Tell us about it. Driving impressions. Highs and Lows. Does it live up to your expectations ?
Well I guess I have to give a tiny bit of background..... Having owned a Murcielago, Ford GT, Vanquish etc, I would say that I have a good idea about speed, acceleration, handling and being stared at! The 'supercars' are great but increasingly difficult to use - on country lanes I found them too wide and impractical - I am constantly worrying about someone in a Range Rover taking a corner too wide or a lorry coming in the opposite direction. On the motorway 70mph is ridiculously slow, I always want to push faster speeds - but cant do it.
Sooo.... What would be the next car? I was ready to pull the trigger on the new XKR convertible, I've had two before and the latest 5 litre version is a better car than a DB9 (in my humble). But I decided at the very last minute to buy a Morgan. I have daily drivers, so this was always going to be a fun car - country pubs in the summer, picking up my son from school etc. but which model?
I drove the new +8 and I borrowed a 4/4 for a while, great fun - but the latest Roadster with the Ford Mustang 3.7 V6 engine seemed the perfect combination of weight and power, just under 300bhp. So a brand new one.... But £60k?? Ouch, that's a lot when you consider what else is in that range, particularly in the nearly new second hand market.
So, ordered it. Watched it being built......
Like all traditional Morgans, it's a fantastic looking thing, a brand new 1930's looking classic. The view from the drivers seat is even better, it brings a massive smile - a long louvred bonnet transports you to another era. The wire wheels, the Motolita steering wheel, the spare wheel..... All attractive!
Driving it is easy, the V6 is a hooligans engine, but 1st gear is ridiculously short and unusable. The Roadster will get to 100 rapidly - it feels very similar to an XKR's acceleration. But speeds over 100 (on a track obviously) feel too fast - it will go on easily to 160, but the period Tudor aerodynamics stop it going faster. Any faster than 100 and you really start worrying about your impending death, there's simply not enough car around you to survive, plus, it doesn't handle like other cars! It is not a car for motorways - it feels too small.
The Roadster is very 'pointable' on the road. You see the front wings and it's not a wide car - so cornering fast feels very secure, you know precisely where you are... But the handling suffers from bump steer and the suspension is clumsy. But this is a new vintage classic! No power steering combined with heavy 16" wire wheels means it has to be hauled around corners, but you know what? I like it. It feels very pure, very raw, very authentic. It's not a 458, it's not a computer, it's how it's supposed to be.... But it couldn't be a daily driver (unlike a 458), but you could leave it in a car park....
Do I want to drive at 150? No, I've done that (and faster) and I don't want to go to prison. What I really enjoy about it is the ease of taking it out - there's no drama. It's a small car - a little too small for two large passengers. It is absolutely perfect for country lanes. Driving along at 60mph with handfuls of power in reserve feels great. I haven't gone head to head with a Porsche or XKR (for example) but the Roadster would be a hard car to shake off. However, it's not the point of it, it's an amusing blend of something to potter about in combined with a seriously powerful engine.
What else can I tell you?
Build quality is OK to good - it doesn't have the unrelenting quality of a Bentley, there are quirks here and there. There's no room beyond a small rear parcel shelf. The hood and side screens are a fiddle to fit (10 minute job) and not something you'd want to do in a hurry. The tonneau cover is a worthwhile additional option - very easy to fit and enables you to leave it parked up in the summer without having to out the hood up.
That's it! I really like it and hope I'll keep it for years, maybe forever. The dealer experience is excellent , Brands Hatch Morgans who supplied it are 'normal'!! They're regular people. Not slick 20 year old's who tell lies - so completely different to supercar dealers. They're real enthusiasts and actually like their customers, it's quite a shock really. A good one.
I would say it exceeds expectations - largely due to the power of it. I think I would tire of a slower model, I don't like having to wring out every last ounce of performance.