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Tally ho! It's the 367bhp Morgan Aero 8
The Geneva motor show isn’t short of sports cars this year, but here’s one from much closer to home.
The new Morgan Aero 8 is the fifth generation of the Malvern firm’s ‘Aero’ sports cars, and will replace both the Aero SuperSports and Aero Coupe when production starts later in 2015. And the old AeroMax was a car that telly’s Richard Hammond bought with his own cash, don’t forget.
While the Aero 8 looks broadly similar to the cars it succeeds, Morgan is claiming a host of updates below the surface. This is one of its aluminium rather than wood-based cars, and the ally chassis boasts improved torsional stiffness over its predecessors.
The suspension has been overhauled too, with a revised front set-up (though exact details are scant) and a BMW-sourced limited-slip differential operating on the rear axle. Welcome, given what’s sending power there.
Much as you’ll find in Morgan’s current aluminium cars, a 4.8-litre V8 engine - also arriving in a crate from BMW - produces 367bhp. That may not sound sensational when Ford’s new Focus RS isn’t far behind, but this Morgan could well weigh less, while there’s no gamut of electronic driver aids to help stop you from smearing all those horses over the road.
Gearbox choices are a manual and automatic, both possessing six speeds, the latter with paddleshifters. But you’ll want the manual.
The interior has had a refresh, too, with a new layout and an improved air con system to help widen Morgan’s appeal into the expanding Far Eastern markets. The options list includes carbon seats and - believe it or not - a touchscreen media system.
Yep, Morgan is embracing modern technology. But not completely, according to MD Steve Morris. “The Aero 8 offers the perfect marriage of fine craftsmanship and performance technology, one that we believe is so important in today’s increasingly autonomous world,” he says.
And while the hand-built exterior has evolved notably since the original, somewhat cross-eyed Aero 8 of 15 years ago, it’s fair to say the styling remains very Morgan.
That means an abundance of quirkiness. The clamshell boot hinges at the rear, for example, allowing it to hide the mohair convertible roof when it’s stowed away. A coupe-like detachable hard top lies on the options list.
Limited production starts at the end of the year, priced from £79,000, making it more attainable than the Aero model it supercedes. Want one?