Morgan Aero 8 – An icon in the making
Would you remember the design of the Toyota Aygo 50 years from now? Probably not. Few cars these days have designs that will last for centuries, one of them however is the Morgan Aero 8, now on it’s fifth generation in 2015.
Morgan is a British car manufacturer who have been around for 106 years, it’s still independent owned by the Morgan family so the cars haven’t been watered down by the usage of common parts and solutions, like the faith of many other iconic car manufacturers.
The frames of Morgan cars are built in light ash wood known for it’s flexibility, the wood frame is also a tradition which has been going on since the start. All Morgan cars are hand made, and about a 1 300 of them are produced each year.
While other car manufacturers are used to shelling out new models every year diluting their brand and models, the Morgan Aero 8 has been around for fifteen years (first launched in 2000) with continuous improvement. So the design isn’t exactly new, but it doesn’t matter because the first time you look at it you just fall in love.
The curves of the Aero 8 resembles the 60:s Morgans, which are still extremely popular today, it has long low shoulder lines, big fenders while the focal point is on the cabin. From the back you see the clam shell boot and brake lights following the body work.
Wood is used in the Aero 8 chassis as tradition have it, although it’s only in a subframe behind the engine, the rest is aluminum. As for the body also in aluminum it is formed by a real human on every car using body bucks and templates. This makes every Aero 8 a bit unique and far away from the ABB robot precision/boredom we are used to on most cars. The chassis has been improved with more stiffness, anti-roll bar and a slip differential.
Power is a characteristic you would expect from a car like the Aero 8, and Morgan haven’t forgotten it, on the contrary. The car is powered by a BMW V8 4.0L producing 367 bhp and 490 Nm. The power is sent to the rear wheels, it takes the Aero 8 4.5 seconds to reach 0-60 mph (0-100 km/h), similar performance like a Ferrari 360.
The Aero 8 comes with a manual BMW gearbox or an automatic ZF gearbox with paddle shift, the automatic transmission version of the car is about 80 kg:s lighter.
Given the weather in the UK the car can be bought with a hardtop, the latest Aero 8 will have lower seats adding some much needed headroom for taller people, like me. Morgans have always been quite small in the cabin.
While on the topic of the cabin and interior, there is lots of leather trim on the inside of the doors and the seats. The middle console is made out of wood and so is the upper part of the dashboard, the rest is polished and shiny. A really strange out of place feature is the steering wheel, it looks like it was brought in from a Japanese minibus from the 80:s, very plastic in white and black. I’ve seen better looking steering wheels on lots of other cars.
In Europe the Aero 8 will cost about £66 000, it will not be exported to the US as Morgan have difficulties justifying the cost.
So far Morgan has always produced high quality and fine automobiles to last generations, the Aero 8 is no exception, you get a smile on your face when seeing one. Let’s hope Morgan keep up being the conservative rebel of the industry, without them we would all have similarly looking cars with no guts or personality driving themselves around.