Morgan Plus Four 2dr
- Price£ 35,400
The way it rides bumps, hangs together in the corners and has a solidity to it - despite weighing a whisker over a tonne - is most un-Morgan. Fortunately the bodywork is still supported by a handmade ash frame, most of the bodywork is hand-rolled and beaten aluminium, the interior hand-stitched leather… and its styling remains reassuringly Biggles-friendly, so all is still right with the world.
Frankly, you can forget all those numbers mentioned earlier, they’re totally irrelevant. This is a character car, a feelgood chariot, whose success should be measured in how hard you’re grinning and how many friendly waves you accrue, not the stopwatch.
We drove both gearbox options and would go for the manual every time. The auto works fine and the quickness of its shifts (and the shortness of its eight ratios) lends it an occasionally disconcerting turn of speed. But it feels like an interloper, from the BMW gear selector that jars with the rest of the cabin to the plasticky paddles behind the wheel. Far better to chuck around the stubby, short-throw lever, match revs to biting points and revel in properly operating a car that looks like it should have a manual crank handle in its nose.
By more than its 0.4secs gap to 62mph suggests, yes. It's a loooong-geared 'box which does at least mean our long-term test car regularly touches 50mpg. Which is worth more than you'd think, given the fuel tank is quite titchy. But actually a more modest pace is what you want here. While this chassis is a big step on by Morgan's standards, it's still a good way off a Boxster. Calming things down with the more languid manual feels right.
Admittedly, two litres and four cylinders isn’t much to get excited about in a £64,995 sports car, but with no electronic nets besides ABS, and barely a tonne to push along, it’s a potent force. It’s also a loudmouth, booming on throttle, hissing and muffled pops when you lift off. Nothing particularly melodic, but there’s more performance than you can realistically use on a B-road.
It's probably the pick of the current Morgan range. The Plus Six would be more of a handful, but no faster point to point. When it’s time to behave you won’t miss the auto or bigger engine either – with 258lb ft of torque, you can simply slot it in fourth and bimble about your day. Here's a Mog that doesn't give you the driving equivalent of patting your head while rubbing your belly simply to get places.
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