Proper British sports cars need to be four things: 1) lightweight 2) nippy 3) bloody good fun to drive and 4) usable on road and track. So what’s more deserving of the ‘ultimate British sports car’ crown than the mighty Noble M12? Shall we start with weight, then? At a touch over 1000kg, it’s certainly light enough to be incredibly nimble and devastatingly rapid in a straight line. Just how devastating will become apparent now... You see, plonked directly over the rear axle of this ultimate flyweight weapon is a twin-turbocharged version of the meaty 3.0-litre Ford V6 engine you’ll find in Mk III police-spec Mondeos. Very nice. Numbers? Where the standard cop-mobile produced around 220 horses, the GTO-3R (pictured) cranks out a monumental 415bhp. In layman’s terms then, the M12 is hugely fast; 0-62mph is demolished in 3.5sec and flat out it'll pull 185mph! And that’s before you factor in the necessary modifications that endow this orange rocket with 450bhp. Driving fun then, is a given. Up to third gear, the M12’s whistling engine will light up the rear tyres in an instant, with pin-sharp steering responses ensuring you stay on the black stuff. Acceleration is brutal enough to make you laugh, cry and soil yourself all at the same time. There's a reason these things are called 'Ferrari killers', you know. Then there’s the M12’s interior. It’s more basic than an Ikea side table and is littered with knobs and dials borrowed from a Fiesta. There are no distractions, just a round steering wheel, box of pedals, manual gearbox and a phallic handbrake. There is an Alpine CD player, but it’s so far away that you daren’t lean over. Not that the engine and road roar would let you listen to it, mind… And the looks? Admittedly, it’s not the prettiest British sports car to have graced our tiny island, but it is very impressive to look at nonetheless. It’s ultra-low (but does clear speed bumps happily), super small and extremely purposeful looking. From the cooling ducts to the massive rear spoiler (no, this one isn’t standard), driving the M12 won’t result in ‘what-a-cock’ glances from passers by, rather ‘what-the-hell-is-that-barrel-of-awesomeness’ exclamations. And that's why - to me at least - the Noble M12 is the ultimate British sports car. Huge shout out to Louis for lending us his awesome motor! If you think we should feature your car next, we'd love to hear from you.
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