Morgan has taken recycling to a whole new level, and we’re not referring to the trees that local craftsmen have been carving the cars from since God was a child. There’s a little bit of a backstory to this one, but the main point is that there will soon be a very special Morgan Plus 8 GTR to drool over.
Limited to just nine examples, this marks the first in a line of Morgan special projects set to commence this year. Raw, visceral, loud, and low, the Morgan Plus 8 GTR represents what the
Morgan Motor Company
can do when it isn’t thinking about sun-dappled country lanes and lunch at a quaint little pub.
From 1968 to 2004, Plus 8 models used Morgan’s traditional steel chassis and were powered by the legendary Rover V8 engine. In 2004 the ‘Aero-chassis’ Plus 8 was the first Morgan to use a bonded-aluminium chassis developed initially for the Morgan Aero 8. The Morgan Plus 8 officially ended production back in 2018.
And hidden in that paragraph is the reason why only nine of these new GTR versions will be built.
The project has only been possible because Morgan has managed to re-acquire a number of Plus 8 rolling chassis from a third party following a discontinued project. These were all built by Morgan before the Plus 8 ceased production in 2018 but were never used for their intended purposes. Now Morgan has bought them back, and it has every intention of doing something with them.
As part of their transformation from rolling chassis to limited edition vehicle, each GTR will be handcrafted using Morgan’s traditional coachbuilding techniques. The Plus 8 GTR work will be completed at the Morgan Design and Engineering Centre (M-DEC), where the nine lucky owners will be invited to commission their bespoke Plus 8 GTR alongside Morgan’s design team. All it needs is the golden tickets and you’ve got Willy Wonka for petrol-heads.
The Plus 8 GTR features lots of design touches that take inspiration from Morgan’s long history. The high shoulder line that hasn’t appeared on a traditional Morgan body for decades sits above five-spoke centre-lock wheels inspired by the 1990s Plus 8 race cars. Re-sculpted and extended wheel arches, a revised rear end, front wings and splitter, and a hard top completes the racing looks.
From 2004 the ‘Aero-chassis’ Morgan Plus 8s were powered by the BMW N62 4.8-litre engine, and this limited edition GTR version will do likewise. Although you should probably expect a few minor tweaks. In its original specification this unit produced 362 bhp, however, the exact power output for the GTR is yet to be finalised. Given the bespoke nature of these particular Plus 8s, it wouldn’t come as a huge surprise to find the bhp has gone north and the performance has followed suit. A choice of a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic gearbox will also be available.
Jonathan Wells, Morgan Head of Design, said: "Reviving a V8-powered Morgan at the current time may not seem like the obvious choice for a manufacturer firmly focused on new platforms and powertrains. However, when the opportunity presented itself to recommission a number of rolling chassis and create an exciting special project such as Plus 8 GTR, we embraced it fully. This project has allowed Morgan’s design and engineering teams to revisit some of their favourite elements of past Morgan models, as well as experiment with some features that we hope will appear on future Morgan cars.”
And the sharp-eyed among you may have noticed that we haven’t once suggested you should lease one.
We may be very good at what we do, but even we can’t guarantee to be able to help when there are only nine in the whole wide world. Not to mention the fact that there’s no price list for an incredibly rare, bespoke, coach-built car, so you can only imagine how big the blank cheque would have to be to secure one.
However, if you’re not one of the luck nine, we do have a magnificent range of cars you can lease to drool over.
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