Time to break out the monocles and the tweed flat-caps, because Morgan has a new car to show off. Having driven it from the defunct Geneva Motor Show all the way back to Malvern in rural England, Morgan has now revealed the all-new Plus Four.
Bonded aluminium chassis
Now, I know what you're thinking. You're thinking that this looks like every other Morgan made since the 1940s, so how can it be new? Well, while the Plus Four (and that's Four written out, not Plus 4 as was the old model) does indeed look as if you'll find one B. Wooster's name on the logbook, underneath Morgan says that it's 97 per cent new.
In fact, the Plus Four uses Morgan's cutting-edge 'CX' bonded aluminium chassis, first developed for the Plus 8 and which has been used recently by the BMW-engined Plus Six. That chassis is built to aerospace standards, and no - we don't mean Spitfires.
It's far more rigid than the old steel ladder chassis, and yet weighs just 97kg, so the whole car is really, really light - just 1,009kg dry. Essentially, from a structural point of view, this is a Plus Six, but around 78mm narrower overall, and with different front wings.
Morgan says that the packaging advantages of the CX platform means that there's more space for people and luggage in the cabin area, and that the Plus Four is much more useable as a day-to-day car now. Alongside modern alloy wheels, the Plus Four will also be offered with 15-inch chrome wire wheels.
255hp BMW turbo engine
As with the Plus Six, the Plus Four comes with a BMW engine (BMW has apparently long been enamoured with the quality of Morgan's engineering) and this time it's the four-cylinder turbo 2.0-litre unit from the BMW 330i. In the Morgan, it produces 255hp and 400Nm of torque (that's for the automatic version; with the manual gearbox that torque output is limited to 350Nm). That's good enough to push the Plus Four to 100km/h in just 5.2 seconds.
Morgan has remapped the engine's management system for what it calls "optimum driveability and response in the Plus Four." There's even a Sport button, located on the dash, that sharpens up the throttle response.
Power and torque levels have increased by 65 per cent compared with the old Ford-engined Morgan Plus 4, but the new Plus Four has better economy - Morgan quotes 40mpg (7.0 litres /100km), and a reduction in CO2 to just 159g/km for the automatic variant. That's a 30 per cent cut in emissions.
High price tag
Mind you, even with lower emissions, it won't be cheap. The list price for the UK market is a chunky £62,995 so to import one here could set you back north of €90,000. Standard equipment includes automatic LED front and rear lighting, remote central locking and anti-lock brakes, as well previously optional items such as power steering, a mohair hood, sun visors and door check straps. All-new optional equipment includes puddle lighting and an in-car audio system with Bluetooth connectivity. In total, one trillion combinations of options are available, allowing the individual desires of every customer to be fulfilled.
Morgan Motor Company Chairman and CEO, Steve Morris, said: "The all-new Morgan Plus Four represents the very best of the Morgan Motor Company. It features rare craftsmanship, the instantly recognisable Morgan silhouette, and now, industry-leading technology thanks to our CX-Generation aluminium platform and BMW powertrains. A fitting successor to one of the world's longest established nameplates, this new model displays some of the most celebrated key features of our classic range, and strikes the perfect balance between tradition and modernity. The all-new Morgan Plus Four represents a four-year development programme, carried out by our world-class design and engineering team."
Morgan Motor Company Head of Design, Jonathan Wells, said: "This project has presented Design and Engineering with an incredible task: to protect and preserve our core model's unique proposition while completely redesigning it. Despite the packaging constraints that complex that modern architecture presents, I believe the team have managed to protect what was important - the proportions, the posture, the tradition and the human-mechanical interaction. Almost every component has been evaluated and redesigned, and while many of these studies addressed small details, it is the quality and culmination of them that deliver an entirely new Plus Four today."