Latest version of Morgan's Aero joins the new Plus 8 at Geneva.
The current fashion in new car launches is to tease pictures out onto the internet, either carefully leaked spy photographs of a camouflaged prototype or artful pictures of the new headlamp. Morgan have taken a slightly different approach with the new Aero Coupe, since its dealers have been carrying a picture of the new car and taking orders for the last couple of months. This has made the Coupe's announcement on the Morgan website a rather low-key affair.
The Aero Coupe is the latest development in the Aero series and is in effect a closed version of the Aero Supersports that continues in production. The website makes a clear reference to the GT3 race version that has run competitively in the European GT3 series, hinting that this will be positioned as a more serious drivers car. Power comes from the same 4.8 V8 BMW engine that has seen service in the Supersport and the previous Aeromax. With the car only weighing 1175kg (dry), the 367bhp of the BMW is enough to propel the Aero to 62mph in 4.5 seconds and onto a top speed of 170mph.
The Coupe retains the rear architecture of the Supersports, and no longer needing to have space to store the roof panels should result in more luggage space for touring. The fuel tank is a mere 55 litres, though, so I would suspect a weekend away may require regular stops at petrol stations. Price is not revealed but dealer websites are indicating that the Aero Coupe will cost around £95,000 which is considerably less than the £126,900 Morgan ask for the Supersports. £95K also puts the car into the same bracket as the Aston V8 Vantage, but this is a far more individual choice than the Aston.
Morgan has been busy lately. After the three wheeler of last year, their traditional roadster was updated with the 3.7 Coyote V6 from the latest Mustang, but the car that has sparked the most interest for the wider car enthusiast world is the return of the Plus 8 to Morgan's range. Again, details of the car were officially revealed on Morgan's website today but considering Chris Harris has been driving the development car and writing about it on Pistonheads for the last month, this is perhaps not headline-making.
The new Plus 8 bridges the gap between the Traditional and Aero Morgan ranges, which has styling taken from the trad cars but uses the chassis architecture from the Aeros. The mechanicals are the same as the Aero Coupe, and the traditional body is even lighter than that in the new coupe, weighing in at a mere 1,100kg. Acceleration is the same but inferior aerodynamics restrict the top speed to 155mph. With those canvas side doors, I'm sure that should be more than enough to give a huge sensation of speed. The Plus 8 will be priced around £80,000 which is a hefty sum for a simple open roadster, but there is nothing else really like it except for another Morgan.
Personally with my preference for GT cars, the Aero Coupe appeals more than the Plus 8, and while more than a development than an all-new car, the coupe should keep interest going in the more expensive Morgans until the next generation Eva GT comes on stream in a year or two.
Both the Aero Coupe and Plus 8 make their official public debuts at the Geneva Motor Show in March. Full details for both cars can be found on Morgan's new updated website which also features a rather neat configurator.
All pictures from Morgan.