February 25, 2005

Noble M12 GTO-3R

Last fall we were breaking in a new road warrior and testing the Noble M12 at the same time. The car was very quick, and as we were at the staging area checking out the acceleration results, the 20-something new guy got a look. “Damn—that thing’s stupid fast!” he blurted.

What was funny was how well that summed up the Noble. On one hand, it is a little, well, silly, since it’s a South African–built $76,400 car of questionable lineage that doesn’t pass U.S. emissions or crash regulations and gets registered for road use as a home-built kit. But on the other, it is one of the most satisfying cars we’ve ever driven, and it is ferociously fast, snapping to 60 in a minuscule 3.3 seconds, the same as a Ford GT.

“Actually, it’s a component car,” clarified Dean Rosen, the president of 1G Racing and importer of the Noble kit. “The car comes in two crates—one with the completely assembled car, and the other with the powertrain. You can join the two in about 40 hours.” Maybe we were being a little harsh, since a lot of kit cars we’ve driven feel pretty good. But still, here in the U.S., the Noble is an obscure machine.


06:10 AM in Noble M12 | Permalink