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Morgan Aero Coupe: Steampunk SupercarWith looks to from a bygone age and modern power under the hood the Morgan Aero Coupe is car unlike any other on the roads today.
Charles Morgan describes the Aeromax as a piece of automotive theater, a car that causes a stir wherever it goes, that turns heads even though it's a few years old. It's a car that makes people happy. Only 100 were ever made, though. So, you'd be lucky to see one at a motor show, let alone see one on the road. Morgan now, though, has a new take on automotive theater. It's called the Aero Coupe, and it's quite the experience. I think the Aero Coupe is one of the most beautiful cars ever made. It barely differs from its predecessor. Those rear window line and boot have been tweaked. Its design harks back to a time when big sails, swooping rear latches, and boat-like rear ends were invoked. It's taken inspiration from a time when the ultimate car was something that announced its own [unk] rival rather than being at anonymous books designed to ferry disinterested commuters to jumps they despise. The Aero Coupe announces itself, and new to everyone else. People stop and stand and stare, waving camera phones most certainly come out to capture just a little bit of it. I like to think that the Aero Coupe is the future-- as designed by sci-fi writers in the 1940s. The Aero Coupe does have a bit of future take on it. The Morgan Aero 8 to which this is closely related was the first Morgan to use a bonded aluminum chassis-- much like a Lotus Elise. It's a third of the weight of steel, so it offers better power to weight and fuel economy. Also, its new rear gives it a bit more go than the sainted Aeromax. It seems the fastest Morgans shy away from the traditional, and look forward. That lightweight pegs it at around 1,200 kilos, which is Lotus Exige S' territory. And Morgan has found a pretty kick-ass engines a hook-up to its feather-weight chassis. It's a 4.8-liter V8 source from BMW, and it kicks out 367 brake horsepower and 370 torques if you measure them in pounds and feet. The torque transforms will [unk] do 0-62 in just 4.5 seconds and go on to 170 miles an hour. Power is all well and good, but how does something so design-driven make you feel? Does it handle well? Does it make you feel good? With the driving experience, yeah, there are a few flaws with it, especially when you compare it to cars made by the likes of, say, Porsche-- who have millions and millions and millions of euros of R&D budget. Where a Porsche is more precision-engineered, the Morgan is a bit rough around the edges. For example, the steering is very, very heavy. You do get a great feedback. It is power-assisted. But again, it is quite heavy. Plus, the brakes are a touch [unk] which is a little unnerving. Another flaw is the fact the interior is a little bit rough and ready and very flat, and has BMW bits and, you know, you do get some odd noises and odd creaks all over the place. That doesn't matter, though, because Morgans themselves are experiences. This is a wonderful thing to drive. It makes it so much more rewarding. But then, you get the noise of this beautiful sonorous V8 bouncing off every building. It's not being silenced to make any emissions people [unk] noise, people happy. It makes noise because it can. And my God, that noise is just unbelievable. It sounds like an old-school car should, it looks like an old-school car should. You can feel the passion that's gone into it. You know that someone spends a long time bolting bits of it together. And that makes it really quite magical. The look of the thing, the sound of the thing, the feel of the thing. It's something I'm never gonna forget. Like its predecessor, the Aero Coupe is a piece of automotive theater. It's a car that people buy when they want to experience their drive and share that experience with others. It's a piece of design that the world really would be poorer without. Yes, there are other more accomplished sports car out there, but they're there in comparative abundance. And while Morgan will make more than 100 Aero Coupes if customers demand it, it will still be pretty rare. And that makes it really rather special.