The maverick but multi-award winning British car designer and engineer who left his eponymously named company in Leicestershire after a new owner took over is to build a new supercar prototype in South Africa.
Lee Noble, whose work in recent years is said to have defined the British low volume sports car market has set up a new company, Fenix Automotive, and today (19 November) announced the launch of “one of the most dramatic supercars of the century” next year.
With production cars like the Noble M12 and M400 to his credit, Noble says he is now delivering a lightweight, ultra-powerful mid-engined V8 supercar to market by the end of 2010.
The as yet unnamed car, which will cost from under £75,000, “will trounce all previous Lee Noble-built Nobles for performance with a 0-100mph time of under seven seconds”, and is aimed at serious track day drivers, while also being usable on public roads.
“Our new car will offer buyers performance and dynamics that they’d normally have to spend well over £100,000 to experience, but at a far more affordable price,” said Noble. “It will combine simplicity, strength and agility, while its two-seat, closed body will ensure sensible levels of refinement for road use. And thanks to a feature which will be revealed nearer the car’s launch, it will be amazingly practical too, for both track and road users.”
Development of the car began a year ago, and the first prototype, which will be used to validate a new chassis and powertrain, is currently being built in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, in the same plant that produced Noble’s M12s.
First pictures of his new creation are due early next year.
Noble left Noble Automotive, now based at Leicester’s Meridian BusinessPark close to the M1, when current managing director Peter Boutwood took over the company. The launch of its own £200,000, £225mph Noble M600 – one of the fastest cars in the world – due to begin 50 units-a-year production this month has just been put back due to the late delivery from the United States of the carbon fibre required for its bodywork.