Morgan Plus Four 2dr
With a four-cylinder Ford engine and a five-speed Mazda gearbox, this Morgan doesn’t perhaps have the makings of an exotic performance car. The Plus 4’s 154bhp and 148lb ft both sound pretty modest, too, but with a mere 927kg to shift – and a stark lack of composure beneath you – you won’t wish for a single extra horsepower. Trust us. This is a ragged and thoroughly involving ride, and with the wildly popping sports exhaust fitted, the engine even manages to enthral, too.
Objective complaints are numerous. The woolly steering woefully lacks feel until you clunk over a pothole, when the ginormous wheel almost sprains a wrist such is the violence of its kickback. The lack of body control is palpable and it’s hard to imagine a 1930s Morgan being much less precise over a bumpy back road. The various squeaks and rattles – even on our barely run in 2,000-mile test car – make you fear a really big compression will make the whole thing comically fall apart like a cartoon clown car.
But this really only concerns you for the first hour or so. Clanging flaws soon become ‘foibles’. A little further down the road they’ll have morphed into ‘character’ and, by your end destination, ‘charm’. On Britain’s choking, congested roads, being able to derive such involvement from even the most sedate of driving should arguably be cause for celebration. No new car we’ve driven has asked of so much concentration simply travelling from A to B.
You’d be forgiven for never daring explore its limits, then. But take a deep breath, commit, and the Plus 4 unexpectedly comes together with speed. Once you’ve sussed its vast amounts of steering lock, you can have great fun threading it through corners, and while it works best on smooth, wide A-roads rather than tight, challenging B-roads, you really will relish either.
Just a quick word on speccing; some Morgans, like this 110 Works, come with quite performance-y Yokohama tyres. They have far too much grip for the Plus 4’s modest power and wobbly chassis, so instead embrace its classic nature and choose less tenacious rubber for even bigger smiles. It might even ride a little comfier, too.
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