Morgan Plans to Inch 20 Years Into the Future With a New High-Performance Sports Car
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.
Morgan Celebrates The 110th Anniversary: Learn About 6 Most Important Cars It Has Produced
Morgan Motor Company celebrates the 110th anniversary next year. That’s more than a century, folks. I think this company definitely deserves massive attention as it is basically a love story written in pain, blood, and cars so amazing that every car enthusiast simply must fall in love with it.
It all started in 1909 when Henry Frederick Stanley Morgan installed a Peugeot engine in a tricycle he designed. Even then, in a time when small manufacturers produced a number of oddballs, his car was among the strangest with that small engine actually fitted at the front. It’s not surprising that Frederick maintained that eccentric style throughout the years. It all translated into the modern times, and now Morgan maintains that eccentric character despite only being a small family business.
Yet, with humble beginnings, but illustrious history, Morgan never really broke among the big ones. It stayed a niche producer, and after more than a century, it is among the best in its segment.
I will lead you through its history and present some of the most important cars Morgan ever endeavored to produce. Of course, we will start with the first one - the 1909 Morgan Runabout. The one with a Peugeot engine inside. Don’t worry, and I will also spark your imagination with the latest special edition cars the company has produced too.
First Morgan Aero GT Rolls Off The Production Line
Launched in 2001 as Morgan’s first new design in decades, the Aero 8 is living its final months on the market as we speak. Discontinued in 2010 and revived in 2015, the Aero 8 is going into the history books in 2018 with one final model called the Aero GT. Unveiled at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show, the GT is the company’s most extreme road-going model to date. Inspired by the GT3 model that raced at Le Mans in 2002 and 2004, the Aero GT is being built in just eight units, and the first car just rolled off the assembly line.
2018 Morgan Plus 8 50th Anniversary Edition
First introduced in 1968, the Morgan Plus 8 remained in production for 36 years until 2004, becoming one of the industry’s longest surviving nameplate. The roadster was revived in 2012 with minor updates and soldiered on for a few more years. Come 2018 and Morgan is putting an end to the Plus 8 model for good with the 50th Anniversary Edition. The limited-run Plus 8 obviously celebrates 50 years since the model was launched, but it also pays tribute to the car’s early motorsport days.
Unveiled at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show, the 50th Anniversary Edition also marks the end of the line for Morgan’s 4.8-liter V-8 engine. Borrowed from BMW in 2008, this unit remained in production at the company’s British facility a full seven years after the Germans stopped using it in models like the 5 Series, 6 Series, 7 Series, and X5. Morgan has yet to announce a replacement for the Plus 8, but a new model is probably under development. The body style will live on though through the 4/4, Plus 4, and Roadster versions, which use four-cylinder and V-6 engines.
Continue reading to learn more about the Morgan Plus 8 50th Anniversary Edition.
2019 Morgan Aero GT
Introduced in 2001, the Aero 8 marked the beginning of a new era for Morgan. Not only was it the first new design since 1948, but the Aero 8 was also the company’s first vehicle to use an aluminum chassis and frame instead of its traditional wooden body tun and steel chassis combo. It was kept in production until 2010, when Morgan launched the AeroMax coupe and the SuperSports Targa, and revived in 2015 with mild updates. Come 2018, and the Aero 8 is getting the ax again, but this time around production will end with a more extreme iteration that’s called the Aero GT. The big unveiling took place at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show, and only a handful will be built before the Aero 8 goes into the history books for good.
The Aero GT is described as a "gloves off" model, and Morgan says it was developed using the lessons learned from the company’s GT3 racing victories. Yes, it’s Morgan’s most extreme road-going model to date. The Aero GT is far from new though, as it was conceived during the development of the 2015 Morgan Aero 8. Morgan doesn’t say whether it wanted to shelve the project or not at first, but the Aero GT never saw the light of day until now. With production of the Aero 8 slated to come to an end this year, Morgan will close the production line with eight examples of the Aero GT. Let’s see what this new sports car has to offer in the review below.
