500 hp, no traction control, and a manual gearbox. What could go wrong?
Earlier this month, we heard that British automaker Noble would be working on an all-new mid-engine sports car with 550 horsepower and a six-speed manual. Considering how exciting (read: scary) to drive past Noble creations have been, we're very interested in seeing what modern technology can do for a car with no anti-lock braking. But now Noble's founder, Lee Noble, is working on a very similar project as part of his new business, Exile. The project itself will share that name and, just as Noble intended five years ago, it will be powered by a 3.5-liter twin-turbo Ford EcoBoost V6 engine.
As reported by Autocar, this engine will be tuned to develop 504 horsepower and should spur the Exile to 60 mph from rest in just 3.5 seconds. Top speed will arrive at 165 mph, indicating that this is a car you're going to enjoy thrashing repeatedly as you work your way up and down the gears. Speaking of, a Graziano six-speed manual and a limited-slip differential similar in spec to that of the Lamborghini Diablo will power the rear axle. "It's bulletproof and it will shift gear as quick as I can move my arm," says Noble. As for the engine, little has changed from the original unit supplied by Ford. "The only changes we've made have been a dry sump for better track performance and bespoke mapping for the ECU," explains Noble. "Durability and simplicity were key here - and making it pretty quick, too."
Other notable details include a current weight of just 1,100 kilograms (2,425 pounds) in prototype form. The chassis is made up of a semi-monocoque center section with a steel tubular perimeter frame featuring a bonded-aluminum honeycomb skin for enhanced torsional rigidity. Double-wishbone suspension is fitted to each axle and controlled by three-way adjustable dampers, promising agile handling. Wilwood supplied the six-pot brake calipers and ventilated discs, but as with past Noble products, no anti-lock braking, stability control, or traction management systems are being fitted. Why not? To avoid costly type approval. Sadly, this means that driving one on US roads will be nearly impossible. As for pricing, it will cost less than £100,000 (under $134,000), with construction possibly to be undertaken by Hi-Tech Automotive in South Africa, the same company that built the Noble M400 and is currently producing classic Ford GT replicas.