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Thursday, September 3, 2015

Can You Spot the 425-Horsepower British Sports Car?


Copyright © 2015 Bold Ride LLC.

Everybody likes a good underdog. If you can spot the sports car shape beneath this dazzling array of digital camouflage, that’s essentially what you’ll find. 
This is a 2006 Noble M400, which was designed by a small company in Britain, manufactured by a firm in South Africa, and sold as a component car in North America, sans engine and transmission. That production process may differ wildly from that of the Porsche 911 or top-dog Corvette of its day, but here’s the kicker—it can more than handle those big boys of the sports car world.


The Noble M400 came onto the scene in 2004 and evolved from the company’s previous world-beating machine, the Noble M12 GTO-3R, with which it shares its body and chassis. It’s no simple rehash, however. Underneath the M400’s rear flanks lies a 3.0-liter Ford Duratec V6, which has been reworked, twin-turbocharged, and given higher-lift camshafts and forged pistons to produce an impressive 425 horsepower and 390 lb-ft of torque.
A six-speed manual gearbox shuttles that power to the rear wheels, which catapults the M400 from zero to 60 mph in around 3.4 seconds—that’s supercar territory. While off-the-line speed caught the attention of many drivers, it’s the M400’s handling that kept it. The car’s suspension and chassis were designed by British sports car builder Lee Noble, also responsible for the Ultima track cars and the soon-to-be Arrinera Hussarya supercar.


Noble Automotive has since put the M400 to bed, now focused solely on the very rowdy M600, however the M400 design still powers on in the form of the USA-built Rossion Q1 sports car.
This eye-catching 2006 Noble M400 recently popped up on eBay, and sports a sleek set of custom-built Niche Wheels wrapped in Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires. A Power Agency exhaust and Vivid Racing tune result in giving this Noble a raucous 457 horsepower at the rear wheels.

While the digital camouflage wrap from 2one3 Graphics looks very well done, there’s something about the M400’s simple styling that makes it an eye-catcher, even after more than a decade since its birth.