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How Well Do You Know Your Morgan V8 History?

11/5/2018
MÁTÉ PETRÁNY

How Well Do You Know Your Morgan V8 History?

Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger knew how Morgan's affair with the naturally-aspirated V8 began. Now, we know how it ends fifty years later. But what went down since 1968?

       MÁTÉ PETRÁNY November 5, 2018

Mick Jagger In France
GETTY IMAGESREG LANCASTER

Peter Morgan took over the automaker from his father Henry Frederick Stanley Morgan in 1959. Within a decade, the V8-powered Plus 8 was ready to make everybody forget what a sales disaster the 1962 Plus 4 Plus coupé was. At that point, the new roadster pretty much saved the company.

Morgan's engineers modified the Plus 4's chassis to make room for the Buick-sourced Rover V8, adding a limited-slip differential for good measure. The Plus 8 was a hit in America, but also on the sunny side of Europe. No wonder why Mick Jagger drove one in Saint-Tropez right around the time he married Bianca De Macias there.

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GETTY IMAGESBRITISH MOTOR HERITAGE

Yet Morgan knew that the Rover V8 won't last forever, and so after making a deal with BMW, the controversial Aero 8 was born. Powered by a BMW's 4.4 N62 V8, the new roadster used a bespoke aluminum chassis. When the high-performance drivetrain urged buyers to ask for a coupé, Morgan was ready to create a new flagship. Due to the Rover motor's demise, the original Plus 8 was discontinued in 2004, only to make its comeback eight years later, complete with BMW's engine and a number of crucial tweaks inside and out.

Once BMW switched to forced induction V8s, Morgan's engines had to be built by hand by the Bavarians' prototype division.

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GETTY IMAGES

Planning to stay in business for long years to come, Morgan celebrates the end of their N/A V8 era with the ultra-limited Aero GT and the Plus 8 50th Anniversary models.

The Aero GT is a 367-horsepower super roadster capable of reaching 170mph. Only eight production cars will be made, with the first one leaving Malvern Link in Miami Blue.

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MORGAN

What's next for the Morgan flagships? Rumor has it that a forced induction V6, with some electrification options could be coming in the mid-2020s. However, there's no word yet on the fate of Morgan's glorious sidepipes...


 
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