Morgan Plus Four CX-T is ready to tackle tough terrain
19:50

Morgan Plus Four CX-T is ready to tackle tough terrain

Off-Road
Speaker 1: [00:00:30] Pottering around the countryside in something like this 1938 Morgan, four, four flat ride. Wasn't unusual in the past skinny tires and a lack of weight made it relat easy to tackle a little off piece driving many even took it to stage further taking part in competition trials. Now Morgan has decided to head back off road and in no uncertain terms Speaker 2: [00:01:00] Things I never thought I'd do in a Morgan. That's insane. That really is every bit as steep as it looks. Speaker 1: [00:01:30] This is the Morgan CXT and it's not a prop from a new Jurassic park film. Morgan is actually going to build and sell some of these here to explain more about it is John Wells. Morgan's head of design. Speaker 2: This is extraordinary. Isn't it? I mean, it looks like one of those sort of Instagram renders bought to life. How, how did it start? How did this [00:02:00] come about? Well, it is a bit of a dream come through. It mean a something that team and I and Morgan in the, in the design studio have, are fantasized about for years was harking back a little bit to Morgan's history of, um, endurance trialing and, and bouncing these things around field and off road is quite a good bit of legitimate archive history there. Um, so we we've drawn these things periodically, um, but it wasn't until a few years ago, when we embarked on the, uh, CX platform project to the new aluminum platform, [00:02:30] we thought, how can we really bring attention to the underpinnings when the car looks visually, you know, similar. So we, we drew a few bits and pieces and, uh, we had a sketch on the wall in the studio and recently one of our, um, one of our investors came around and visited and had he and the CEO walked into our office and went, oh, wow, that's cool. We should build it. And sort of walked off. And we all looked at each other and went, do you think he's serious? Um, and then before we knew it, we were meeting up on a Saturday morning with, um, some, uh, some Dakar experts, an [00:03:00] amazing outfit called rally raid UK. And, uh, they were sat in our studio and we were talking around the sketches. We had our investors there and our CEO and we just decided to do it. There was no, um, no focus groups, no big validation committees. We just thought, Speaker 3: So it wasn't, it wasn't the case that you sort of thought, right. Morgan has to do an SUV and this is what you ended up with. It was Speaker 2: Absolutely not. And that's not a word we associate even remotely with this. This was, this was about, I dunno, Morgan cars are very much about experience, right? It's about [00:03:30] doing something different, having great fun doing it. And I think, especially at the moment, that sense of people wanting adventure and experience, that's what this is focused on. It's not a comp race car. Um, it's not going to do the Dakar rally. Um, but it is a legitimate adventure vehicle. Um, and it is designed to, to perform as well. And that's where rally rage came into play. Yeah. Right. Speaker 3: Let's get onto some of the specifics about this. Should we just start from the front and, and work through to the sure. The rear? So [00:04:00] I suppose the easiest thing is to say what still exists from a, Speaker 2: From a plus four. Okay. So, so outwardly the nose cone yeah. Is untouched. And so are the doors. Otherwise we've touched everything on the body work, um, underneath the car, it's probably a good place to start at the front it's based on our plus four. So it's a, B 48 BMW engine manual gear box, two liter. Um, so turbocharged engine, it's exactly the same as we use in our road going plus four. Yeah. And that lives within the CX platform, which is our aluminum [00:04:30] bonded riveted platform. We Speaker 3: Should say, it's, it's, it's not, it's not a typo. It's not, cuz something might think we should be XC, you know, cross country and all that. No, it's, it's CX, you know, there sort of 110 years kind of platform marketing spiel maneuverable way on hundred and, and the T stands for Speaker 2: 110 and the T stands for trialing. So that's, that's the hard back to the trialing, the trialing hundred, 10 years of Morgan trialing. Um, so that's the CXT platform and that has been pretty well untouched and that's quite important for us. We wanted to show what the thing can do. Um, but then [00:05:00] that's when it all starts aging a little bit. So in the corners, we borrowed the, um, the wish bones from a plus six, the wider body car to give us that extra articulation. That's not XTC dampers, proper setup underneath. Um, so it does its job when it gets Speaker 3: Rough. And I think that was one of the things that gave me confidence. You, you know, this is genuine when you hear what dampers. Yeah. Ironic big, cuz. I mean, actually it's nice. They're a nice British company anyway, but you know, they've