Login | Register
SearchMy Stuff
My ProfileMy PreferencesMy Mates RSS Feed
Friday 20th January 2012

PH fleet: Morgan Plus 8

The all-new Morgan Plus 8 debuts officially at Geneva but Harris has already got one for an express PH fleet tenure



I have never before run a car that doesn't officially exist, but that is what I am now doing. At the Geneva Motorshow, Morgan will unveil the new Plus 8, but the people of the West Country and South Wales are invited to an exclusive preview on their highways and byways over the next few weeks as I attempt to use one as everyday transport.
The Plus 8 is effectively an Aero 8 chassis, the one that also underpins the gorgeous Aeromax and the Supersports, with classic Morgan Plus 8 styling.

Morgan 'interesting' in conditions like this
Morgan 'interesting' in conditions like this
Now I'm a Morgan fan, I make no secret of it and I even liked the original boss-eyed Aero 8 because it presented such a contrary view of what a sports-car should be. It burbled and shimmied about the place in a way that left it open to ridicule when tested against conventional sports cars of the time, but as is always the case with these cottage industry machines, that just didn't matter. I can remember writing the original Autocar road test and being berated by colleagues for being too kind.

Best of both
This new car takes the aluminium underpinnings of the Aero platform, the later 4.8-litre BMW V8 and bolts on a new body. I don't think I'm being unkind in suggesting that this car presents a face, a set of proportions and a general style that many people would have preferred to that first Aero 8. It takes the petite charm of the original Plus 8, which died in 2003, and adds a heap of track width and general menace. It looks five times tougher in the raw. I love it.

The perfect blend of Aero 8 and classic Morgan?
The perfect blend of Aero 8 and classic Morgan?
It is also startlingly fast. The body is 150kg lighter than an Aero's, making it less than 1,100kg, and the BMW 4.8-litre V8, late of the X5, has 367hp. You don't need an abacus to work out that leaves the new Plus 8 with the potential to smash its upright screen through the air with some force. Driving it home from the factory on greasy roads, it was spooling-up in third gear. It's actually a Morgan hot-rod.

Talking of the factory if you don't want to drop a load of money on a car that still uses wood to support its bodywork do not under any circumstances visit Malvern Link. The place is completely compelling, in its own peculiar way just as atmospheric and enthralling as those better known pilgrimage sites in Maranello and Zuffenhausen. I'm not sure there are many other production lines that can genuinely call themselves 'gravity-fed'.

Wider, meaner and ruder than any classic Morgan
Wider, meaner and ruder than any classic Morgan
PH development drive
Morgan will be asking £80,000 for the Plus 8 - that's strong money and I won't suggest that in pure objective terms it deserves the same page space as a new 911. But I will suggest that anyone who wants to approach this car in such bleak, unemotional terms probably doesn't get it anyway.

I've just driven home in it, roof down, in glorious sunshine and five degrees ambient temperature. The exhaust noise is addictive, the cabin is tight and, for a prototype, carefully finished - of course a GT3 would have dusted it, but for sense of occasion and making other people smile, I'm not sure many cars could have matched it.

Not bad for a prototype
Not bad for a prototype
With no traction control and 334hp per tonne on greasy roads, it keeps you honest, but it cruises at the legal limit without too much fuss. The hood is a predictably crude set of poppers and clips designed to prise away finger nails, but it keeps the outside from being inside and doesn't flap about too much at normal speeds. An SLK, it is not.

But with that exhaust noise and the sunlight twinking on the three weeny wipers and the heater warming your kneecaps, you just don't care. This might just be the coolest car in the UK, and I'm loving it.


FACT SHEET
Car:
2012 Morgan Plus 8
Run by: Chris Harris
On fleet since: January 2012
Mileage: N/A
List price new: c. £80,000
Last month at a glance: Invited by Charles Morgan to have it for a month - offer accepted

 

 

Chris Harris
2 3 ... 7 8
Reply to Topic
Author Discussion

Ex Boy Racer

Original Poster:

513 posts

72 months

[news] 
Friday 20th January 2012 quote quote all
Yes, it did look very cool when I saw it on the motorway. It seems a bit lower, wider and meaner than Morgan's normally are.

Very nice.

But £80k????

L100NYY

29,046 posts

123 months

[news] 
Friday 20th January 2012 quote quote all
Absolutely superb and creates a wantage factor I don't very often experience in a 'new' car. Yes I know that it is a new-old car but if I had £80k I would be sorely tempted..... scratchchin

Some video footage to hear the burble would be great if you get a chance Chris ears

jellison

12,711 posts

157 months

[news] 
Friday 20th January 2012 quote quote all
Whoa, that is going to be Serious.

