If there’s one automaker that’s more exclusive than Ferrari, that would have to be Morgan Motor Company. Of course, the comparison is somewhat silly given the products that come from these companies, but Morgan is one of those manufacturers that builds less than 1,000 vehicles a year. What’s more, certain cars have a waiting list of up to six months. That’s because each car is assembled by hand, starting with the wooden frame and ending with the hand-formed, aluminum body. Sure, nothing’s cooler than a Ferrari badge nowadays, but Morgan’s old-fashioned ways are darn impressive in my book.One less-known fact about this British company is that it has a Special Projects Division.

This means Morgan can build bespoke, one-off vehicles just like the big boys from Ferrari, Lambo and Jaguar Land Rover. They don’t do it very often, but you’d better be prepared to stand in awe when such an automobile comes out of Malvern, England. If you fancy the classy yet modern looks of the Aero Coupe, then Morgan’s latest custom vehicle will leave you impressed. Meet the Morgan SP1, essentially the production version of the 2009 LifeCar concept!

Click past the jump to read more about the Morgan SP1.

  • 2014 Morgan SP1
  • Year:
    2014
  • Make:
  • Engine:
    V6
  • Displacement:
    3.7 L
  • 0-60 time:
    4.3 sec. (Est.)
  • Top Speed:
    175 mph (Est.)
  • Price:
    250000 (Est.)
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • body style:

Exterior

2014 Morgan SP1 Exterior
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2014 Morgan SP1 Exterior
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2014 Morgan SP1 Exterior
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When viewed from the front, the SP1 is nothing but a slightly revised Aero Coupe. But things change rather dramatically around back, where the SP1 displays a completely redesigned rear end. Gone is the smooth and rounded section of the Aero Coupe, which is now replaced by a squared-off fascia and a shooting-brake-like roof that reminds us of Ferrari’s unique 250 GT "Breadvan". The muscular rear fenders are still in place, but the tiny taillights have been replaced by four larger units in a C6 Corvette-like arrangement.

The side view also provides a different perspective. It’s not just the reshaped roof, but also the way the rear end was cut, the reshaped doors and the full rims, which resemble those seen on Bonneville Salt Flats record cars.

As with most Morgans, the hand-formed aluminum body sits on a wooden frame. This time however, Morgan used ash wood and African bubinga red hardwood, as requested by the customer who will be driving this vehicle from now on. The SP1 was then painted in a complex, multi-coat finish for a bright-red/orange appearance.

Interior

2014 Morgan SP1 Interior
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2014 Morgan SP1 Interior
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2014 Morgan SP1 Drawings
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The cabin is equally stunning, with acres of wood covering the dashboard, the door panels, and even the floor. The steering wheels is a classy combination of wood and aluminum, resembling that of a speed boat. The dashboard is as simple as it gets, and the center console that runs from under the dashboard toward the back is a boxy, aluminum piece. Most of the door panels are wrapped in leather.

The most intriguing part of the cockpit is on the ceiling, where the drive r must activate a series of aircraft-style toggle switches to start the engine. Is this cool or what? On the tech side of things, the SP1 comes with an infotainment system controlled by an iPad fixed to the dashboard by hand-stitched leather straps.

Drivetrain

2014 Morgan SP1
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The unique SP1 is motivated by the same 3.7-liter, V-6 powerplant found in the Morgan Roadster. The Ford-sourced mill that generates 280 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque in the Roadster benefits from a custom ECU setup, but no official output figures were released. However, it’s safe to assume the SP1 can sprint from 0 to 60 mph in less than six seconds on its way to a top speed of about 140 mph.

Prices

Morgan hasn’t divulged how much they charged for the SP1, but "very expensive" seems to be right term here.

Competition

Ferrari F12 TRS

2014 Ferrari F12 TRS High Resolution Exterior
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All unique, custom-built cars come at a price, but we know they’re really priceless to their owners. Finding a proper competitor for the SP1 is next to impossible given its classic cues and unknown sticker, so we’ll have to go with the latest bespoke creation to come from Ferrari, one of the most renowned manufacturer when it comes to one-off vehicles. We are talking, of course, about the Ferrari F12 TRS, a totally unique supercar crafted by the company’s Special Projects division that is based on an F12berlinetta.

The familiar F12 got a reshaped nose, a large window in its long hood and, probably the most spectacular feature, a cutaway roof that pays tribute to the legendary 250 Testa Rossa. The engine of the beast remained unchanged, but we have a feeling the owner isn’t complaining one bit about the 730 horsepower produced by the 6.3-liter, V-12 powerplant. Pricing? Only Ferrari and the loaded customer know much the TRS cost.

Conclusion

2014 Morgan SP1 Exterior
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Judging by the manufacturing processes through which Morgan builds its bodies and chassis, it’s safe to assume that each and every Morgan is actually unique. But the SP1 takes things up a notch, the way only a specifically designed vehicle can. Although it’s a vehicle someone will be driving during sunny weekends, the SP1 is in fact a concept car. One that says a lot about Morgan’s potential in today’s demanding custom-built vehicle market.

  • Leave it
    • * Obviously very expensive
    • * Morgan won’t make more than one

Press Release

The Morgan SP1 (Special Project 1) is a one off, bespoke creation that has been commissioned through the Morgan Special Projects Division. The SP1 represents the true capabilities of Britain’s last privately owned car manufacturer and like every Morgan is as individual as its owner.

2014 Morgan SP1 Exterior
- image 566892

The SP1 was commissioned as a showcase vehicle to exemplify the impressive craftsmanship and flexibility exhibited in every Morgan car built. Taking inspiration from the 2009 LifeCar concept vehicle, the body has been entirely redesigned with improved proportions and a greatly enhanced on-road presence.

The Design

At the heart of the rigid steel chassis is a naturally aspirated 3.7 litre Ford V6 engine, as used in the Morgan V6 Roadster. A new suspension setup, a bespoke Engine Management System and custom sports exhaust enhance the driving dynamics of the SP1. The wooden frame of the coach-built body is constructed using Ash Wood, combined with African Bubinga Red Hardwood chosen by the client to represent his business life spent on that continent.

The tonal contrast between these woods is most apparent in the joints that hold each part of the frame together, purposefully left exposed as a reminder of the inherent knowledge accumulated by Morgan craftsmen over 105 years of working with wood.

2014 Morgan SP1 Exterior
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The aluminium body has been hand formed over a wooden ’egg box’ construction, using an English wheel. To ensure structural and aerodynamic excellence, cutting-edge digital design and simulation tools were used to prove surface styling prior to lengthy fabrication.

The sculptural form of the SP1 has been highlighted using a striking multi-coat paint finish. Natural aniline leather is found at each point of contact and will wear and distress with use, maturing with each journey the client undertakes.

The component details interact with the driver in a most engaging way - for example, after the car has been armed electronically, a sequence of roof mounted toggle switches are flicked to ’prepare for flight’ before a final toggle switch starts the engine.

2014 Morgan SP1 Exterior
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The SP1 features an infotainment system, driven through an iPad that has been installed in the fascia and secured by dual hand-stitched leather straps. A reflection of both Morgan’s willingness to embrace the future, whilst remaining constant to its coach-built craft roots. The SP1 truly celebrates the blend of craftsmanship and technology that Morgan is so famous for, and is the perfect way to launch Morgan Special Projects, encompassing everything that this unique and highly skilled division of Morgan represents.

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