“Raw, visceral, loud, and low,” Morgan‘s latest press release opens. Blimey. The Malvern Hills-based company is talking about the Plus 8 GTR, a brief but glorious comeback for its V8 sports car that went out of production in 2018.
Morgan recently re-acquired some unused Plus 8 rolling chassis, which became available after a third party cancelled a project involving the part-built cars. The plan is to complete them with upgraded components in a “‘gloves off’ special edition”.
The primary source of inspiration will be the Plus 8 GT racing cars Morgan ran in the 1990s. As such, there’ll be various references like five-spoke centre-locking wheels, redesigned wheel arches and front wings, and a hard top roof.
The latter element will have a big vent at the rear to eject hot air from the cabin, while at the front, a new louvred bonnet will keep the BMW N62 V8 engine cool. There are also some new vents to help quell turbulent airflow.
Production will start this summer at the Morgan Design and Engineering Centre, rather than the nearby historic Pickersleigh Road factory. Only nine of these will be built, but there will be follow-ups - the GTR will be “the first in a line of Morgan special projects set to commence this year.”
Speaking about the new project, Morgan design chief Jonathan Wells said:
“Reviving a V8-powered Morgan at the current time may not seem like the obvious choice for a manufacturer firmly focused on new platforms and powertrains. However, when the opportunity presented itself to recommission a number of rolling chassis and create an exciting special project such as Plus 8 GTR, we embraced it fully.
“This project has allowed Morgan’s design and engineering teams to revisit some of their favourite elements of past Morgan models, as well as experiment with some features that we hope will appear on future Morgan cars.”