"This year marks the 50th - and final year - of Morgan using a V8 engine." So opens Morgan's release accompanying this vid about the demise of the N62 BMW V8 in its cars. Pretty significant news, it might well be argued, given how central to the appeal of a senior Morgan various big V8s have been for the past half a century.
To mark this historic moment, Morgan has produced 'V8 - The Final Performance'; it features Chief Test Driver Keith Dalley, a Morgan employee for nearly 20 years and more familiar with the V8 cars than anyone else. He describes the BMW engine as a "perfect match" for the car, a statement we'd wholeheartedly support, adding what a sad occasion the final example rolling out of the factory will be. Again, you won't find us objecting to that statement, our experience of V8 Morgans having been almost overwhelmingly positive.
But times they are a changin', and next year Morgan will reveal something new, described currently just as a 'Wide Body' sports car; it won't have a V8, although Morgan has stated that it will have a chassis twice as stiff as the outgoing car, helping to create "the most dynamically capable production Morgan ever". As for what engine will power it, nobody outside of Morgan currently knows, though our video star Dalley does say the V8 wouldn't have been ditched "if there wasn't something better coming along in future."
So what could it be? If the BMW relationship has continued, then there's the straight-six S55 turbo as used in the M3, or the less exotic B58 as found in the various '40i' models. Elsewhere the Ford Ecoboost V6 has already seen use in British sports cars (see the Radical RXC Turbo), so there are possibilities. All other suggestions are welcome...
For now it's time to enjoy the V8 one last time, and the heartfelt affection from a man who knows it like no other. Thanks for the memories Morgan; let's hope there are plenty more to come with the next generation.