The Morgan Plus Four looks ancient but is brand-new top to bottom
On this most British of days I've come to the most British of factories Morgan here in Melbourne to have a look at the car that's going to replace the plus four, car that's been in production since 1950.
That's 70 years.
And what's the car cold is going to replace the plus four well Morgan's a company steeped in tradition.
So the car replacing the plus four is called the plus four a while it may look completely identical is in fact, all new.
Now those differences starts at the absolute fundamental underpinnings of the new plus four.
Schatz now it's now built on the CX platform.
That's the same platform that we saw the plus six built on last year.
Now CX is 410.
Last year was more as 100 and 10th birthday.
And this new platform replaces the steel ladder chassis that the old plus four then built on.
Since 1950, the Morgans have never been built on a wooden chassis, despite what some people will mistakenly tell you.
There is a wooden frame and that still remains but the underpinnings of the car, the CX platform, it's a bonded elementium chassis, it's going to be the exact same one as the plus six, but this will still allow it to have the narrower framework that the plus four always says hi The end result is going to be a car that's stiffer, more responsive, less quirky than the steel, a lot of schatzi would be.
It's going to allow this car to be more agile, more fun, some are going to have the same power as the plus six, but this is going to be a smaller, potentially more fun entry level car to drive.
Now the overall dimensions of the car remain largely the same.
But because of this new construction, it gives you more space on the inside making it a more easy car to live with on a day to day basis, more room to sit, large indoor apertures and such.
So the added comfort and the added performance they're going to make this something I'm pretty excited to go and take out for spin Were previously the plus for use the Ford engine, this new CX platforms, plus four uses the B 48 BMW engine.
Now, whereas the plus six use the same engine in the Supra, this actually uses the same engine as the new two liter Supra.
So it still has that connection.
It's in fact still the modular engine.
So it's effectively the same six cylinder engine that you get to In this new brand, indeed the Plus Six which Tiss owners lobbed off.
That engine will give the Plus Four 255 brake horsepower, 258 pounds feet of torque and a zero to 62 time in 4.8 seconds in the automatic and 5.2 in the manual.
Top speed is 149 miles an hour.
Fuel economy is up as well on the WLTP.
Cycle this should return up to 14 miles per gallon Morgan tells us arguably the most unique and iconic part of any Morgan car is the wooden frame that the body is built on made from ash and has been made in the same techniques.
That is still going to be the case and the new plus for the new aluminium chassis will still absolutely have that wooden frame on top.
But it's going to be made in a slightly new way it's going to be slightly more substantial, although overall lighter, less would be used.
It's going to give the car a more premium feel while still completely being built.
And the exact same way Mormons have been built forever.
In fact, if you come here to the factory not only do you get to enjoy the wonderful smell of all that would be worth but you get to see things like this.
The rear wheel arch Jake here, no one's even sure how old this thing is.
They've been using this to bend the wood that goes over the rear wheel arch of Morgan's for, 70, 80, 100 years no one's entirely sure.
It's those pieces of history that have been embedded in Morgan for so long.
So even when the car is completely rebuilt from the ground up, those traditional techniques can still be married to new things like this, bonded elementium.
It keeps those two worlds married the new world of performance and technology and safety with traditional British engineering.
Morgan has gone to great lengths to preserve as many of the details and design touches that preserve that Morgan nature.
wire wheels are an interesting example of that.
Now the old car well its suspension Was almost prehistoric, had least suspension on the rear.
Now, with double wishbones front and rear.
Actually having that deep wire wheel was going to be a huge challenge but wanting to preserve that as an option.
Morgan went the extra mile to make sure that it works and you can now auction these wonderful deep dish wire wheels.
The interior might look outdated from the old plus four, but it still has this almost kind of future retro feel that feels completely in kind with a modern Morgan in the 21st century.
That BMW automatic shifter Well, it's not really going to be to anyone's taste, but it would have been so hard to re engineer that it was simply not worth it.
The answer, get the manual, it's cheaper and you'll be driving a Morgan the way that really feels more natural anyway.
It really is a spectacular honouring of what Morgan stands for.
There is no interest in radically changing the shape of the plus four.
They want it to be, well, the sweet spot in the range perhaps.
Significantly cheaper by 20 grand than the Plus Six, still got a really great power to weight ratio.
You're still gonna turn heads at 1,000 paces no problem whatsoever, and they've made it exactly the way they wanted to make it.
But Safer, quicker, more powerful, hopefully more fun to drive.
So when you bring all those elements together, it does end up looking exactly like it used to.
But that's entirely on purpose.
This is an iconic shape for Morgan.
This is what Morgan customers expecting in one The difference being that everything on here is absolutely brand new.
Only 3% of parts get carried over.
I asked what that was, and it's that.
It's the catch on the bonnet.
Everything else is completely new from the ground up.
How do you spot the difference?
Well, you havve to be really eagle-eyed.
There's a slight difference in distance Tween the headlights.
The rear light cluster is slightly different and there's a central exhaust now.
The curve on the rear deck matches the curve of the rear wheel arch, which you previously didn't.
If you can spot those in an instance well, you've got keener eye than I do.
I had to have those pointed out to me.
The biggest difference in the name is that four is now written out in letters much as it is on the plus six.
So no longer plus number four, it's plus, fo you are.
That might be the biggest telltale if you're trying to spot an older and later frame chassis, plus four from a neuro one.
So the new chassis allows it to be stiffer, safer, wider, there's more room for your legs, there's more room for your width, there's more room for luggage.
Then you be 48 engine in there is the same one that Toyota is going to put in the two liter Supra.
But this car weighs like 500 kilos less In the same way that the super engine in the plus six gives that car, such an agile nature, such a ferocious level performance, basically because of that weight saving with the same powered engine.
Similarly this is going to be incredibly fun to take out on the road.
The smaller footprint of the car compared to the plus six means it will be a little bit more edgy if you want it to be but still able to be completely calm like a Morgan ****.
The really exciting part is that Morgan are accelerating through this car faster than we've seen them do with previous cars.
We're not going to have to wait six 912 months before we can get to drive this thing.
We're driving this in a month.
In about a month time we're going to take this out and drive it for the first time and let you know exactly how it is out on the road.
Morgan's history is long 111 odd years is a really long time for a manufacturer to have stayed in business.
And the reason is that they know Who they are.
The Plus Four is who Morgan are.
This is the car that defines our expectations of what a Morgan is.
customers know what they want and that's why they don't want to change things although the future for Morgan, well it's a wide open as any other car manufacturer but right now they know To make sure that the customers expectations of what they want, are met.
But the new engine, the new chassis, and the level of engineering that's gonna make everything come together while married with those traditional manufacturing techniques mean that this car is everything Morgan needs to be to keep it traditional.
Nature the traditional engineering and the traditional looks married with a car that can keep up in 2020.
We only have to wait a month until we drive it.
But that month might you really love.
I can't wait to take it out for a spin.
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