Noble M14, 2004

Noble M14, 2004

Having conquered the specialist sports car market over the last five years, Noble Automotive is now launching an all-new model, which will firmly establish it at the quality end of the supercar market.

The British Noble M14 is set to take on rivals, such as the Porsche 911 Turbo and Ferrari 360 Modena, with a tantalising mix of class-leading dynamics, prodigious performance, a finely crafted and well equipped cabin, and levels of practicality that will appeal to owners who wish to use their car every day.

The 2004 British Motor Show will see the Noble M14 unveiled for the first time. Far from being a mere concept, the show car's styling, interior, drivetrain and chassis represent what will reach production when the car goes on sale in October this year.

Noble has chosen again to adopt a highly-modified version of Ford's 3.0-litre V6, mated to a six-speed manual gearbox, for use in the M14. The unit, which in base form also powers certain Jaguar cars, has proved particularly durable in five years of Noble M12 development and production.

Like the GTO-3R and M400 models, the engine employs twin turbochargers, but uses an engine map developed specifically for the M14. In common with the 425bhp M400 model, the M14 will gain forged pistons to ensure durability. Maximum power will be 400bhp at 6100rpm, with a wholesome 385lb ft of torque at 4750rpm. Estimated performance will be 0-60mph in 4.3 seconds, 0-100mph in 9.5 seconds and a top speed of 190mph.

One of Lee Noble's design briefs was to create a cabin for the M14 that conveyed a feeling of expensiveness, by paying special attention to textures, finish and feel.

Trimmed in the finest Italian leather (Noble uses the same supplier as Ferrari for the M14) there is no mistaking the M14 cabin's aura of quality and luxury. The padded leather extends throughout the cabin, and is complimented by grey Alcantara roof lining and a gear tunnel and centre console formed in a gunmetal-coloured composite material. The floor and some lower sections of the cabin are trimmed in deep, 80 per cent wool carpet. There are even leather sill pads, incorporating the 'Noble' logo, for drivers to lean against while exiting the car.

The stunning and sumptuous seats, which will be standard in all M14s are manufactured specifically for Noble. They feature a carbon fibre frame, for strength and lightness, and are trimmed in the same top-grade leather seen elsewhere in the cabin. Both seats incorporate fore and aft adjustment, as well as reclining backrests and tilt adjustment.

More occupant space has been created in the cabin by reducing the width of the gear tunnel and re-designing the floorpan. As a result, the M14 has a maximum 1160mm of legroom for driver and passenger (up 30mm on that found in the current M12) and 950mm of headroom (M12 + 20mm). We would expect occupants of up to 6' 5" to sit comfortably in the M14's cabin.

Equipped like no other Noble, the M14 will come with:
  • Electric windows
  • Electric/heated door mirrors
  • Air conditioning
  • Heated windscreen with integral aerial
  • Satellite Navigation (option)
  • Multi-function dashboard display
  • Central locking
  • Alarm/immobiliser
The M14's chassis has been adapted from that used on the highly praised Noble M12. Despite the change in design emphasis with the M14, it was felt that the inherent suppleness in the M12's ride, combined with its class leading levels of grip and composure, would lend itself perfectly to the new car's design philosophy. Consequently, the existing chassis has been refined - rather than significantly changed - to suit the M14.

All M14 bodies will be made from vinylester GRP composite (Noble may also consider carbon fibre in future), built over a steel spaceframe, which is reinforced with bonded and riveted alloy panels. A full roll over cage extends around the inside of the M14's cabin, adding strength to what will be our stiffest production structure to date.

Suspension is by double wishbones all round, with coil springs and alloy uprights. Rack and pinion steering, with hydraulic power assistance is geared to 2.5 turns from lock to lock, offering a far tighter turning circle than the current M12.


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