Noble isn't a well-known automaker here in North America. Most of our Noble knowledge comes from watching Richard Hammond drive one in an old Top Gear special. For those who don't know, Noble is a very small, boutique supercar maker from England and it continues to make old-school, driver-focused cars, while its more well-known competitors get more and more high-tech. Its latest project, the Noble M500, is still in pre-production but we sincerely hope it reaches actual production because it's one of the coolest supercar projects we've seen in ages. Not only is it a new mid-engine supercar with a manual transmission but it's powered by an F-150 Raptor engine.
Using a semi-pedestrian engine isn't unheard of for Noble. Its previous M600, the car Hammond drove for Top Gear, famously used a the Yamaha-built V8 from a Volvo XC90. Now, Noble turned to Ford and borrowed the F-150 Raptor's 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V6 for the M500 and the best part is that it's barely modified for supercar-duty.
According to prototype reviews from UK-based outlets like Evo Magazine, none of the changes Noble made to the Raptor were internal. It's been bumped to 506 horsepower but that's only 56 horsepower more than the stock Raptor. Though, it doesn't need much more power than that, considering it only weighs around 3,200 pounds in prototype-guise. Noble claims it should be closer to 2,650 pounds one it reaches production.
Some of those same reviews, like this one from Autocar, also seem to praise the engine's character, as it's full of raw, mechanical noises, like turbocharged whistles and wastegate whooshes. While the engine is a distant relative to the one in the Ford GT, the Raptor-spec engine that Noble uses is far more pedestrian. Ford won't let you hook it up to a manual, either. Noble will and it sweetens the deal by making it a six-speed open-gate manual.
The Noble M500 has been publicly in development since 2022 and is still just a prototype but it's a car the world needs right now. In many ways, the M500 is the antithesis of the modern-day supercar. Not only are its powertrain and drivetrain delightfully simple and old-school but it also still uses a classic turn-key instead of a key fob, its steering is completely devoid of buttons, and it even uses a traditional handbrake. There's no guarantee the Noble M500 ever reaches production, as there never is with such small automakers. And even if it does, there's little-to-no chance it's ever sold in North America. But it's a car whose existence will make the automotive world a better place. Hopefully UK roads will see a few M500s running around in the near future.
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