Morgan celebrates centenary with limited edition Plus 8 Speedster

AFP
First Published: 12:30 IST(24/4/2014)
Last Updated: 12:42 IST(24/4/2014)
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The eccentric British sports car maker is marking the very special vehicular milestone with a special, stripped-down version of its already stripped-down road-going racer.

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It might look like something from a bygone age, but underneath the 1950s styling beats an incredibly modern 4.8-liter V8 heart. Sourced from BMW, it churns out 367bhp which is enough to catapult the car from standstill to 100km/h (62mph) in just 4.2 seconds and on to an electronically limited top speed of 239km/h (148mph).

But any faster and your head would probably be wrenched from its shoulders thanks to the fact that this car is so stripped down it won't be coming as standard with fripperies such as a full windshield. However, it will be getting competition-height roll bars.

Morgan is famous for hand-building lightweight yet strong chassis and where that used to mean felling an oak tree and getting out the chisels, wood has finally given way to aluminum but the result is just as rigid and the weight savings mean that the Plus 8 Speedster offers an excellent power to weight ratio. Morgan describes it as being as good as anything in its class but the truth is that there is nothing like a Morgan, so comparing it to something else is pointless, except maybe a Mini in that wheel at each corner go-kart handling sense.

Although the company is technically 114 years old in 2014, the new model, which goes on sale in June has been created to celebrate 100 years of vehicle manufacturing at its Pickersleigh Road facility.

Morgan hasn't said how many cars it will be producing, but has stressed that production will be strictly limited. But that's the case with all of its models. Hand-built, often bespoke cars take a long time to build and as such the company only produces roughly 600-700 cars a year. However that does guarantee a healthy waiting list.

The Limited Edition Morgan Plus 8 Speedster will cost £69,995 (about US$117,500) before personalization and other requests and Morgan promises that the range of options -- which does include a windshield and a roof -- is comprehensive.


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