|Ultima Mk. 1|
|aka||Ultima Mark One|
|Body Style||Two-door fixed-head coupe|
|Transmission||5-speed Manual, rear-wheel drive|
|Engine|| 2.6 litre V6 from a Renault 30|
2.0 litre four-cylinder
|Similar||Lola and Dallara racing cars|
Noble envisaged a car with which he could use in the British Group K championship, but had the looks and build processes of a Le Mans racer. The Mk. 1 has traits of the Porsche 956 in it, along with hints of many other typical World GT racers, and looked quite dramatic when launched in 1983 to the British press.
The body itself was fashioned from mould-breaking (especially for the British cottage car industry) materials - for example, glass-reinforced plastic was used, which was strengthened in areas with carbon fibre. This produced an exceptionally strong and light bodywork. Beneath the lightweight skin lay a square-tube steel frame chassis, which was both exceptionally rigid and light. The frame housed a 2.6 litre V6 engine, pinched from the achingly mundane Renault 30 saloon car, along with the transmission from the same parentage. These components were chosen for their low price but reasonable high performance. Front suspension and steering systems were taken from the Ford Cortina parts bin, along with the front brakes, and Renault brakes were used for the rear. Renault uprights were also used for the rear.
The Mk. 1 proved a strong start for Noble, but use of the car highlighted a few flaws. These flaws would be fixed with the successor, the Ultima Mk. 2.
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|Ted Marlow||Corporate Website||independent|