You know that feeling when you find some old bits and pieces lying around and think "What can I make with those?" In Morgan's case, it was the nine Plus 8 chassis' that turned up in the broom cupboard, and well...why not? There's a bit more to the story when you go digging, though, as we first reported when news of the Morgan Plus 8 GTR story originally broke earlier this year. That dream is now a reality, with the first Yas Marina Blue GTR having been finished at the Malvern factory, and several more nearing completion ready for delivery before the year is out. The last of them will be ready to go early in 2022.
The Plus 8 GTR project was inspired by Big Blue - Morgan's GT racer from the 1990s. The design adopts Morgan's traditional high shoulder line with subtly re-worked wheel arches, beneath which are five-spoke centre-lock wheels. The design also includes a front splitter, reshaped front wings and a revised rear end, all hand-crafted out of aluminium. The hard-top-only GTR is fitted with a racing-style cockpit vent and inside there are new door cards, specially designed instruments, and a plaque signifying which number of the nine-car build it is. Like any special project of note, customers have been invited to work with the design team to personalise their cars, and among the options to choose from are carbon fibre racing seats and harnesses.
Most notably, the Plus 8 GTR brings back the BMW N62 4.8-litre V8. When production ended in 2018 these produced 367hp but, in the GTR spec, now top out at 380hp - making the GTR the most powerful road-going Morgan so far. And with a cannon-style twin-exit sports exhausts, the throttle response is also said to be sharper. There is the option six-speed ZF automatic gearbox, but it's hard to imagine anyone interested in a race-themed GTR not choosing to go with a six-speed manual.
Morgan CEO, Steve Morris, said: "We are excited to release the first images of the Plus 8 GTR following the design sketches published earlier this year. The Plus 8 GTR represents an opportunity for Morgan to celebrate the V8 engine once again, something we did not expect to do since finishing the Plus 8 and Aero 8 models in 2018."
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