Fenix Automotive – the new supercar by Lee NobleWed, 06 Jan 2010
By Tim Pollard
First Official Pictures
06 January 2010 00:01
Don't get confused with the new Noble M600, recently tested by CAR and others. This is the new Fenix supercar from the real Lee Noble, and his fledgling independent supercar outfit, Fenix Automotive.
The two-seater supercar unveiled in these photos will go on sale in the latter half of 2010, probably around September time. And the best news is, it'll cost just £75,000 for the lower-powered car.
That's in stark contrast to the new Noble M600, which carries a slightly befuddling £200k price tag. Noble – Lee Noble, that is – says that his as yet unnamed car pictured here will have the drama and dynamic ability of supercars costing £150k+ despite costing half the price. No wonder he's confident he can find 100 buyers a year.
Fenix Automotive: the new 2010 supercar
Lee Noble calls it 'a natural, but even more focused successor' to the M12. And it'll be quick: power comes from a choice of two GM-sourced V8s mounted amidships and driving the rear wheels through a Graziano transmission.
'The M12 was hugely successful, but we needed to move the game on in terms of design,' he says. 'The new car’s styling owes nothing to what I’ve done before and has quite literally been a ‘clean sheet’ exercise from the start. It’s edgy, with powerful lines, and aerodynamically will be in another league to any of my previous cars.'
A Fenix for every pocket. And right foot
The base Fenix supercar will carry the LS3 V8 developing a rugged 480bhp, while the braver can pick the LS9 V8 borrowed from the Corvette ZR1. Here power spirals to a slightly loopy 638bhp.
With a kerbweight of around 1200kg thanks to a steel chassis wrapped in a composite body, both models will be viciously fast; the supercharged Fenix will hit 100mph in less than seven seconds with a V-max around 200mph.
Will the Fenix be any good?
That's the acid test. We at CAR are upbeat about its prospects; Lee Noble is no normal Fred-in-a-shed – the Nobles developed under his tenure were brilliant dynamically and actually quite robust, usable cars.
'Our first prototype is now in build and development will start in around one month’s time,' says Noble. 'We’ll be hot-weather testing the first prototype on the mountain roads around Port Elizabeth, South Africa, where the car will be manufactured. But I’m itching to get the car back to the UK where I can set it up on roads I know well.'
Sounds like Lee Noble has found his feet after quitting the company he set up, Noble Automotive, in spring 2008. We can't wait to do the twin test between Noble and Fenix. It'll be quite a ride.
By Tim Pollard