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Noble plans to bring the Fenix supercar to the United States with Chevrolet power

Wed, 06 Jan 2010

A new 200-mph, Chevrolet-powered supercar from Briton Lee Noble is headed to the United States, possibly in 2011 or 2012.

Powered by either a 638-hp supercharged LS9 V8 or a 480-hp LS3 V8, Noble's new Fenix supercar will aim for Ferrari 458 Italia performance at about half the price, a performance-price offer that served Nobel well at his previous company, Noble Automotive.

"The Chevy engines have partly been chosen because they have global homologation and sales in the U.S. are in the plan, although an exact date is still to be set," the company said.

The Fenix's Chevy V8 will be mid-mounted, in-line, in a steel spaceframe chassis and mated to a six-speed Graziano transmission equipped with a conventional stick shift.

Unlike many of the specialist sports cars created in Britain, the Fenix comes with the strong pedigree of its creator, Lee Noble.

Noble has designed a number of successful kit cars and more recently built up Noble Automotive, fabled for its excellent M12 and M400, designs since sold to onetime U.S. partner 1g Racing of Ohio.

But a couple of years ago Noble left the company after a wrangle with the new owners and the Fenix--a play on words of a phoenix rising from the ashes--is his first new car since then.

Like his previous designs, the Fenix will rely on a carefully tuned wishbone suspension all-round for its driving pleasure, eschewing electronic driving aids such as traction and stability control.

The Fenix will be fully built in South Africa by Hi-Tech, the company that previously supplied bodies to Noble. Prototypes will soon start testing in South Africa ahead of a production startup in late summer.

In Britain, where the Fenix will first be sold, the LS3-powered model will start at about $112,000 and the LS9 model at $144,000. A Ferrari 458 Italia, by comparison, is priced at close to $255,000 in Britain.

By Julian Rendell