been used in WRC and stuff like that for years, they are proper proper things. Speaker 2: Aren't they and [00:05:30] rally Ray, you know, they've built 50, 60 back cars and of amazing success of getting vehicles across the line. They know what they're doing. They presented options to us. And it was kind of a case of where you could have this, but all you really want is this. So Speaker 3: Spend your money on the dams that's so we're gonna spend it on Adam. That was the focus. Speaker 2: Yeah. But we didn't make it too easy for them. What we were, especially in the design team, myself and my colleagues especially were really adamant. We didn't want to grow the car. We didn't wanna make a Morgan monster truck. Morgan's quite a USP actually at the moment is that we still build [00:06:00] sweet little British sports cars. They're narrow and they're slight and they're light. And um, we didn't wanna lose that identity. So we wouldn't bunch a, we wouldn't bud, a millimeter on the track. So this car is still the same footprint as a plus four. And that was really important to us. And actually we used the opportunity to get a few things across the line. So it's a nightmare for the fabricators welding, these headlight pods on, but we just wanted them a bit closer together. Um, just to pinch that nose a little bit. Speaker 2: So it's definitely a small British car, but then you can see on the front [00:06:30] we have protected it. Yeah. So there's a big six millimeter steel under tray on the front of the car. Um, we did a down here in this quar a couple of months ago and I'd never sat in this before. And uh, there's a chap rally red guy called Beatie really experienced driver, took me out and I'm not a nervous passenger, but I was sat there. Like I don't need to be, I've got kids, you know, this is scary. Um, but there was a, at one point he, he took us off the edge of this flipping cliff and there was a Boulder there, 16 cross and I went, you know, fast game over. [00:07:00] It's been fun. See you later guys. And it just exploded. And car carried on. So all the business at the front end for that. Speaker 2: Yeah. Um, lots of little touches you'll see on the cooling. So really worked out the underwear management. The idea is these can go and do a classic rally raid in da in, um, sort of Morocco or something in the desert it and, um, inside getting the airflow right. Was key. So we got these, that's the extra intakes built with some pressure on the lower part of the radiator. It's split inside. You can see behind the mesh to send more over the bonnet. And [00:07:30] you'll notice that the black, the bonnets lifted an inch, um, just to manage some of that air out each bonnet, as you know, Morgan is entirely handmade to fit. So our are hand beat and the panels in a slightly different orientation around the bonnet area. And even the Lous are laid out slightly differently. And we've got some like sand bags on each side. Speaker 2: That one is yep. The storage, this one isn't, this is your towing extraction equipment. This is your, your, your snatch ropes and things of that side. That's actually a big dead. Is it spec air [00:08:00] filter. It's got sort of easily to stay away, replaceable cartridges. You can take inside the vehicle. But I mean the rally road cars will tell you more about it essentially. I think you can beat under the sand and it's still breathing. So, um, that's extra air filter capacity on the outside. Um, and then yeah, we arches completely cut out. So you see they're much more open now to allow for the articulation on, on the travel. There are the owls of any significance. Speaker 2: So, uh, so [00:08:30] the, uh, the owl is a little bit of a, this is, this is gradually wide unknown. Don't think we've ever talked about the owl. Okay. Um, you could call it our Clover leaf. It are insignia that it represents, this is a car that's come from the design team that you would never see this on a production car. You you'd probably not see it on a customer's car. This is a car that's special to us. And at Morgan, we have a, a largely unknown mascot. There's an owl. That's lived above the PDI bay where customers come to collect their cars stuffed [00:09:00] out and he's lived there forever. No one really knows where he came from. He's a bit of a mythical Morgan creature and he looks over all the cars, you know, he's almost the overseer. Yeah. Um, and we just thought it was a really nice representation of essentially he lives there to stop pigeons coming in, you know, um, opening themselves up on top of the bonnets. Speaker 2: So, uh, you know, the, the owl is, there is a bit of a protecting mascot to Morgan and for us, it's, you know, it's the mark of approval on a, on Morgan design car. Excellent. Oh, that's really nice. [00:09:30] Um, lights spot lamps up here. SOS spot lamps what's been super cool to here is we're approaching the car from an aesthetic design Morgan point of view. Rally raid are approaching it purely