Introduced in 2001, the Aero 8 was notable for several reasons. First, it was the first new Morgan design since 1948. Second, it was also the first Morgan to employ an aluminum chassis and frame as opposed to the wooden body tub and steel chassis in previous models. It was also criticized for its "crosseyed" headlamps, which Morgan fixed in 2007. Replaced by the Aero SuperSports and Aero Coupe, the Aero 8 just made a comeback at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show. as Morgan’s range-topping roadster model.

Obviously based on the current Aero Coupe, the Aero 8 features similar exterior styling, an almost identical cockpit, and a BMW-sourced V-8 engine. Of course, the Aero 8 comes with a few unique features of its own and plenty of options buyers can use to customize their roadster into a one-of-a-kind rig. The new Aero 8 will hit showrooms as a limited-edition model for the 2016 model year, when Morgan celebrates 15 years since launching the nameplate, but don’t get your hopes up on seeing it in the U.S. any time soon.

Updated 03/03/2015: Morgan unveiled the 2015 Aero 8 at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show and announced it will enter production in the fourth quarter of 2015.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2015 Morgan Aero 8.

  • 2015 Morgan Aero 8
  • Year:
    2015
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    V8
  • Transmission:
    6-speed manual
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    367
  • MPG(Cty):
    16
  • MPG(Hwy):
    32
  • Torque @ RPM:
    370
  • Displacement:
    4.8 L
  • 0-60 time:
    4.5 sec. (Est.)
  • Top Speed:
    170 mph
  • Price:
    155000 (Est.)
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • body style:

Exterior

2015 Morgan Aero 8 High Resolution Exterior
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2015 Morgan Aero 8 High Resolution Exterior
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2015 Morgan Aero 8 High Resolution Exterior
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The roadster sports the company’s current design language, which is built around retro-inspired fenders, large headlamps flanking the horseshoe front grille, and slim, horizontal taillights out back

Not surprising, the new Aero 8 is heavily based on the Aero Coupe/Supersports series. The roadster sports the company’s current design language, which is built around retro-inspired fenders, large headlamps flanking the horseshoe front grille, a long engine hood and slim, horizontal taillights out back. It’s like the Aero 8 was never discontinued and received a facelift for the 2016 model year.

That’s not to say the Aero 8 is just an Aero Coupe with the roof chopped off. The roadster received a slightly revised front bumper with a reshaped intake underneath the trademark grille, while the rear fascia gained a diffuser-like piece and a pair of round exhaust outlets. The presence of the latter is a bit surprising, as the teaser photos suggested the Aero 8 will feature a side-mounted exhaust.

Also new is the rear-opening clam-shell boot, which is used to hide the soft- or the hard-top. The metal roof is available as an option and transforms the Aero 8 into a coupe in a matter of seconds. As with most Morgans, the Aero 8 will go on sale with infinite combinations of exterior paints and a laundry list of options that will turn each unit into a one-off.

Exterior Dimensions

Length 4,147 MM (163.26 Inches)
Width 1,751 MM (68.93 Inches)
Height 1,248 MM (49.13 Inches)
Dry weight 1,180 KG (2601 LBS)

Interior

2015 Morgan Aero 8 Interior
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A new air conditioning system makes the Aero 8 more usable in warmer climates

Similarities to the Aero Coupe continue on the inside. The dashboard features the same classy design with conventional instrument gauges and several buttons and switches on the center stack. There’s wood covering the top of the dash and door panels, as well as the center console, where both the gear-shift and hand-brake levers have chrome surrounds. The seats and the door panels come wrapped in fine leather that can be ordered in a wide array of colors and finishes.

A new air conditioning system makes the Aero 8 more usable in warmer climates, while the optional touchscreen media system brings the retro-styled roadster into the 21st century. Other options include low-slung carbon seats and bespoke detailing packs.

Drivetrain

2015 Morgan Aero 8 High Resolution Exterior
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The aluminum chassis under the Aero 8 benefits from improved torsional stiffness, a revised front end, new suspension, anti-roll bars, and a limited-slip differential sourced from BMW

Morgan has yet to release drivetrain info as of 03/03/2015, but it’s very likely the Aero 8 will also receive a BMW-sourced V-8 powerplant. The biggest mystery here is whether the Brits will continue to use the current 4.8-liter unit or borrow BMW’s more recent, twin-turbo, 4.4-liter mill. The former cranks out 367 horsepower and 370 pound-feet of torque in the Aero Coupe, enabling it to charge from 0 to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds. Top speed is 170 mph, while fuel economy is estimated at 32 mpg highway and 16 mpg city on the British cycle.

I expect these numbers to see some improvement regardless of the V-8 engine Morgan chooses to drop between the front wheels. Both the manual and automatic transmissions are likely to continue with minor updates.

Despite not having any engine details to go by, Morgan did say the aluminum chassis under the Aero 8 benefits from improved torsional stiffness, a revised front end, new suspension, anti-roll bars, and a limited-slip differential sourced from BMW. All these updates will make the Aero 8 a more responsive and better handling sports car. ABS, power steering, and cruise control come standard.

