The unmistakable sound of a V8 will once again emanate from a Morgan motor car as the quirky British firm brings back its Plus 8 model for a very restricted run.
The Plus 8 originally appeared back in 1968 with 3.5-litre Rover power and, over the years it would gain further grunt as the engine grew first to 3.9 litres and then 4.6 litres in capacity. There was a production hiatus from 2004 until 2012 when Morgan turned to BMW’s N62 4.8-litre V8, which fulfilled its duties until the Plus 8 reached the end of the line in 2018.
Just nine examples of the Morgan Plus 8 GTR are to be built, beginning later this year. Apparently the cars have only become possible thanks to “the recent availability of rolling chassis from a discontinued external project.” Most likely that means a racing program that failed to get going. It may be bad news for racers, but it’s good news for road drivers.
The bonded aluminium “Aero” chassis were built before 2018 and were never used. Having taken them back Morgan, will recommission and upgrade them, installing BMW’s V8 and a choice of either a six-speed manual or ZF six-speed automatic transmission.
As you can see from the sketches the Plus 8 GTR is heavily influenced by Morgan’s motorsports heritage. From the front you can’t miss the deep front splitter and six-inch spot lights, the wheel arches have been extended to improve aerodynamics and stance, there’s a side splitter, higher doors with fixed side screens, together with a hard top. Large five-spoke alloy wheels complete the job.
Morgan’s head of design Julian Wells says, “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.”
Morgan is set to release more details soon and says the racing-inspired roadster will also represent the first of a number of upcoming special projects. Perhaps we haven’t quite seen the last of the Three-Wheeler either?