The Morgan Plus Four has to be one of our very favourite anachronisms. Take a pre-WWII design and tweak it oh-so-subtly so it that it looks drop-dead gorgeous against a backdrop of 2020, then fill the interior full of modern technology dressed in 1920s knickerbockers.
It is stunning. The glorious light in the press pics helps, but how could you not turn your head to watch this all-new glamour-puss waltz by in a rose-tinted haze of leaded petrol fumes and squawking jazz music? They may have changed the numeric ‘4’ to the written word for this new car, but the impact is at least as tremendous as ever.
Everything about the faithful and instantly recognisable shape has been honed to perfection. It looks clean, crisp, low, muscular and it’s the ultimate expression of not giving a flying fudge cake what anyone else thinks. The Plus Four carries no pretentiousness and wields no arrogance. It simply is what it is, and it’s a triumph.
As the Morgan Plus Four teasers already told us, it’s a thoroughly modern car, despite appearances. Built on the 97kg CX-Generation bonded aluminium chassis shared with the Plus Six, it’s fitted with the 255bhp, 295lb ft turbocharged four-pot from the BMW 330i – and others. It’s the first turbo’d engine to feature in a Plus Four straight out of the factory. Some may still get palpitations at the idea of a BMW engine in a Morgan, but they work and they’re bloody good engines; if a little low on charisma.
Light weight means the automatic Four leaps to 62mph in a very brisk 4.8 seconds on the way to a 149mph top speed. In this narrow, open-topped body we bet 149mph feels like 1490mph. Brilliant. Efficiency is up thanks to dry weight from just 1009kg and that eight-speed automatic gearbox from BMW, lowering CO2 emissions to 159g/km and lifting fuel economy to 40mpg. Theoretically.
The engine story isn’t quite that simple; the manual version being detuned to 258lb ft to avoid damaging cogs Morgan hasn’t quite got around to upgrading yet. As such the three-pedal Plus Four takes 5.2 seconds to hit 62mph. Power and top speed are the same as the auto’s.
There’s double-wishbone suspension for proper sports car handling, (optional) proper 15-inch wire wheels and LED lights front and rear. The hood is now mohair as standard, you also get standard sun visors and power steering is also on the basic kit list. How frivolous.
Buying a slice of this utterly unique motoring experience costs from £62,995 with deliveries starting in April or May. If you feel like living every day as though it’s the Goodwood Revival without sacrificing modern comforts, nothing else compares.