Morgan Plus 8 | Features | octane

30 May 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Morgan Plus 8 | Features | octane
Morgan Plus 8

Forty-four years after its debut, the Plus 8 is back – time with 4.8 litres of BMW and 21st-century technology under classic curves

We’re away from a roundabout on the of a Midlands town. It’s evening and the road is empty, and out cruising in Morgan’s new Plus 8. this thing have control?’ asks my car-mad who’s a keen vintage So I floor the accelerator.

The four bellow a V8 battlecry, and the back of the car steps sideways as the tyres up the fight. And we’re in third at the time. No response is necessary: if is traction control fitted to Morgan, then it ain’t up to the

Hooligan behaviour, certainly, but the 8 has always been that of a car. The 3.5-litre Rover of 1968 was the classic combination of a big in a light car, and this BMW-powered reincarnation takes simple formula to the extreme. You have to be a mathematical genius to out that 367bhp in a car weighing equates to considerably more 300bhp per tonne.

Fortunately, there’s much to the new Plus 8 than simply an of power.

The Rover-engined Plus 8 in production a surprisingly long and remains Morgan’s single model about 6000 The first prototype (which a Buick version of the V8 that was then still evaluating for its own was finished in February 1967, and the production cars were in March 2004, to be superseded by the new Aero 8. Along the way it evolved 3.9- and 4.6-litre engine switched from SU carburettors to and then to Lucas fuel and grew physically wider.

But didn’t change was the Plus raison d’Ϊtre: 911 Turbo-humbling allied to steam-engine torque. OK, so the quality was old-school Morgan the was as old as the company itself, consisting of pillars at the front and a leaf-sprung axle at the rear but, who cared?

All this changed at the end of the though. By now well into its decade of production, the Rover could no longer handle the and technical demands of the 21st And Morgan itself, stung by media snipes that it was backward-looking, wanted to reinvent

It did that in a suitably dramatic way by the BMW-engined, Chris Lawrence-developed 8 roadster at the Geneva Motor in 2000.

For many, though, the 8 was a step-change too far. Enthusiasts the performance but were much convinced by the cross-eyed looks. I the feelings of misgivings I experienced on a pre-launch example at the factory, and I in the position of having to decide to spend £50,000 for the privilege of one.

In truth, it didn’t that bad but the Morgan … what it likes and likes it knows, and for them the Aero 8 was a Picasso portrait hung in a previously stocked with

So, for 2012, the company has followed the many would have to see it take in 2000. The chassis is Aero 8, with the latest of BMW’s N62-series V8, and it’s in Morgan’s now-familiar Superformed panels; but the style is unmistakably albeit funked-up with 21st-century Italian alloy and, on this example the Geneva show car lurid paint.

Initially, we were disappointed not to see the exhausts that are an option on the SuperSports coupé. That didn’t last long. To put it the Plus 8 makes the most spine-tingling, melodious, inspiring yes, loud V8 music ever heard.

It’s coarse and you can keep the decibels if you need to, but the noise alone the £85,000 asking price halfway palatable.

The good is that there’s a lot more to about the Plus 8 than the sound it makes. We’ve hinted at its performance; well, the is literally breathtaking, in that if you the throttle hard, the resultant in your back is enough to the air from your lungs or so it The quoted 0-60mph time is 4.5 and there’s so much torque it scarcely matters which you’re in at the time.

Morgan Plus 8

As for top speed claims 155mph, presumably the (double-lined) hood up for aerodynamic although we’d guess a Plus 8 with no additional front or rear would be pretty exciting well then. Hood down, we can that the Plus 8 remains civilised into three-figure it’s a bit breezy around the of your neck, but that’s scarves are for.

At 5ft 9in across that’s 1751mm in the new the new Plus 8 is a whole foot than the 1970 original in our pictures, and that translates a cockpit that’s perfectly for modern humans who have, we say, benefited from a substantial diet than generations. There’s plenty of although on this left-hand-drive at least the limitations of fitting a between two running boards that there’s no space for a footrest.

Sensibly, Morgan has the original car’s dashboard that has the speedometer and rev-counter in the middle of the dash, so taller don’t have to duck in order to read instruments by a steering wheel rim. a major irritation on the Aeromax and and while the central location fine, we’d love to see introduce a head-up display onto the windscreen there’s next challenge, chaps!

Beneath the bespoke alloy and between the Aero 8-derived lies 4.8 litres of BMW’s V8, bolted to a six-speed BMW manual or, if you prefer, a six-speed ZF automatic. The ’box is lovely to use, light and sweet-shifting, and clutch and are just as pleasant; the latter very progressive and powerful, and you notice them in normal which is the best compliment you can

Oh, and there isn’t any traction We checked.

If we have any criticism of the less a criticism, more an it’s that it’s slightly lazy to respond but sharpens-up quickly, such you can over-input if you’re not anticipating it and allowance accordingly. But since is a prototype car, straight out of and generously entrusted to us with zero miles on the clock, it be unfair to read too much this we remember all too well our back from Italy in the Aero SuperSports (Octane whose alarming high-speed tendencies turned out to be due to a batch of track rod ends with tolerances

And that brings us to Morgan’s noir for so many years in relation to the original Plus 8 the quality. Be not afraid. The new car doesn’t your internal organs the time you encounter a bit of broken OK, the ride is on the firm side, but it gets uncomfortable and it would be acceptable in any performance car, mind a Morgan.

You could happily drive this 8 a long distance and would stirred, but not shaken.

That’s less true of John 1970 Plus 8, a well-campaigned car was owned for many years by Holden, of accessory retailer Vintage Classic. Both and Motor tested a similar 8 when new; the former that the ride was ‘decidedly over second-class roads’, the latter said, ‘On two surfaces, the ride is so bad that suffers more than do the

Morgan Plus 8
Morgan Plus 8
Morgan Plus 8
Morgan Plus 8
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