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2012 Morgan Plus 8 review

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Morgan's classic Plus 8 body gains some modern Aero 8 mechanicals. A perfect match?

2012 Morgan Plus 8 side

What is it?
 
The modern Morgan Aero 8 mechanicals with the classic Plus 8 body wrapped around them, for the not inconsiderable sum of £82,500.
 
Technical highlights?
 
The Aero 8 crammed 50 years of evolution into one model cycle, clothing a thoroughly modern bonded and riveted aluminium chassis and bespoke BMW running gear in an aerodynamic rendering of the flowing Morgan body style.
 
It hasn’t become the staple that the Plus 4s and 8s did, though, morphing into the more elegant Aero SuperSports. So the development team took the thing of beauty that is the modern aluminium chassis, fashioned a traditional body big enough to cover it – the widest ever - and the new Plus 8 was born.
 
What’s it like to drive?
 
Pace shouldn’t come as a surprise, because even at idle the 4.8-litre, 362bhp V8 crammed beneath the bonnet mumbles menacingly from the side exit exhaust pipes.
 
Initially it’s a curious thing to thread down a twisting road. The front wheels feel oddly independent and distant and easily distracted, which is an effect I recall from the Aero 8, only it’s enhanced here. Most of the time this doesn’t matter but mid-corner bumps can upset the axle’s composure and deflect it from its line. The rear tops out over sharp bumps, too. This is a shame because flowing along is what the Plus 8 does very well, and will do at a supercar pace if you’re keen.
 
The six-speed automatic gearbox is a surprisingly good match for the car, smooth and responsive, and there’s a good, solid connection between throttle and rear axle, so you can steer it finely with the rear if you want. The steering is still weighty at speeds but not intrusively so, and so you can get into a very satisfying groove with the car.
 
How does it compare?
 
There’s a lot of talent at its price point, not least the Nissan GT-R and all-new Porsche 911 Carrera S. But that’s not the point. There are few cars as intriguing, exciting and thunderously quick for less than £100,000.
 
Anything else I need to know?
 
If you still crave the Aero 8’s undeniably divisive styling, then fear not. The Aero SuperSports and new Aero Coupe continue Morgan’s more modern look.

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evo RATING

 
[+]
Classic looks gain modern performance
[-]
Still requires a dedicated driver

evo SPECIFICATIONS

 
Engine: 4799cc, V8
Max power: 362bhp @ 6300rpm
Max torque: 370lb ft @ 3600rpm
0 - 60mph: 4.5sec
Top speed: 155mph
Price: £82,500

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