By a show of hands, how many of you have heard of the British supercar manufacturer Noble Automotive? Not very many. Well then, even less of you have heard of the Noble’s sister car, the Rossion Q1. This is a pretty unusual car that deserves some attention, but before we delve into the Q1, it is necessary to cover a little backstory first.
Noble Automotive was founded in 1999 by former Ascari engineer Lee Noble. He built the first model, the M10, in his garage. Noble’s formula is simple: build high-performance sports cars that are also affordable. Nearly every one of his cars uses a mid-engine layout built around a lightweight space frame chassis.
Noble’s most popular creation was the M400, a mid-engined supercar that was built in South Africa by Hi-Tech Automotive (which you may remember from my post about the AC 378GT Zagato). This was the car that really put Noble on the map. Instead of borrowing a drivetrain from Chevrolet or BMW, the Noble used a twin-turbo 3.0-liter V6 Duratec engine from Ford. Just 220 of these cars were imported to the US, which makes them pretty darn rare.
Production of the M400 ceased in 2007 as Noble rolled out the M600, which is powered by a Volvo engine. That isn’t the end of the line for the M400, though. Noble sold the production rights to the car to 1G Racing in Ohio. That company has taken the original M400 design, given it some updates, and released it onto the market as the Rossion Q1 starting in 2008.
According to the 1G Racing, the twin-turbo V6 in the Rossion Q1 pumps out a healthy 450 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque. Not bad for a Taurus engine! The whole car weighs a scant 2,417 lbs – about the same as the legendary Ferrari F40. Its feather weight allows the Q1 to sprint from 0-60mph in a very quick 3.2 seconds and a top speed of 189 mph.
The Rossion Q1 is a made-to-order car, so you won’t see very many of them around. In fact, this is the first and only one I have ever seen. The chassis can be purchased for around $73,000 without the drivetrain, or around $95,000 with the engine installed.
I think the Q1 is a pretty cool looking car. It reminds me of Factory Five Racing’s GTM Supercar. What do you think of the Rossion Q1? Do you like it, and why or why not?