I race against the V6 and the RV8 version in the Thoroughbreds. Great cars.

This will be on another level (can't see our series letting it in unlesss in the top class - actually that would be bloody good).

BuzzLightyear

1,357 posts

62 months

[news] 
Friday 20th January 2012 quote quote all
Beautiful and interesting.

There are too few non-mainstream (if there is such a term) cars on the road these days.

Good luck, Morgan. Carry on.

soad

17,735 posts

56 months

[news] 
Friday 20th January 2012 quote quote all
That is seriously nice. cloud9
Advertisement

Life Saab Itch

36,585 posts

68 months

[news] 
Friday 20th January 2012 quote quote all
Oooh, a proper car.


Any plans for a PH tunnel run video to properly assess the noise?

V88Dicky

4,961 posts

63 months

[news] 
Friday 20th January 2012 quote quote all
I thought it was the 4.8 BMW V8 that these cars used? confused

LongLiveTazio

2,636 posts

77 months

[news] 
Friday 20th January 2012 quote quote all
Ex Boy Racer said:
Yes, it did look very cool when I saw it on the motorway. It seems a bit lower, wider and meaner than Morgan's normally are.

Very nice.

But £80k????
£80k for a high power, low weight sportscar handmade in Britain that doesn't really have any competitors isn't *really* that bad. Porsche will charge you a lot more with a few choice options for a car designed wholly to maximise profit, not to put a grin on your face...

forzaminardi

1,140 posts

67 months

[news] 
Friday 20th January 2012 quote quote all
Fantastic. One of those cars that if you question the price of, or compare like for like with a Porsche or whatever, then you've missed the point.

Prawnboy

415 posts

27 months

[news] 
Friday 20th January 2012 quote quote all
if i were a rich man..............great second car.

dbanes

64 posts

157 months

[news] 
Friday 20th January 2012 quote quote all
"Not bad for a prototype"

Well they do hand build their cars anyway smile

MJRL

18 posts

28 months

[news] 
Friday 20th January 2012 quote quote all
DO Want !! Thinking about how it would look in Racing Green and also curiously wonfering how much various parts of my anatomy might fetch on the black market .....

Ex Boy Racer

Original Poster:

513 posts

72 months

[news] 
Friday 20th January 2012 quote quote all
LongLiveTazio said:
Ex Boy Racer said:
Yes, it did look very cool when I saw it on the motorway. It seems a bit lower, wider and meaner than Morgan's normally are.

Very nice.

But £80k????
£80k for a high power, low weight sportscar handmade in Britain that doesn't really have any competitors isn't *really* that bad. Porsche will charge you a lot more with a few choice options for a car designed wholly to maximise profit, not to put a grin on your face...
I guess you're right. My first thought was £80k - eek! But why not? Other toys cost more and probably aren't nearly as much fun.

peterg1955

129 posts

44 months

[news] 
Friday 20th January 2012 quote quote all
Dear Santa.....


r7ehw

120 posts

117 months

[news] 
Friday 20th January 2012 quote quote all
So I take it that Mr Chris Harris is settling into his new job nicely? smile

Beefmeister

11,728 posts

110 months

[news] 
Friday 20th January 2012 quote quote all
<Goes to classifieds>

Crikey. Want:

http://www.pistonheads.com/sales/3525210.htm

Chris Harris

422 posts

33 months

[news] 
Friday 20th January 2012 quote quote all
My bad, Dan's corrected the fluffed key-strike: it's a 4.8 litre V8

Veeayt

1,305 posts

85 months

[news] 
Friday 20th January 2012 quote quote all
BMW 367bhp 3.8? Never heard of that. 4.8 maybe?

DJ_AS

295 posts

87 months

[news] 
Friday 20th January 2012 quote quote all
Lovely... but I think that the steering wheel needs changing as it doesn't fit with the rest of the cabin design.

Bash Brannigan

196 posts

67 months

[news] 
Friday 20th January 2012 quote quote all
Morgan is without a doubt one of the most emotive places a petrol head can visit in the UK.

I took a German exchange student to visit the Morgan factory a couple of years ago to show him proper craftsmen at work. He laughed derisively and said 'this is f-cking st' whilst watching the guys there hand rolling the body panels for the ash framed 8. Comparisons to similarly priced machinery from the land that brought you that sort of attitude are simply stupid.

My dad and I went on a tour of the place donkey's years ago and saw a weird cross eyed grey thing poking out of a small unit. When we went over to investigate we were polite told that this was the prototype department, then given a few details about the not yet released Aero 8. Try getting that at Zuffenhausen or Maranello!
2 3 ... 7 8
Reply to Topic