Hanging up the driving goggles, at least for now.
Morgan drove its all-new Plus Four 1000+ miles home to Malvern from the canceled Geneva show
Morgan has officially unveiled its all-new Plus Four, although in a fashion far cooler than initially planned. After the cancellation of the Geneva Motor Show, Morgan’s road-tripped the would-be Geneva show car across Europe and back to company headquarters in Malvern, UK. And though it more or less looks like four-wheeled Morgans always look, the whole way it showed off not one but two license plates pronouncing it the “All-New Plus Four.”
If you fear that Morgan has put a stake in the heart of tradition by switching to an aluminum architecture, be comforted. The Plus Four is still so retro that most of a continent probably didn’t recognize it was an all-new-generation model, even with handy labeling. (Yes, there’s still ash wood behind those fabulous wings.)
Morgan’s quite specific that this is the Plus Four (spelled out), not the Plus 4 of years gone by. A grand 97 percent of the Plus Four’s parts are new—or, more properly, new to Morgan. (That 3 percent? It’s the hood catch.) As we expected, the taut little roadster boasts BMW power: a 255-hp 2.0-liter turbocharged engine, to be specific, which is good for a 65-percent increase over the previous Plus 4. Fun fact: that BMW B48 engine is the same one found in the recently-debuted 2.0-liter Supra. You can enjoy Morgan-flavored twin-scroll turbo fun through either a eight-speed automatic transmission or—more fittingly—a six-speed manual. The combined fuel economy numbers are extremely good, owing largely to the car’s light weight: 39 mpg with the manual and 40 with the automatic.
Morgan made the Plus Four’s mohair convertible top standard, so you can go the wind-tossed route with no fear of rain. And with a minimum weight of 2224 pounds (automatic, dry weight), the Plus Four promises to be a delight whether or not the sun’s out—basically a requirement for a British sports car brand. Morgan boasts an “exponential increase in rigidity,” thanks to the new bonded aluminum frame. (That aluminum platform is officially called the “CX,” which stands, in Roman numerals, for 110; Morgan celebrated its 110th birthday in 2019.) Morgan stuck with double-wishbone suspension all ’round, as on the Plus Six, and still offers wire-spoke wheels in addition to various alloy options.
If you stomp on the brakes in an emergency, you’ll notice a “never-seen” feature on a Morgan: anti-lock brakes. Yes, ABS now joins Morgan’s list of dazzling high-tech features, along with LED front and rear lights and—hold onto your caps, gents—a Bluetooth stereo system. It’s a veritable cornucopia of modernism in the Plus Four. Morgan also reports there’s increased luggage room, but don’t fret the Plus Four has gone too soft; the luggage space is of the rear-mounted-rack variety, not the liftgate kind.
The gauges in the dashboard, however, are comfortingly old-school. Behind a chunky steering wheel, you’ll only spot gas and coolant temperature gauges; everything else you need to mind revs and speed limits is mounted in the center of the dash. If you opt for air conditioning, Morgan found a way to tuck that into the center console, leaving the upright dash clutter-free.
As for the rest of the interior, Morgan is rolling out the red carpet (literally) with customizable options. There are no less than three stitching patterns for your leather seats and six kinds of carpet in two different weaves. You can even get a two-tone exterior paint scheme to go with those wire wheels. (Go nuts customizing here.) If you wish to make your dreams reality, the Plus Four is on sale as we speak, starting at £62,995. Sadly, no four-wheeled Morgans can go on sale in America, at least until the 2015 Low Volume Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Act is made into law.
For an idea of how this old-world company is making new-world-ish sports cars, have a watch of this Morgan factory tour below, which includes the rear wheel arch jig that Morgan’s been using to bend ash for bodies for… they literally don’t know how long.