Morgan has confirmed that it will reveal a new entry-level model using four-cylinder power at the upcoming Geneva motor show, apparently verifying suggestions that its engine deal with BMW extends beyond the straight-six. The anticipated B48-powered model, pictured here beneath a cover under inspection lights at the firm’s Malvern home, will be based on the same CX aluminium base as the Plus Six. From what we can see, it looks like it’ll also continue with Morgan’s design traditions; it may even be largely identical to its CX sibling.
The 97kg platform has officially succeeded the company’s 83-year-old steel chassis and was developed from day one to handle more than one powertrain option. It’s thought that BMW’s turbocharged 2.0-litre will be used in the next car, with as much as 306hp and 332lb ft of torque – what the unit produces in the M135i. If our predictions are correct, that ought to give Morgan a model that’s both brisk and efficient, which would be key for it to expand its remit further in a decade of ever-stricter regulation. Additionally, Morgan has confirmed its four-pot will come in both manual and automatic formats.
With the packaging freedom provided to engineers thanks to such an open-plan body, expect Morgan to give its four-pot model an appropriately sporting exhaust soundtrack. While it’s unlikely to have the silky allure of the B58 in the Plus Six, something gruffer wouldn’t exactly be misplaced on a plucky British sports car. There are more inline-four-powered classics from these shores than there are stops on a local route train ride from London to Malvern (trust us, we did it) and we hardly need mention the potential handling benefits of a smaller powertrain over the nose.
Whatever your thoughts of a B48-powered Mog (the motor remains a controversial one, having succeeded the B58 in BMW’s smaller models), few will quibble with the idea of a lower cost model. Anything that increases the much-loved company’s reach, not to mention the accessibility of its lineup, is liable to earn support across the board. The specs, design and name will be revealed on March 3rd at Geneva - watch this space.