Continue reading to learn more about the Aero GT.
Morgan Ends Production of the Aero 8 with Gorgeous, Le Mans-inspired Model
Launched in 2001, the Aero 8 was and remains Morgan’s first modern design since 1948. The sleek vehicle spawned a coupe, a Targa, and a race variant before it was discontinued in 2010, but it was brought back to life in 2015 with minor updates. Come 2018 and Morgan decided to discontinue the nameplate for good and crafted one final limited-edition model. Called the Aero GT, it was just unveiled at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show and will put an end to the Aero nameplate by the end of the year.
Morgan Celebrates 50 Years of its Most Iconic Model with Special Plus 8 Edition
British coachbuilder Morgan is getting ready to discontinue two of its iconic models with special-edition versions unveiled at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show. One of them is a 50th Anniversary Edition of the Plus 8, the brand’s crowning vehicle for a half a century. Unveiled back in 1968 and discontinued between 2004 and 2012, the Plus 8 gets a few special features for its 50th anniversary, before going out of production for good. More than 6,000 Plus 8s have been built so far, which makes this model the most successful in the company’s history.
Morgan’s Electric 3-Wheeler to Go into Production in 2018
Remember the three-wheeled electric car that Morgan unveiled in 2015 as a prototype and then as a production-ready model at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show? I’m talking about the EV3, an electric version of the famous 3-Wheeler with a revised front fascia. Introduced with full production plans in mind, the EV3 never made it past the limited-edition Selfridges Edition model, but this will change in 2018 according to recent reports.
MG E-Motion Is the Company’s Most Gorgeous Concept to Date
One of England’s most iconic carmakers, MG has had a rather tumultuous history in recent decades. Owned by no fewer than six companies since the late 1980s, including BMW, the brand was revived by China-based SAIC Motor in 2006 and renamed MG Motor UK Limited. Several models followed, including a couple of SUVs, a first for the automaker. But SAIC also developed some daring concept cars, the latest of which is the E-Motion. Launched at the 2017 Shanghai Motor Show, the E-Motion is MG’s "vision of the future" (oh boy, if I had a penny for each time I heard this phrase) and comes in the shape of a slender, sportback-style two-door coupe. Arguably the most appealing modern MG design to date, the E-Mission combines some of the company’s recent styling cues with several new features. There’s a big "starlight matrix" grille up front, a carbon-fiber splitter, and round headlamps "bringing inspiration from the London Eye," the giant Ferris wheel on the South Bank of the River Thames. I dig the new face of MG, but I have to admit that I see some Mazda inspiration in there.
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Start Your Kids Early With Morgan’s Kid-Sized Three-Wheeler
Just when you thought that finding different ways to get children engaged in motor racing had run its course, here comes Morgan with a literal vehicle that’s designed specifically for kids. It’s officially called the Morgan EV3 Junior, and it is a true sight to behold.
Before anybody starts questioning the build quality of the EV3 Junior, it’s worth mentioning that this is an actual Morgan, albeit shrunk in size for kids six years or older. It’s got a legitimate carbon fiber body, a wooden dashboard, and a little windscreen. Heck, it even has a hand-stitched leather interior, which I’m pretty sure you won’t see on any Tonka or Little Tykes toy cars.
But here’s the best part about the EV3 Junior: it also has a fully electric powertrain that’s capably of speeds of up to 10 miles per hour. Remember the electric McLaren P1 that McLaren unveiled last year? Its top speed was limited to three mph. Yep, this is the only time in automotive history that you’ll ever hear the words “a Morgan is three times faster than a McLaren” without actually lying about it.
Apart from the impressive build quality and performance credentials of the EV3 Junior, the little Morgan also comes in a choice of three standard colors: Sport Green, Sport Ivory, and Sport Red. If you’re not digging any of the three colors, you can opt to pay a little extra and dress up the car in any color that the British automaker has in its lineup. Even better, Morgan’s also offering sticker packs in case you want to class up the personalization of the car.
