The Morgan Plus 8 Speedster looks retro and sounds like thunder
When you think of days gone by you don't think of driving, you think of motoring.
Not sports cars, but motorcars.
Big wings, massive engines, and not much by way of safety gear.
Cars were more special back then.
An event rather than a diesel powered shore.
And I like the sound of those days.
Not necessarily the cars, they were ungamely, a bit pigish to drive and not all that comfortable.
Nowadays there's a trend to taking old cars and maybe seeing their best, updating them.
Making them more palatable.
For today's roads, look at the likes of icon and singer.
And we're not talking Mr. Tom type cars, but you get my point.
I, however, like Morgan's approach.
Make a new car that looks old.
Morgan, when it comes to appearances, is very much stuck in the 30s.
It's designers take the whole days of yore thing to a new level.
Yes, the aero coupe eight is a modern looking thing but it's still got its basis in yesterday.
The plus eight, a car we love at XCAR, is a breath of old air.
It's got a big v eight, a decent chassis, and is a hoot to drive.
But it's not the most old school version of the car.
That's this, the plus eight speedster.
Let's go through the checklist, shall we.
1930's style body, yep, that's here.
There's a leather interior, new.
No windscreen or windows to speak of, leather strap over the bonnet, and big old alloy wheels that look like Steelys.
This is my kinda motor.
This is a Russell Dragster.
The reason behind the [UNKNOWN] speedster is pretty simple, it's a celebration of the century Morgan has been producing cars at it's [UNKNOWN] factory.
That is insane.
That factory has seen many cars roll through it's gates, and the speedster.
Is its' gift to the world.
>.These things are super limited editions.
There will only ever be 60 and all 60 have now been produced.
But here's the vital statistics.
Like the Arrow two fay and the plus eight, it sits on a bonded aluminum chassis and like those two cars,.
Under the bonnet there's a four point eight liter BMW sourced V eight with 367 horsepower and 370 pound foot.
Because it's quite light, well it's performance figures are rather lovely.
Naught to 62 takes four point five seconds.
It's top speed is around 150 miles an hour.
You have a choice of a six speed manual or an automatic with a paddle shift.
Which seems awfully modern for a Morgan but, you know, horses are for courses and the whole lack of roof thing?
Well someone much sillier than I once said, roof off unless the storm has a name.
Morgans have a charm about them that no other brand can quite manage, they aren't the sharpest cars to drive nor are they the most reliably built, they come with rattles and creeks but their hand build by people who really know their stuff, by craftsmen.
Morgans make you smile with their foppish, inoffensive nature.
You can't help but like them.
My ears are right above a set of rather lovely exhaust pipes.
I'm churning out one of the best noises I've ever heard.
The acceleration is something else.
Because it weighs so little, this thing will do nought to 62 in four and a half seconds.
And when you lean on it in gear, good God, it just flies!
And it flies with that noise.
This is an exciting car, this is an experience car, that's not to say it is without flaws.
It's also a chaffing massive car, yet the passenger cabin is miniscule.
There isn't much room for me and I'm not very big.
The seats, however, are wonderful and they're heated, and considering this is January and it is very cold, having a warm bottom is rather welcome.
Then there's the steering.
The steering is interesting because it works, but.
It's a little bit vague, just a little bit.
It does it's job but it's not.
If you're looking for Porsche's level of steering, you're not going to get that.
But if you get the Morgan, you're not looking for Porsche's level on engagement.
I mentioned earlier there's two types of gear box you can get for this.
I've got the six speed manual, tell you what it is cracking.
It's a beautiful gear box, it's a nice soft throw, it's nice and easy to use, it slides into each ratio rather pleasantly.
So we have always thought about Morgans is that they are, they aren't just cars.
They are a little mix of automated theater.
Everyone stares at you, wondering exactly why you are driving something like this in the 21st Century, especially in January.
They're not cars for everybody, they're not the best handling, but they do give some of the best experiences you can have.
I love these things, I really do.
You know what, I never really care about how a Morgan actually drives.
I really don't because they make me feel good.
I like the silliness of them.
How distant they are compared with literally everything else on the road.
This thing will outshine everything short of a Jaguar D Type.
It like the rest of Morgan's stable is a moving stage and you're the player in a big, mobile show.
You're not the star, god no.
You're simply the player, the car itself is the true star.
And I wouldn't have it any other way.
The Plus 8 Speedster is the closest you can really get with a modern car.
The feeling like the gentlemen racers of old, all be it with a better engine and better handling.
And I'd like to remember the gentlemen racers as having a big smile on their face, the wind in their hair, feeling like the kings of the world, just for a brief moment.
And that's exactly how this made me feel.
Every Morgan is a letter to the past but this is a specially written love letter.
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