Morgan is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, a century in which, arguably, its most significant technical development was adding a fourth wheel in 1932.
In celebration of reaching the ton, Morgan has created this, the Aero Supersports. Essentially the roadster version of the Aeromax coupe, it was unveiled at the Villa D'Esta Concourse d'Eleganza in Italy. Though technically referred to as a concept, the Supersports is a 95 per cent match for the production roadster, due to arrive next year, says Morgan.
Based on the same ash-frame construction as the Aeromax coupe, the roadster features a pair of removable aluminium roof panels that stow in the boot. It sits slightly lower on its springs than the coupe, while the car's overall profile is 4cm shorter.
Morgan says the car, with roof detatched (and we're quoting verbatim here, honestly) will bring 'fresh air and the aromas of the seasons to the driving experience'.
The Supersports is powered by the same BMW-sourced 4.8-litre V8 as the coupe, putting out around 370bhp. In a car weighing just 1,100kg, that's good for a 0-60mph time of around 4.5 seconds.
Morgan plans to build 200 Supersports - just 100 Aeromax coupes went into production - at a cost of £127,000 apiece. That's rather expensive.
Good news, though, for retro-inclined Americans: structural changes to the car's platform mean the Supersports will pass the 50mph rear impact test, allowing it to be sold Stateside.
Any Americans out there who've escaped from the TopGear.com US portal? Do you guys ‘get' the Morgan? Or is it one of those bewilderingly British things like real ale, proper swearing and sarcasm?
Talking of Morgans, read why Richard Hammond is making an effort to play dirty with his new Aeromax.