Farewelling two icons
Morgan has waved farewell to the Aero and Plus 8 with the GT and 50th, unveiled this week at the Geneva motor show.
Both cars will be put to pasture after these two special-editions are done, ending 50 years of Plus 8 production and 18 years of the Aero. BMW no longer builds the N62 V8 engine used in both models, which means it's time for engine and car to shuffle off to the garage in the sky.
The car pictured above is the Plus 8 50th, designed to celebrate five decades on the market and more than 6000 happy customers. Power comes from a 4.8-litre BMW V8 with 274kW, capable of hurling the car to 100km/h in 4.5 seconds on the way to a 250km/h top speed.
Although there's a six-speed ZF automatic transmission on offer, we'd stick with the six-speed manual option.
Weighing in at just 1100kg, the Plus 8 50th is also among the lightest V8-powered cars on the road. Thank the bonded and riveted aluminium chassis for that, along with the car's compact size and roofless profile.
Two exterior options will be offered, both of which are published above. The blue and yellow car is a roofless Speedster, inspired by the original MMC11 Plus 8 racer which, as you may have gathered, was painted blue in competition. Apparently the green used on the soft-top version of the Plus 8 50th is the most popular colour in the model's 50 year history.
“For many, the Plus 8 is the archetypal British sports car combining handcrafted, bespoke luxury with exhilarating performance – and that’s exactly why the Plus 8 has been a mainstay of the Morgan range for 50 years.”
Regardless of colour, the car gets a spun-aluminium dome in place of the spare rear wheel, and rides on champagne-coloured five-stud wheels. Pricing for the car kicks off £129,000 ($229,463) including the UK's VAT. A bespoke Christopher Ward watch is included in the price of admission.
Along with the retro Plus 8, Morgan will be farewelling the Aero with a hotted-up GT. Billed as the most extreme road-going Morgan ever made, the car is powered by the same 4.8-litre BMW V8 as the Plus 8, good for a 273km/h top speed and a 4.5-second sprint to 100km/h. Unlike in the Plus 8, however, there's no automatic transmission on offer here.
Although the engine is shared, the bodywork you see here is very much the GT's own. The front fender vents and rear diffuser help deliver more downforce than standard, and a carbon-fibre hardtop helps slice drag at speed.
The vents, scoops and louvres are also a nod to classic Morgan racers. As for the way they look? That's up to you.
Each car will be hand-built for the relevant customer, meaning owners will have to wait around 10 weeks for their retro creation to be completed. Only eight will be built, and they're all sold. Sorry.