from function. Every little detail's been considered, um, spotlights driving 'em on the road. People may consider that you, you shouldn't have them. You could get pulled over. So they've got the covers on them. You don't want these covers hanging around in the car. So we replace the plastic covers for upholstered covers made out a nice leather, a little stairway bag here to store them or little details like that. Make all the difference [00:10:00] on the top, your side screens, as you know, on a Morgan be removed, we've got the extra replicated fixing so we can lock them into place on top move, rear wood. Speaker 2: You can see the shovels, the sand tracks, the PE cases. Everything's got a well designed place. Yeah. After 10 days of driving across the there's a, the last thing you want to do is Fen around with boxes and storage. And it's about just making the adventure easy and, and sort of organized. Yeah. And then obviously this T 45. Yep. Big T 45 external cage. This [00:10:30] drops through the new composite hard top hit an internal cage. Um, it's not an FIA approved race. It's just adding safety, but also somewhere to hold everything and just strength. Um, right. That's cool. And super useful. I mean, some of the clients that are, that are investing in these cars, they want mountain bike racks on the top one, guy's taking his paddle boards and surfboards and things. And you know, it's all about that adventurous. You've got this big setup ready for accessories. Speaker 2: All right. One, one as well, got mounting points to lift it onto a boat. That's like [00:11:00] that. That's right. Some, some lifting points to, um, to load it onto a yacht and, uh, move it around the world to have drips and adventures. Um, and then as we move down here, obviously the stuff we have got the back, we've got these PE cases in here. That's right. So in terms of the equip and things, um, couple of PE cases. So you were on a trip, you, um, you know, you've got limited access to what you can get. Everything needs to be easily pulled out. So these just slide sideways. Um, if we were to do an expedition with clients, you [00:11:30] know, they may even have luggage waiting at the hotel, but the idea here is that you've got enough stuff to sort of get you to the hotel and be well prepared. There's a toolbox that won't repair everything on the car, but everything that will stop you finishing your journey can be fixed with what's in this box really nicely curated and packaged. Couple of rotor packs here, fuel water, and obviously spare tires, jacks, and, um, and the wheel bars and things. These are really cool. Little military grade, sand, sand bar, sand boards, just to sort of climb out [00:12:00] of everything. Speaker 3: Yeah. They are incredibly grippy on it. That's you should point out that the exhaust side exit is not just because it's cool. It's, it's obviously their functionally as well, because well, it gives great ground clearance and I think you're reversing out of stuff as well. You don't want exhaust pointings. Speaker 2: That's exactly right. In areas. Our first sketch had 'em on the rear, the rally red guys are telling us they need to be on the side, safe, exhaust pipes off going backwards and not a logic in that. Yeah. Speaker 3: Um, price. Speaker 2: So have you seven [00:12:30] of these seven client cars? Um, it's hard to say how much everyone's bit different someone I've got bike racks and we've got surfboards. Like I say, lots of slightly different configurations, but you know, you could say hundred 70,000, um, before the tax, which yeah. Pretty much wear these are position, but you can almost do the, the maths as you walk around with petty cases and the bits and pieces. And it sort of does make sense. We think is a value proposition. Yeah, Speaker 3: Absolutely. Well, I think the thing that I really like is that from all the bits on it, you just look at it and think [00:13:00] I want to go on an adventure in it. Is that sort of ethos about it? So, Speaker 2: No, that's exactly right. That's pretty much square where we are aiming it. So Speaker 3: Right time to out adventure in, in Wales then Speaker 1: The CXT is road registered, of course. But for today we are sticking to this varied and frankly, fabulous off-road playground, which is hidden in the Hills of north Wales. Although if you squint a, it, Speaker 3: It almost could be Africa [00:13:30] somehow or a bleached grass Speaker 3: Just in case we run. Well, I haven't actually aged 20 years over the space of a few minutes. It is just very dusty here today. And obviously we haven't got the sides on. So yeah, I have that Explorer look, I think rather like it, it's the sort of MOS James center, the me media look, I've always answered that rather this has been [00:14:00] designed. So actually you can take this competent roof off and go completely outta fresco. So because this is a standard plus 400, the bottom, we've got 255 brake horsepower, 258 hands for the