In 1968, Morgan squeezed a Rover V8 engine into their classic sports car to create the Morgan Plus 8. At a stroke, Morgan had created the UK's fastest accelerating production car that wowed the motoring world and proved its worth time and again on the race track.
50 years on, it's time to celebrate this most iconic of Morgans, with the launch of the 50th Anniversary Edition which has just been unveiled at this year's Geneva Motor Show.
This strictly limited edition model - only 50 will be built - represents the culmination of years of classic design steeped in racing pedigree, and is likely to be the last V8 ever built by Morgan.
For lots more information on this fabulous new Morgan, please click on the headings below:
Jon Wells, Head of Design, Morgan Motor Company, says:
“Firmly established as Morgan’s crowning vehicle for fifty years, the Morgan Plus 8 continues to pioneer new technology within the classic Morgan bloodline. Deriving its name from the famed eight-cylinder engines it has adopted throughout the years, it consistently offers the greatest power to weight ratio of any Morgan. The Plus 8 has always been the driver’s Morgan. Born on the racetrack, and having been no stranger to it since, has meant performance pedigree underpins every Plus 8. When combined with an uncompromising attention to craftsmanship, luxury and material choice, there is no more desirable Gentleman racer.
“Each design detail of the Plus 8 50th has been considered to celebrate the Plus 8’s significance to the Morgan company and its customers over the last 50 years. This famous V8 was a renowned model throughout the automotive industry in the Sixties, and has today evolved into an unrivalled machine, offering raw exhilaration and effortless power delivery. Overlooking the long wide bonnet, sat directly on the rear axle, when driving a Plus 8 you are very aware of, not just its soundtrack, but its significance and its capability. The design of this special final edition hopes to do both justice.”
Features and styling
Under the bonnet is a fabulous 4.8 litre BMW V8 producing nearly 370 bhp. This is married to an immensely strong, bonded aluminium chassis, wrapped in gorgeous aluminium bodywork, to produce a very light sports car boasting an excellent power to weight ratio. To keep things in check, race developed suspension and brakes ensure the Plus 8 handles and stops as well as it goes.
In the cockpit, driver and passenger are cosseted in a richly detailed, bepoke leather interior with hand finished detailing. It's a perfect tribute to 50 years of hand built, traditional craftmanship.
Each car will be individually liveried by Morgan’s craftspeople with graphic work applied beneath the lacquer for durability and as a clear signifier of the special nature of the vehicle. Each Plus 8 50th Anniversary Edition is also finished with a unique number on the exterior back panel of the car.
Other accents on the car celebrating Morgan’s motorsport pedigree include towing eyes in yellow, sporty white brake callipers and, most noteworthy, ceramic-coated twin-cannon-style white exhaust tips. The exhausts have been specially made to amplify and refine the dramatic V8 soundtrack. Further white and yellow accents feature on the cars.
The Plus 8 50th Anniversary Edition is available in two different versions, each with its own striking colour and character:
Blue ‘speedster style’
This has an open cockpit, aero screens and a black Mohair tonneau. It is painted in a gorgeous, rich metallic blue, that reflects the distinctive blue colour of MMC11 - Morgan's most famous racing Plus 8.
Green ‘traditional convertible’
This version comes with a black Mohair soft-top and sidescreens and full windscreen. The body colour is a metallic version of British Racing Green, the most popular paint colour over Morgan's 109 years of history.
As standard, the Plus 8 has a 6 speed manual gearbox. Available as a cost option is a 6 speed auto with paddle shift.
Christoper Ward Watches
Continuing the success of Morgan’s partnership with fellow British company, Christopher Ward, the two companies are delighted to collaborate on another timepiece for the Morgan range.
A C1 Morgan Plus 8 Chronometer Anniversary watch will be provided with every Plus 8 50th Anniversary Edition, allowing owners to extend their Morgan experience beyond the pure driving pleasure that the Plus 8 provides.
Each 50th Anniversary Edition watch contains a small piece of the original ‘MMC 11’, the car that the anniversary model pays homage to, embedded into the back plate. Ownership of such a watch allows each customer to become a true custodian of the Morgan Plus 8, with ownership spanning half a century.
Morgan’s design team worked closely with Christopher Ward’s product team to create the watch design, which is powered by Christopher Ward’s renowned mechanical chronometer Calibre SH21, with a unique new dial, strap and subtle detailing. They also collaborated to design the dashboard dial faces for the Plus 8 itself, allowing both the watch and the car to take inspiration from each other.
The watches will be numbered 1-50 and every owner will receive the corresponding numbered watch for their Plus 8.
50th Anniversary Plus 8 Prices
Price for either the 'Speedster Style' or 'Traditional Convertible' is £129,000
Both versions of the Plus 8 come with a very comprehensive specification as standard, and as such, cost options are very limited in number. These are:
6 speed auto box...£4,800
Paint protection film...£1,075
(Price includes VAT @ 20%. Delivery, number plates and road fund licence are extra)
If you'd like to find out how to reserve a build slot for one of these very special Plus 8s, please call us on 01234 750205 or email email@example.com
Engine - BMW 4,799CC V8
Gearbox - ZF auto 6 speed or BMW 6 speed manual
Max Power - 367 bhp
Max Torque - 370 lb/ft
Dry weight - 1,100kg
Power to Weight - 315 bhp/tonne
Acceleration - 0 to 62 mph in 4.5 seconds
Top Speed - 155mph
Urban fuel - 17 mpg (auto); 18.2 mpg (manual)
Extra urban fuel - 36 mpg; 32 mpg (manual)
Combined fuel - 26 mpg; 23 mpg (manual)
Co2 - 256 g/km (auto); 282 g/km (manual)
Length - 4010mm
Width - 1751mm
Height - 1220mm
Fuel tank size - 55 litres
Chassis - Aluminium bonded + rivetted
Interior - black waterproof leather
Paintwork - Metallic Blue or Metallic British Racing Green