M15 sports car, introduced in 2006 and priced at £74,950, was targeted at the market sector dominated by the likes of the Porsche Turbo, Audi R8, and Ferrari F430.
In this respect, new features added to the car included traction control, ABS, satellite navigation, air conditioning, and electric windows.
Although performance was still to the fore, it was interesting to note that this two seater, fixed head coupe was to be positioned as a grand tourer, rather than a track day racer, as was the case with some previous models in the M-Series.
It featured a composite fibreglass body on a steel space frame chassis, incorporating an integral roll cage for additional safety, that was significantly stiffer than that used in the M12, resulting in much improved handling characteristics.
The new chassis had been reinforced with additional aluminium panels, and designed primarily to incorporate the new engine format. Consequently, it had a curb weight of just 1250 kg.
It was fitted with AP Racing 330 mm vented and drilled discs all round.
Of note were the sweeping curves of the front wings, and the distinctive headlight assembly in the shape of an arc, together with enormous air intakes and a fastback rear.
Furthermore, the huge rear diffuser increased down force to ensure that the car was planted firmly on the ground at high speed.
Unlike previous sports cars from Noble, the engine was positioned longitudinally, which significantly increased both cooling and turbo performance.
By moving the engine and gearbox forward slightly, front/rear weight distribution now stood at 40/60%.
It used 18 inch rims at the front and 19 inch at the rear, and the rear track was increased by 2.5 cm to improve high speed cornering.
With compartments at both front and rear, there was adequate room for luggage.
Both the interior and carbon fibre framed seats were trimmed in leather.
The rear spoiler seen on previous models was removed to portray a more civilised aura in a car designed for everyday use, rather than the track.
The Noble M15 was powered by a Ford Duratec 3 litre, DOHC mid-V6 engine, with four valves per cylinder, and fitted with twin Garrett T25 turbochargers plus an intercooler.
With a compression ratio of 8.5:1, it developed 455 bhp at 6800 rpm (with redline at 7200), and 455 ft/lbs of torque at 4800 rpm.
As such, it ranked as the most powerful sports car produced to date by Noble.
Fitted with a Graziano six speed manual gearbox, it produced a top speed of 185 mph, and a 0-60 mph time of 3.4 secs.
Production ended in 2011 when the M15 was succeeded by the Noble M600.
Technical Data M15 M14 M12 GTO-3R
Production 2006-2011 2004 2005
Engine, cc 2968 2968 2968
Cylinders, bhp 6, 455 6, 400 6, 360
Torque ft/lbs 455 385 358
Top Speed mph 185 190 170
0-60 mph, secs 3.4 4.3 3.5
0-100 mph, secs 8.0 9.5 8.1
Standing 1/4 Mile, secs - - 11.8
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Typical competition for the Noble M15 included the following cars: Porsche 996 Turbo S, Ferrari F430, and Audi R8. Noble performance:
Porsche Ferrari Audi
Technical Data M15 996 Turbo S F430 R8
Production 2006-2011 2004-2006 2004-2009 2007+
Engine, cc 2968 3607 4308 4165
Cylinders, bhp 6, 455 6, 450 8, 483 8, 414
Torque ft/lbs 455 455 344 317
Top Speed mph 185 191 196 187
0-60 mph, secs 3.4 4.0 3.9 4.4
0-100 mph, secs 8.0 8.9 8.3 10.4
Standing 1/4 Mile, secs - - 11.9 12.6
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Noble Sports Car
Noble M15 Sports Car