Morgan Plus 8 review (2012 onwards) – MSN Cars UK

8 Oct 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on Morgan Plus 8 review (2012 onwards) – MSN Cars UK
Morgan Plus 8

Summary

What – Morgan Plus 8 (2012 onwards)

Where – Malvern, England

Available – n ow

Dangerously alluring for anyone with a soft spot for motorcars, Morgan’s Plus 8 looks expensive and flawed but time at the wheel tends to wipe such concerns away.

We like – V8 performance, V8 soundtrack, unique looks.

We don’t like – hefty price tag, lack of safety equipment, lack of boot.

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First impressions

It was true in 1968 and it’s true now – you can’t beat the sound of a V8. The difference is that new cars running on eight cylinders tend to isolate their drivers from them with layer upon layer of metal, glass and sound-insulating fluff. Morgan’s Plus 8 is one of the few new cars that doesn’t, it seems as if it’s just you and that great charismatic lump of engine.

But then, this car has been around since 1968.

There are no airs, no graces and very few mod cons. What Morgan offers for the £85,000 price tag attached to the Plus 8 is a taste of motoring from a different age – that and the unfettered rumble of a very big V8 engine. The question is whether that’s enough?

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Performance

Contrary to the impression you get when you stare out over the long multi-louvered bonnet of the Plus 8, this is not a big car. At 4m long and 1.7m wide, it’s got the footprint of a large-ish supermini and it weighs 1,100kg, which also puts it in the small family car ballpark. Of course, small family cars do not have 367hp V8 engines.

With all that power and 370lb ft of torque, Morgan says the Plus 8 can see 60mph in 4.5s and blast on to 155mph. It’s fiendishly quick and a match for the other performance cars that occupy its elevated price point. There’s no traction control or stability control so you need to exercise plenty of caution when feeding the power on – particularly as the throttle pedal feels feather-light underfoot.

the rising, throbbing sound from the exhausts is bouncing back at you off the scenery

The damp roads of our test route were layered with autumn leaf mush and any over exuberance with the throttle on the exit of corners had the tail wagging like the flaps of the leather flying helmet that really should come as a no-cost option on this car. All the time the rising, throbbing sound from the exhausts is bouncing back at you off the scenery. It’s quite an experience.

Morgan Plus 8

Ride and handling

The Plus 8’s steering is power assisted and quite light while the gear change has an old-school mechanical weight to it. Despite issues with deploying its power on the very slippery roads where we tested the car, the handling is quite predictable, even benign. You’re left in no doubt when the grip levels are running out and the steering feels quick enough to rectify any problems.

The car is quite stiffly sprung, so low speed bumps can be jarring, but when you get going the ride is far better than you’d guess by looking at the apparently ancient bodywork. In dry weather, the Plus 8 would actually be a decent long distance car, even more so if it had a boot.

Interior

There is no boot and the rest of the interior does without a lot of the things you expect to find in a modern car too. For a vehicle costing £85,000 it does feel quite basic but the build quality is passable and whatever isn’t dipped in chrome is wrapped in leather.

If you do need to take anything with you on your journey, it will have to be squeezed into the tiny void behind the seats, dropped into the passenger footwell or attached to the optional external luggage rack with bungee cords. If it’s still there on arrival, consider the journey a success.

It’s definitely a car that works best in the sunshine

There’s a start button at the centre of the dash for stoking the V8 into life, three (count ‘em) windscreen wipers and big old-school instruments mounted centrally on the dash.

For the purpose of keeping all this dry there is a canvas roof that’s less that proficient at keeping moisture on the outside. The Morgan Plus 8 is definitely a car that works best in the sunshine.

Economy and safety

The 55-litre tank means that even with respectable combined cycle economy of 23mpg, you don’t get that far between fill-ups. The CO2 emissions are pegged at 282g/km, although there is an automatic gearbox option that lowers this to 256g/km while boosting economy to 26mpg.

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