Morgan Plans to Inch 20 Years Into the Future With a New High-Performance Sports Car
A new car from Morgan, here’s something you barely ever hearby Michael Fira, on
Morgan, the family-owned British car manufacturer that was one of the last in the world to rely on wood for its body structure, announces a new flagship sports car will arrive by the mid-2020s in both coupe and roadster forms.
Since 1935, when Morgan released their first four-wheeled car, the 4-4, Morgan designs have strongly relied on the style of that era. Now, with a new sports car in the making, Morgan announced they too have moved on with the times - sort of - and the new design language will be based on the shapes of the 1960s.
The new and so far unnamed car will feature the same front engine rear-wheel-drive layout bolted to a versatile new box-section chassis that will find its way into a number of Morgan products over the next few years.
The new Morgan will still look very much as if it came straight from the past
When a company like Morgan announces that their forthcoming sports car is one that should reinvent the company, everyone stops from doing whatever they’re doing and listens. After all, Morgan has been building nearly identical cars - from the outside, at least - for over 80 years.
The new model, which is a result of years of research into the direction the company should take, will only be available in another five years' time but its riveted aluminum box-section chassis is almost ready.
According to Autocar, the chassis "will have its first production application next year in a model that uses the brand’s current classic architecture, to be launched as part of Morgan’s forthcoming 110th-anniversary celebrations."
Morgan’s Managing Director, Steve Morris, underlined the fact that the new structure will be similar in size and weight with the one that was made for the Aero 8 which debuted all the way back in 2000 and spawned the AeroMax among others. Morris says that the new structure will make way for a roomier interior, hence the internal designation of ’the wide-bodied car,’ and will be twice as stiff as the one it replaces.
The car is being constructed fully in-house, the project being conducted by a team of 30 people. Design chief Jon Wells said that certain typically-Morgan design elements will be incorporated into the new model. According to Autocar, "he lists a short front overhang, a longer rear overhang with a low rear deck, round headlights, the driver located behind the car’s centre line, a rounded ‘mouth’, elegant front wings whose highest point is over the car’s front wheels and, above all, a look of coachbuilt authenticity, enhanced by great care with surfacing and positioning of shut lines."
"Our task is to take the charm of classic motoring and make it relevant," Wells said, "so that it can be respected and desired as a good piece of modern design." Part of that modern design is what goes on under the skin. While Morgan doesn’t want to disclose the performance figures of their new car just yet, you can expect it to be available with a variety of engine and gearbox options.
The entry-level version should house a supercharged 6-cylinder engine capable of over 350-horsepower which would translate to a top speed north of 150 mph and a 0 to 62 mph time of about 5 seconds.
Morgan clearly stated they want the new model to be available with electric propulsion as well, a direction that was showcased as early as 2012 when the British constructor unveiled the Plus E concept car.
The entry-level model will become a direct replacement, in terms of performance, of the Plus 8 which was discontinued after Morgan ended their partnership with BMW, who was delivering the 4.8-liter naturally-aspirated engines. The end of this partnership also saw the demise of the streamlined Aero 8 model which had 370 horsepower under the elongated hood when the final iteration came about a few years back.
As such, the stage has been cleared, and Morgan can deploy their new flagship model to complement their current lineup consisting of the 4/4, Plus 4, Roadster, and the 3-Wheeler.
Read our full review on the 2015 Morgan Aero 8.
Read our full review on the 2014 Morgan Plus 4.
Read our full review on the 2011 Morgan Three-Wheeler.
Read our full review on the 2012 Morgan Eva GT.