Fret not, fans of the Morgan Motor Company. Although the British car company has announced a switch from steel to aluminum chassis for 2020, there still will be a layer of ash wood beneath the bodywork.
Like many early automakers, Morgan used wood for its vehicle frames. In fact, it wasn’t until 1936 that Morgan introduced a steel chassis, and its first four-wheeled car. But while steel replaced wood for the frame, ash still was used for the framework to which the body panels were attached.
That won’t change, a Morgan spokesman said, even in 2020 when Morgan’s new CX-platform will underpin vehicles with an aluminum rather than steel chassis.
Also coming in 2020 will be a manual transmission for the CX-based vehicles. The platform was introduced at the Geneva Motor Show this year beneath the Morgan Plus Six.
New as well is a 3.0-liter inline 6-cylinder engine.
“Designed in house by Morgan, the CX-Generation platform is twice as rigid as the previous aluminum chassis used by the company, which underpinned the Aero 8 and second-generation Plus 8 models,” the company said in its announcement. “Thanks to a focus on reducing weight, it tips the scales at just 97kg, contributing to the Plus Six’s mere 1,075kg dry weight.”
“The CX-Generation aluminum platform represents a significant undertaking for a small company like Morgan,” added Steve Morris, Morgan chief executive. “We recognize a need for a more resolved core product that fits in with our customer’s growing needs, as well as future legislative requirements.
“The advanced engineering encompassed within the new platform is a vital underpinning for the next generation of Morgan sports cars, and further demonstrates the exciting blend of craftsmanship and technology that makes Morgan cars unique.
“In addition to new models planned for 2020, the year will also bring about opportunity for us to mark the significance of the outgoing traditional steel chassis and its contribution to the marque. Used in Morgan’s core models since 1936, the traditional steel chassis has been an integral part of the Morgan story and we look forward to giving it a fitting send off.”
Morgan was founded in 1910 by Henry Morgan and produced around 850 cars per year, all of them hand assembled. Pre-war Morgans are best-known for the sporty 3-wheeled cyclecars that are collector’s items today.