£200,000 car to be built in Leicestershire
One of the world's fastest cars is to be built in Leicestershire – and will set buyers back a high-octane £200,000.
The Noble M600 supercar will compete head on with Ferraris, Lamborghinis and the Bugatti Veyron.
Peter Boutwood, managing director of Noble Sports Cars, with the new Noble M600 car
The car will be hand-made at a factory near Braunstone and up to 50 a year will be produced.
The first one is due on the roads in November.
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Noble managing director Peter Boutwood said: "There's worldwide interest in this. This will be one of the fastest cars in the world."
With a top speed of 225mph, the M600 comes just behind the 250mph Veyron and the 240mph McLaren F1.
It will do 0-62mph in three seconds, compared to the Bugatti's 0-60mph in 2.7 seconds.
The car's body is made from carbon fibre, the same material used on Formula 1 racing cars. This makes the M600 both light and strong, and also easy to handle.
Noble, which employs 15 people, is relocating from its home in Barwell to larger premises at the Meridian Business Park, close to the M1, to accommodate the new car.
Mr Boutwood added: "Although it's £200,000, when you look at its performance compared to others of its ilk it's good value.
"It is also made from carbon fibre, which is a very expensive way of making a motor car."
Hilton Holloway, associate editor of Autocar magazine, said: "It's certainly on a par or close to the world's fastest car. There's hardly any difference to a Bugatti Veyron.
"It's aimed at people who are very serious driving enthusiasts."
At 4.4 litres and 650-brake horse power, the M600's V8 Volvo engine is more than six times more powerful than a mid-range Ford Fiesta and will use more than twice the fuel to go the same distance.
The car's traction control system, which maintains grip to help the driver steer, brake and accelerate properly, is deactivated by a missile launch switch from a Tornado fighter jet.
Noble will initially make one M600 every three weeks, stepping up to one a week by the middle of next year.
The company, founded by sportscar designer and former racing driver Lee Noble in 2000, has previously made cars costing between £45,000 and £75,000. Mr Noble left the company last year.
Noble cars have been reviewed on the BBC's Top Gear programme and presenters Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond have sung their praises.
David Hughes, chief executive of Prospect Leicestershire, the agency charged with attracting businesses to the county, said: "This is a fantastic coup for the county. Hopefully this will attract other prestigious companies here."