BMW stop sticking the N62 V8 in its cars over 10 years, and yet an all-new vehicle is about to be launched with the naturally-aspirated engine proudly mounted up front. What you’re looking at here is the Morgan Plus 8 GTR, first teased earlier this year and now appearing in its final form.
The standard Plus 8 bowed out in 2018, but thanks to a third party’s cancelled project, Morgan managed to get hold of several unused rolling chassis. And so, it decided to finish them off, but not in the old Plus 8 Spec.
The redesigned Plus 8 is described as a “‘gloves off’ special edition” inspired by the company’s ‘Big Blue’ racing car of the 1990s. And so, we have five-spoke centre-locking wheels, chunky new front wings and a reworked rear end. The first completed production car is finished in gorgeous Yas Marina Blue, just like the car depicted in the original design sketches and the old racer.
Inside there are new door cards, carbon fibre racing seats with harnesses, and a special plaque displaying the production number.
Morgan will only be making nine of these at its workshop in Malvern. Each will feature a new exhaust system and ECU fettling for the 4.8-litre V8, yielding a power output of 375bhp - up from 362bhp in the last Plus 8. This makes the GTR Morgan’s most powerful car ever, and although there are no performance figures, we can be fairly sure they’ll be nicely brisk with a weight figure expected to be somewhere in the region of 1,100kg.
The GTR is one of two special projects Morgan is dabbling in this year, the other being the Plus Four CX-T. This makes us wonder if there are more cars like this on the way, particularly with limited-run vehicles proving big business for performance car manufacturers right now.
Speaking of the company’s new/old creation, Morgan boss Steve Morris said: “The Plus 8 GTR represents an opportunity for Morgan to celebrate the V8 engine once again, something we did not expect to do since finishing the Plus 8 and Aero 8 models in 2018.”