How Morgan made the mighty V8 very British indeed
5:46

How Morgan made the mighty V8 very British indeed

Roadshow
The mighty V8. When you think of a V8 you think of super cars, hyper cars, big American muscle cars. But actually it's been used all over the place including by Morgan small company in the heart of Britain. Which has been using them to great effect For 50 years. [MUSIC] This is a Morgan Plus 8. Not just any Plus 8, though. It's the first. A car designed 50 years ago to add some extra pep to the Morgan lineup. The Plus 8 was the brain child of Pisa Morgan, son of Morgan Motor Company founder, H.F.S. Morgan. Peter joined the company in the late 1940s. His first job was the introduction of the Plus Four, but it's the Plus Eight that he's really known for. And at various points over the last 50 years, it's been credited with being both awesome, and saving the company just a little bit. It was powered by a Rover V8 and introduced in 1968. And at one point, it was the fastest accelerating UK production car Take that, Aspen and Co. [BLANK_AUDIO] Over its life, the Plus 8 got tweaks to its power, gearbox and steering, all to make it a little sharper, a little more exciting than before. The Plus 8 was a huge seller for Morgan in the US. With a huge chunk of Morgan's cars heading stateside, most of those were a V-8 powered Plus 8. At the turn of the century Morgan introduced another V8 to its lineup. The Aero8, powered by a 4.4 litre BMW source V8 with 282 brake horsepower. And it was made using aluminum, making it a thoroughly modern Morg. It's look was a little bit not to everyone's taste. But it was more aerodynamically efficient. It was tweaked slightly later in the car's life. It would 0 to 60 in 4.8 seconds and go on to 160 miles an hour. Brisk for 2000 and still brisk for today. Morgan's two-pronged attack was pretty cool. There was something for the Morgan purist who wanted to look as though they'd just gone sideways from the 1940s. And then the retro futurist approach with the Arrow 8. But All, good things. The Plus 8 was in continuous production from 1968 until 2004, when the Rover V8, originally a modified Buick engine, was killed, taking a fair few cars with it. This left Morgan with just one V8 in its lineup. The Aero 8, which, of course, over its life for the year 2000, got various power and styling upgrades and all that kind of stuff. But. In the mid 2000s, something truly wonderful happened. [MUSIC] The Aeromax appeared, built at the request of a collector who liked the Aero 8 but wanted a hardtop, its designer Matt Humphreys did a blinding job. It remains one of the smartest looking cars out there, a joy to see and hear. And if you're Charles Morgan, to [UNKNOWN] around in the snow. Powered by the Aero 8's 4.4 liter V8, it was both beautiful and quick. [UNKNOWN] exhaust made a huge difference as well. Only 100 Aero Max were built, bespoke to each client. They were all just so. And they all sold out pretty quickly. There was a demand For more which is why in 2009 Morgan introduced the Aero Super Sport, and a little while later the Aero Coupe. The hard topped version of the Tiger Top Super Sport. They offered a few more livable tweaks that looked largely the same as the Aero Max. Basically, they were pretty and awesome. The aero coupe was a stunning car. Cool to drives in town slowly, fast and fun on country lanes. It was the balls frankly. And as we're talking about it We may as well show some footage of it looking super sexy on the streets of London at night. It's motor was a 4.8 liter BMW V8, with 367 brake horsepower, and 370 pound foot. The soundtrack was out of this world good, with verbals in all the right places. While the [UNKNOWN] cars were doing their thing, the cars at [UNKNOWN] plus 8 had not been forgotten about. It may have been resting since the early nineties, but in 2012 it returned with that V8 under the bonnet. A new look, a new chasis, and well, a new everything. It was big, brash, and brutal, and frankly, a little bit ridiculous. Especially, the speedster special edition. I mean Who needs a windscreen anyway? In 2015, the Aero lineup was streamlined to just one car. The new Aero 8. The same 4.8 liter V8 now to 62 in 4.5 seconds, a top speed of 170 And retro-futuristic looks to set it apart from any crowd. However, Morgan was only going to build 300 of them. Much has happened to the original Plus 8, the V8 that powered it was going out of production. BMW wasn't using it anymore and built the engine specifically for Morgan on its prototype production line which is why in 2018, Morgan is where it is. With two special edition limited run cars, that marks the end of the naturally aspirated Morgan V8. On the one hand you could have a 50th anniversary special Plus 8 with design and details based on the original Plus 8 itself, and you can even get a limited edition Christopher Ward watch to go along side, with a tiny bit of original Plus E in it to boot. And then we have this. The Arrow GT, the most hardcore, most awesome Arrow ever built. With those though, their naturally aspirated Morgan V8 is gone. Who know what'll power the fastest Morgans in the future? Turbos, hybrids, I don't know. I'm sure it'll be exciting. For now though, well it's been a hell of a 50 years getting here. [NOISE] [MUSIC]

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