The Noble M12 GTO is a low-volume, high-performance sports car produced from 2000 to 2008.
Noble M12 GTO Design and Introduction
It's not every day that a new automaker comes to the market, especially one that can compete with the likes of supercar makers like Ferrari or Porsche. But in 1999, that's exactly what Lee Noble set out to do. His goal was to produce a pure driver's car with incredible performance and handling, but without the insane production costs and ski-high retail price. His first shot came in the Noble M10 with a 2.5L V6 engine. While it found some success, its production was cut short due to the introduction of the newer M12 model.
Engine and Performance
The Noble M12 GTO was first released in 2000, and it used a 2.5L twin-turbo V6 engine to produce an impressive 310 horsepower and 320 lb-ft of torque. The engine was a modified Ford Duratec, which helped keep the costs low, resulting in a final starting price of £45,000, a great value in the world of supercars. The engine was paired to a six-speed Getrag manual transmission. While the horsepower rating might seem relatively low in the world with hyper performance vehicles, the Noble M12 GTO's power-to-weight ratio was like nothing else. This allowed it to achieve the incredible driver-focused performance that was the original goal, winning over the hearts of automotive journalists around the world.
Shape and Features
The exterior shape of the Nobel was unique, with a small sloping front end and headlights tucked deep into recessed housing the wheel wells. The engine was transversely mounted and placed in the rear-mid configuration, like many supercars. As expected, the Noble M12 GTO was rear-wheel drive and had two doors. The M12 GTO featured a full steel roll cage for safety, as well as a steel spaceframe chassis for rigidity, and used fiberglass composite body panels to save weight. Although it was designed for spirited driving and track use, it was also street-legal and could be used for a fun night on the town too.
Later Updates to the Noble M12 GTO
The Noble M12 GTO was later updated to the M12 GTO-3 variant, using a larger 3.0L engine to produce 353 horsepower and 350 lb-ft of torque. As if that wasn't a good enough boost, Noble continued to push the limited with the eventual release of the M12 GTO-3R, bumping performance way up to 425 horsepower and 390 lb-ft of torque. It used Garrett T25 twin turbocharges to squeeze out every drop of performance, resulting in a 0 to 60 mph time of just 3.3 seconds in real-world testing, although it was officially reported at 3.5 seconds. But it couldn't stop there. Eventually the M12 was released as the Noble M400, using the same 3.0L engine to produce a whopping 450 horsepower and 390 lb-ft of torque. This utilized the slightly more advanced Garrett T28 twin-turbochargers.
Limited Numbers and Authorized Producers
This was a limited production vehicle no matter the market, but this was especially true in North America. The limited number of Noble M12 GTO imports to the United States, totaling a reported 220 units, make it an ultra-exclusive model in the US. Noble shifted route after the M400 was released, allowing Ohio-based 1G Racing group to purchase the production rights to the vehicle. They were then released un the name of Rossion Q1 under that company. The vehicle was also produced by Salica Cars and sold as the Salica GT and Salica GTR.