All told, the Morgan EV3 Junior is as good as it gets as far as legitimate junior cars are concerned. It’s got a pretty steep cost of $8,432, but for what you’re getting with that amount, I’d say it’s worth some serious consideration.
Those interested in the Morgan EV3 Junior can avail it through a number of means, including through MOrgan’s online shop, any Morgan dealership, or directly from the company’s factory in the UK.
Continue after the jump to read the full story.
Morgan Resumes Four-Wheeled Vehicle Sales In The U.S.
British automaker Morgan has announced that its four-wheel models will return to the United States after 10 years of absence through the company’s official U.S. arm, Isis Imports. Previously allowed to sell the 3-Wheeler model only, Isis will, from now on, be able to import the more traditional four-wheeled models thanks to a new law.
The British carmaker has yet to say which models will cross the pond to North America, but it’s likely that customers will have access to some of the vehicles from the Classic lineup, which includes the 4/4, Plus 4, Roadster, and Plus 8.
“While details remain to be finalized, the latest word from the Morgan Motor Company is that they anticipate opening the order books for NEW Morgan cars for the USA, possibly as soon as this summer,” Isis Imports said in a statement. “It is possible that production may begin on USA spec cars before the end of the year."
Isis Imports is already accepting deposits for four-wheeled Morgans, which are refundable "up until eight weeks prior to the build of your car after your specifications are finalized."
Pricing information is not available, but expect U.S.-spec Morgans to be a tad more expensive than their British-market counterparts. The most likely vehicle to head this way is the Roadster, which uses a 3.7-liter V-6 rated at 280 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque. Tipping the scales at only 2,094 pounds, the Roadster hits 62 mph from a standing start in only 5.5 seconds and tops out at 140 mph.
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2016 Morgan EV3
Morgan Motor Company is a unique figure in today’s automotive industry. Still a family-owned manufacturer after more than a decade in the business, Morgan continues to build vehicles based on 1920s and 1930s designs, most of them on hand-made wood frames. Some would call their vehicles dated and too old-fashioned, but Morgan has developed a cult following in Europe and sales are strong, despite the expensive price tags. Come 2016, and Morgan takes a new step into the future with the EV3, an all-electric version of the iconic 3-Wheeler.
Unveiled at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show, the EV3 is Morgan’s first-ever electric vehicle and the first 3-Wheeler to receive a significant makeover since its revival in 2011. Not just a drivetrain swap, the EV3 gained a redesigned body and a new interior with a more modern instrument cluster.
A final pre-production prototype as of this writing, the Morgan EV3 will go into production in the fourth quarter of 2016, with the first examples likely to hit showrooms by the end of the year. Along with the EV3, Morgan also announced that it will develop more EV and hybrid vehicles in the future with funding from the British government. Until that happens, let’s have a closer look at the 3-Wheeler’s battery-powered brother.
Continue reading to find out more about the Morgan EV3.
Henry Frederick Stanley built his own three-wheeled car in 1909, and a year later, Morgan Motor Company began producing its own cars. These odd looking cars had two wheels up front and one in the rear, and were produced up until 1952. But, long before then, Morgan developed its first four-wheel car, the 4/4. Aside from a short shut down during World War II, the 4/4 has been continually produced. Now 2016 marks the car’s 80th anniversary.
In 2011, Morgan released the Morgan 4/4 75th anniversary edition, so it is no surprise the Morgan showed up at the Geneva Auto Show this year with another special-edition 4/4 in tow, this time, to celebrate the car’s 80th anniversary. The car has changed a little over the years, but deep down it still has that old-school styling that was popular back in the 1930s. This styling might cause some, especially the younger generations, to dismiss it quickly, but the car deserves a lot more attention than that. It is, after all, the world’s longest running production model.