tool and you can do skits very easily on gravel. Speaker 3: Lot of fact, you can hear it breathing through that intake over there. Bit of doth lady going on. [00:14:30] It obviously weighs a little bit more. So it's just over 1200 kilos. Think this is opposed to near a thousand for the standard car because of all the kit we got on the back, but it still dances around. We've got 125 mil travel, which is not a huge man, but I love it through here. I got the rock on the inside. So it's definitely feel still very connected to the road, or there's only so much that it will cope with and you have to measure your speed in places, but that's [00:15:00] kind of, I kind of like that. It makes it a bit more of a challenge. You're not just gonna drive straight over everything. Speaker 3: The important thing is it feels too up enough to take the hits when they come. Obviously, one of the reasons for Morgan building this is to show their reliability because well, Rosie might have ideas about exactly what sort of reliability they have, but this hasn't missed a beat all day, [00:15:30] certainly rattles some songs, but it's all stay together. It's actually got a really nice balance to it. I feel happier sliding this around than the road version, to be honest, the fact that this has been developed with a proper D R outfit means that they've thought of all sorts of little things. So we didn't really talk about the interior of this, but obviously a lot of it is just normal Morgan, a lot of these [00:16:00] dials and things you would find inner plus four, but we've got phone Mount there, a little sort of tucking away for all the cables in there. Speaker 3: We also got the light for matte reading when you're going along two switches here. So if they both turned to the left, then you've got road mode, the left one to the right, that's your offroad mode. So you've got about sort of 40% locking on that rear diff and then you can turn the right one to the right. You lock the diff completely. So if you need to extricate yourself from sand, if you've got the sand boards [00:16:30] out, stuff like that, but it's other little things. So it's not just the mechanics that you're thinking about. It's the fact that, well, you've got obviously the first a kit back there, and then you've got your food patches down here, which you've got that sort of silver lining to them. So like cool patches, I suppose, and they're easily accessible. So you can get add to them as you're going along. Speaker 3: People you've got the navigators sort of thing. And there's your document pouch, which is removable. [00:17:00] So if you're going through board and stuff, keep that with you. Things like that, that they've really thought about. This is been designed to be used. It's not just a styling exercise or just a, a simple play thing. You can really see that they want people and have adventures in these. I hope they do. I know they're only building seven customer cars, but I sort of hope they find a way to build some more, make it more of a production car. Cause I think poor people really, really enjoy this. [00:17:30] It's a bit like people discovering gravel, riding road bikes. I think there's just a real appetite for that sort of thing. That sense of adventure going off the beaten track after all Ariel certainly seems to have made the business case work for its nomad and the internet went wild Speaker 1: For singers, ACS, the DAKA style nine 11 as for where you'd ever use it. Well, Morgan is planning to organize trips to Morocco for the owners of the CX Ts. And I've always fancied the idea of exploring [00:18:00] the strata Bian in Italy, perhaps a joint from peeking to Paris could be attempted, or maybe you'll just enjoy confidently. Being able to use the overflow park. Speaker 3: The CXT reaching parts that other Morgans cannot reach. Oh, you get those dams start to work to get out more speed. It's got pretty good balance too. Cause you look at it and all that weight out the rear you, or how's [00:18:30] that gonna feel? But you can't slide it around pretty well. You obviously are still gonna be patient together and long nose into the corner, but pretty good. Well done. Little car. Well, that's one of the things about this. You sort of form an affinity with it, a bond with it because it's doing things that shouldn't be possible. It's the, it's the little car that can, Speaker 1: It is of course a lot of money, but I like the fact that it didn't just remain as a pipe dream [00:19:00] on a piece of paper on a design office wall. What's more, I rather hope that at least some of the learnings from the CXT development might trickle down to other Morgans in the future. The, and maybe if people like this a slightly more affordable version might one day make it to the regular lineup. Here's hoping because like the Bon's three Wheeler, the CXT makes the automotive landscape a better, more fun place just for existing.

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