Drivetrain Specifications

Engine BMW 4799CC V8
Gearbox BMW Man 6spd
Max Power 367 HP
Max Torque 370 LB-FT
Performance 0 – 62 mph 4.5 seconds
Top Speed 170 MPH
Power to weight 315 bhp / tonne
Urban mpg 16 MPG (18.2l /100km)
Extra urban 32 MPG (8.7l /100km)
Combined 23 MPG (12.11 /100km)
CO2 282 g/km

Prices

2015 Morgan Aero 8 High Resolution Exterior
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It’s way too early to talk about pricing with the Aero 8 scheduled to enter production in the fourth-quarter of 2015, but expect a sticker that’s higher than the Aero Coupe’s, which starts from £99,950 (about $154,400 as of 02/27/2015). Morgan says the Aero 8 will become available in limited numbers, which should also contribute to a hefty sticker compared to the Aero Coupe.

Competition

David Brown Automotive Speedback GT

2015 David Brown Automotive Speedback GT High Resolution Exterior
- image 600136
The Jaguar XKR-based Dave Brown Automotive Speedback GT is modern British awesomeness wrapped up in a neo-retro package.

When it comes to modern cars with retro styling and V-8 power, there are very few choices to consider. One of them is David Brown’s Speedback GT, a rebodied Jaguar XKR with Aston Martin DB5-inspired cues and enough luxury features to compete with the big boys of the industry. Motivating the Speedback GT is the XKR’s supercharged, 5.0-liter V-8. The 503 ponies and 461 pound-feet of torque travel to the rear wheels through a six-speed automatic and enable the coupe to hit 60 mph from a standing start in 4.6 seconds. Top speed is limited at 155 mph.

The Speedback GT doesn’t come cheap though, as it retails from a whopping £495,000 before taxes and options, which converts to around $765,000 as of 12/24/2014. Ouch!

Jensen GT

2016 Jensen GT High Resolution Exterior
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Also hailing from Britain, the GT is set to break cover at the Geneva Motor Show as Jensen’s first production model in 13 years. Although the specifics are still being kept under wraps, the manufacturer revealed the GT will mix parts used by previous company models, including the iconic Interceptor, and a GM-sourced, 6.4-liter V-8 engine. Judging by that, the GT should be more powerful than the Aero 8 with at least 500 horsepower at its disposal.

Also, this neo-retro styled grand tourer is also likely to cost more than the Morgan, but I don’t expect it to fetch more than the highly exclusive David Brown Speedback GT.

Conclusion

2015 Morgan Aero 8 High Resolution Exterior
- image 619849

As the company’s first new design since 1948, it’s not surprising the Aero 8 was selected to celebrate the platform’s 15th anniversary. The updated chassis and the new features inside and out should keep Morgan enthusiasts happy and bring more customers into the company’s small shop. The drivetrain of the Aero 8 is still a mystery, but at least we know for sure there’s a turbocharged V-8 churning at least 367 horsepower under that sculpted hood.

  • Leave it
    • * Just a revised Aero Coupe
    • * Very expensive
    • * Not for U.S. consumption
    • * Drivetrain and performance data not yet available

Press Release

The 2015 Morgan Aero 8 makes its global debut at the 85th International Geneva Motor show, 15 years since the launch of the original Aero Eight. Significant visual and mechanical changes make the 5th generation of this iconic model the most refined Morgan Aero product to date.

2015 Morgan Aero 8 High Resolution Exterior
- image 619837

Exterior

Styling of the new Aero 8 was influenced by classic open cars from the 1960s, reflecting a trend of long, fast and low shoulder lines and cabin focused body work. From above, the view echoes that of a boat deck, enhancing the sense of adventure and escapism.

A dramatic rear opening clam shell boot is used to both tension and hide the new double-lined mohair hood. Occupants are seated low in the vehicle, which in turn enables a sleek roof line and balanced vehicle proportions. The Aero 8 is available with an optional hardtop that transforms the car into a coupé with ease.

Interior

2015 Morgan Aero 8 High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Passenger experience has been at the forefront of the design process. New dashboard arrangements, real wood surrounds, textured box-woven carpets and fine leather trim enhance the new interior. The introduction of a new air conditioning system ensures that the car is more usable in warmer climates, a reflection of Morgan’s expansion into new markets across the globe. Optional touch screen media systems, low slung carbon seats and bespoke detailing packs add to Morgan’s already extensive options list.

Dynamics

The aluminium chassis benefits from improved torsional stiffness, a revised front end, all new suspension, anti-roll bars and a new BMW limited slip differential. The driver benefits from a more responsive and better handling sports car. ABS (with EBD), power steering, cruise control and airbags add further passenger convenience and safety.

Summary

2015 Morgan Aero 8 High Resolution Exterior
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This, the most refined Aero product to date, is a fitting evolution of Morgan’s most technologically advanced range of vehicles. The Aero 8 will enter production in Q4 2015 with limited production numbers available. Morgan tailors every car to align with the customer’s personal vision. With infinite combinations of paint, leather and a vast array of detail choices, every Aero built will be a one-off.

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