Home > Sports cars > Noble M15

Year 2006
Engine 3 litre, V-6 Twin turbo
Transmission 6 speed RWD
Max speed

185 mph

0-60 mph 3.3 seconds
Horsepower 455 bhp @ 6800 rpm
weight 1250 kg / 2755 lbs

The Noble M15 supercar is a development of the Noble M14 concept from 2004. Both cars use a 3.0 litre twin-turbo V6, although the power output of the M15's unit is 455 bhp, 55 more than the M14's. The 0-60 time was also improved, by exactly one second. The Noble M15 is designed to compete with the likes of Lamborghini's Gallardo and the Ferrari F430.

External review by Caroline Halford:
So, the Porsche 911. Porsche claims it is the only Super-car you could use every day, and when Honda withdrew their NSX from the battle, it was. But now, Britain's fighting back with the latest from one of the best new companies: Noble.

Their first car, the M10, was a good car ruined by half-baked styling. The M12 was more of the same, but with arguably the best handling around today. The M400 was just an M12 on Steroids with fewer luxuries. However, the M15 has been moved away from TVR, and there's no doubt it's a serious match for the mighty 911.

Straight away, there's a big change. All the racing stripes and mad spoilers have gone; it's much more grown up. Inside, you get a Volvo Sat Navigation system that works, Air Conditioning that works, traction control that works, leather seats and two luggage compartments (one in the front, one in the back) that you can actually use. Brilliant! And it just gets better from there.

It meets all EU crash test regulations. It has airbags. And unlike the M12 and M400, it's not made of South African plastic, but British Aluminium. This means it's stiffer than the M400, and so is more forgiving.

The one major thing that sets this car apart from previous Nobles is that its engine is pointed Front to Back, not sideways. This means better weight distributions, the engine can be mounted lower down for a lower centre of gravity and better visibility, they can turn the two turbochargers up, and best of all, where the M400 only had a Mondeo gearbox, Noble have gone to Graziana, suppliers to Ferrari, Lamborghini and Aston Martin, so now the M15 has a big, proper gearbox that can put all the power through those big rear wheels.

All these changes have made the M15 a phenomenal car. The twin-turbocharged V6 produces 455 brake horsepower, 0-62 is dealt with in less than 4 seconds, and the top speed: 196 M.P.H.! So it goes like a super-car, sounds like a super-car, looks like a super-car and handling is just amazing. It just doesn't understand spinning, unlike the Ferrari 360 which spins the second you push it hard. The Noble does everything like a super-car then. Except two things.

It doesn't drink like a super-car. Because it only has a 3-litre V6 engine, when you drive it normally it does 20 miles per gallon. Even when you're tearing round a race track, it can still do 6. And it isn't priced like a super-car; for a whisker under 75 000 it's a lot cheaper than most Ferraris and Lamborghinis. However, there's a big problem. If it was just this against the 911s, it would be an easy victory against all of them, besides maybe the GT3RS. But Noble's not the only company to stand up to Porsche.

Chevrolet and Audi have both had a go. Chevrolet have sent their Corvette ZO6, and Audi have sent their R8. The ZO6 is different from other Corvettes for several main reasons. It has a huge 7-litre V8 that produces a whopping 500 brake horsepower. It handles well too, and sounds brilliant. But sadly on the road, things aren't as good. At low speeds it sounds like a tractor. The gearbox is clunky, it's only available with left-hand drive, and it's much thirstier than the Noble. But on the upside, it does only cost 60 000.

The Audi is much quieter than the Noble, and even at 150 you still can't really hear the engine. And it's very economical too. But, it does cost 80 000, and that's before you start with the options list. The upside of the quiet engine is you can drive it through villages without ruining everyone's day, and it will pull up a bigger crowd than any 911 in town. But that said, the Noble drew up a sizeable crowd as well, and the Corvette was much admired.

So which is best? Well it's hard to say really. They all have a trump card to play: the Audi is the most civilised, and has a brilliant 4-wheel drive system. The Corvette has the brute force, and the best soundtrack. The Noble has the handling and the poise. But, overall, I think the Noble's the best. Ideally, you want a car that sounds like the Corvette, drives like the Noble and has the Audi's build quality. But since you can't, the Noble's the best all round car.

This brings me back to the 911. With the civilised Audi, the muscular Corvette and the nimble Noble, it's got a big fight on its hands. And with Japan set to join in the war with their phenomenal sounding Nissan GTR, Porsche had better raise their game. Especially since Chevrolet are planning to launch a V10 version of the ZO6, Audi a supercharged R8 and Noble a lightened version of their M15, the game has just been raised. The question is, can Porsche match it, or will the 911 become like the Honda NSX: a car that was good for a while, but just couldn't match its rivals.

Similar and related vehicles:
- Noble M10
- Noble M12 GTO
- Noble M400
- Noble M14

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