PH FLEET: MORGAN PLUS 8
Morgan meets McLaren, Harris feels surge of patriotic pride as a result
If I have one reservation right now, it's the spring rates. The car is just too stiff and it causes problems in every area of chassis dynamics. The Plus 8 is too easily deflected by bumps of any sort - in a straight line or in the middle of a turn - and working with a very fast steering rack it can make the car feel quite nervous. Of course this is a development car right now, so I will be lobbying Charles and his team to try some softer springs and dampers. I think it would make the car much more pleasant to drive.
It would also fit the character of the powertrain more closely. The BMW V8 does its best work from 3,000-5,000rpm, at which point you have the option to hang on for the full face-bender or you can retain some deportment and shift up for another woofle of exhaust noise. It's not a frenetic engine, in fact the flywheel effect is a little irritating when shifting quickly from first to second, so you enjoy the surges rather than invoke the last few rpm. Whichever method you choose, it is very, very fast.
The MP4-12C feels like it comes from a different dimension. It does things a Ferrari 458 cannot do, let alone the Plus 8. But in the single discipline of charm, like everything else I've driven over the past six months, it has to defer to the car from Malvern.
Car: 2012 Morgan Plus 8
Run by: Chris Harris
On fleet since: January 2012
List price new: c. £80,000
Last week at a glance: Jiggly, a bit damp at times, but huge fun