Morgan is slated to produce just 80 models of the 80th-anniversary edition, complete with special features designed specifically for the special edition model. There is, of course, some personalization available, but you’ll see that the special features included as part of this special edition are more than enough to pay homage to this long-running model. So, now that we’ve talked about the history of the model lets dive in and take a deeper look at the 80th-anniversary edition.
Continue reading to learn more about the Morgan 4/4 80th Anniversary Edition.
Morgan Plans To Build Hybrid And Electric Models From 2019
Add Morgan to the growing list of automakers who are gearing up for a future model lineup that includes hybrid and electric vehicles. The British automaker has announced its intention to develop a series of hybrid and EV models that it plans to launch by 2019. While it’s not as big of a company as some of the giants in the business, Morgan is still making that leap, thanks in large part to securing funding from the UK’s Advanced Propulsion Centre.
The company is also tapping into its partnerships with Delta Motorsport and Potenza Technology to invest £6 million ($8.5 million) in the development of new technologies, including hybrid and EV powertrains.
Morgan managing director Steve Morris told Autocar that the company has already invested time and money to get to this point, specifically touching on the research and development of new propulsion technologies that it has been doing for close to a decade now.
While it’s certainly hard to envision Morgan becoming as big in hybrids and EVs as the Toyotas and BMWs of the world, the company knows what its targets are and is sticking to it, including appealing to its key markets and attracting new customers.
Only time will tell if Morgan will be able to get where it needs to go, but there’s plenty of reason to believe that with the industry evolving into one that places a premium on delivering improved fuel economy and efficiency, there’s no time like today - and the future - for Morgan to go all-in on this endeavor.
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They say Porsche’s been building the same car for decades. But next to Morgan, Porsche looks like Lexus 2050. So tightly has Morgan held to tradition that not only do its new cars look like they might have been designed in 1950, they’re built like it, too. As of right now, Morgan is the only car company in the world to build its frames out of wood. Yes, wood. As in, the stuff that used to be trees; in this case, ash trees harvested locally from the Malvern Hills. Now that’s tradition.
Of course, you’d expect a car company so deliberately steeped in the grandiose past to plan something big for a notable commemoration. This year marks the 65th birthday of the company’s most successful model, the Plus 4. While 65 years old is technically old enough to collect a pension in England, Morgan’s limited run of 50, Cosworth-powered AR Plus 4 proves that this dapper old chap isn’t quite ready for the retirement home yet.
Continue reading to learn more about the Morgan AR Plus 4.
It’s a well-known scientific fact that the Morgan 3 Wheeler is the greatest car in the world. By modern standards, this tiny roadster with a missing wheel is archaic. With an 82 horsepower motorcycle engine, it’s not particularly fast. Its chassis is constructed using techniques from the 1930s. It doesn’t have an infotainment system or even an AM radio. Those might sound like negatives, but brought together they make for one of the most fun and engaging cars on sale today.
Now Morgan has a new 3 Wheeler called the EV3, that ditches the V-twin engine and replaces it with an electric motor and battery pack in the rear. Morgan says the electric drivetrain is good for 75 kW, the equivalent of 100 horsepower, and has range of about 150 miles. At a featherweight 992 pounds, it’s also a good bit lighter than the gas-powered 3 Wheeler, which is about 160 pounds heavier.
The lack of a V-twin hanging off the front helps simplify styling, and the polished-aluminum body and disc front wheels make it look like a shrunken version of something you might see streaking across the Bonneville Salt Flats. Overall, the subtle, yet effective changes give a sort of 1950s-retro-futurist feel.
Only a concept for now, the EV3 will be shown later this month at the 2015 Goodwood Festival of Speed. It’s currently in development and a production version is planned for the end of 2016. Like the regular 3 Wheeler, Morgan says production EV3s will be bespoke-built to order.
Continue reading for the full story.