Another company that’s celebrating the century mark is Morgan. Unlike Mercedes or Audi, Morgan has not evolved much in the last 100 years. It’s a source of pride for Morgan that the cars are still built by hand, and even its more modern cars like the Aero 8 still use wood in part of the construction. So when Morgan announces a new model, we tend to take notice.
This past weekend the Aero SuperSports premiered at the Pebble Beach of Italy, Villa d’Este Concorso d’Eleganza. Based on the AeroMax coupe, the SuperSports has two aluminum roof panels that turn it into a targa. It’s powered by the same 4.8-liter BMW-sourced V8 engine that’s in the AeroMax. So we suspect it will make a similar 367 hp. It will enter into production in early 2010 and will be priced at £127,000 (about $185,000 at the current rates).
That may sound like a lot of money, but a Morgan is so much more than just a car. It stands for some of the world’s best craftsmanship and displays old world opulence at its finest. The release of the AeroMax coupe and SuperSports have helped Morgan join the modern era as well. Refinements to the chassis, engine and styling have made this car one of the most desirable cars on the road.
Hit the jump for more details on the Morgan Aero SuperSports.
The Morgan Motor Company is not a company that comes to mind for every automotive enthusiast. It produces a very low volume of vehicles and even fewer of those make it out of England. Surprisingly enough, Morgan is one of the oldest motor companies on earth and has been continuously in production since 1909. Most car companies that last this long have little to no ties with the original founder, but Morgan has remained a truly family company throughout this entire time. The Centenary celebrations for Morgan included one of their biggest releases ever, the Aero SuperSports.
As with every Morgan, this new model was designed and engineered by the in house team. They wanted a car that could truly compete in terms of performance against others in the market and knew the answer was to make the most lightweight components. The striking exterior lines of this car are brought to life through the use of superformed aluminum. This same process is used in the construction of aircraft, and Morgan considers their craftsman to be no less skilled. As opposed to the assembly line approach that major manufacturers choose, Morgan has remained true to its roots and remains supremely British like its Bentley counterpart by making hand-built cars.
This technology was first used by Morgan on the original AeroMax model, which had a limited run of 100 cars. It received acclaim from the entire automotive press and customers alike. With demand on the rise Morgan saw an opportunity to offer an even more special version called the SuperSports. Perhaps the most exciting feature of the new car where the two detachable roof panels that turn the car into a targa. These lightweight aluminum panels fit neatly into the back of the car while off and are on call in case weather on the English country side quickly turns sour.
The interior of the car is perhaps the most untouched area of the car when compared to other Morgan models, and that’s not really a problem. This car is about the driving experience and keeping things simple, but luxurious. The minimalist dash completes every function demanded by the modern driver, but remains clean and simple in its design. High quality leather and several different wood grain options are on call from Morgan to help create a desirable space.
Performance and Chassis
Use of lightweight aluminum has also made its way into the chassis of this car and the major components are adhesively bonded for added rigidity. On top of that sits an Ash frame, onto which the aluminum bodywork is attached. Morgan was able to learn much from its racing developments and incorporate that knowledge into its road cars. The Aero Eight GT3 competes on the International FIA GT3 championship and has been a strong performer for the company.
One area where Morgan has outsourced for parts is the engine. They have used the BMW 4.8-liter V8 as the powerplant of choice. This engine has been in the BMW lineup for some time and is more than up to the challenge. Its 367hp can be heard loud and clear through the dual exit exhaust pipes that comes out in front of the rear wheel. This engine, combined with the 1.6 inch drop in ride height, allow the SuperSports to reach 60mph in about 4.5 seconds and a top speed in the 170mph range.
Pricing and Competition
The Morgan company has been so different from everyone else for such a long period of time that competition is hard to find. Many cars, and much cheaper cars, can best the performance figures of any Morgan. At the same time, this car is not about all out speed or track time. This car is built to be driven by an enthusiast of both classics and modern technology. Its craftsmanship is unparalleled in the sports car realm and the styling is a work of art.
Charles Morgan, Grandson of the founder said "The Morgan Aero SuperSports is a luxurious flamboyant sports car which also remains true to Morgan’s philosophy of lightweight minimalist simplicity. It is a celebration of our love of cars and the romance of travel and is a fitting model to announce during Morgan’s Centenary year."
Drawn by Matthew Humphries, and engineered for production by the experienced "Morgan Design" team, the new Aero Super Sports is due to enter production in early 2010. A deposit of £25,000 is required to ensure the supply of one of these exciting new models. It is anticipated to cost around £127,000 including VAT.