Hoping to “reignite one of the marque’s heroic legacy models with a ‘gloves off’ special edition,” Morgan Motor has debuted the Morgan Plus 8 GTR, which the automaker says is the first of several special projects it plans for 2021.
The British car company says it will produce nine of the Plus 8 GTR cars for sale to customers. The number apparently is based on “the recent availability of rolling chassis from a discontinued external project” and the cars will be built with “unused, recommissioned chassis and powertrains.”
Production will begin this summer at the Morgan Design and Engineering Centre.
“Raw, visceral, loud and low, the Morgan Plus 8 GTR represents what the Morgan Motor Company can create when its design and engineering teams let their imaginations run wild,” the company said in its news release.
“The Plus 8 GTR explores design themes such as the high shoulder line, not seen on a traditional Morgan body for decades. Its five-spoke centre-lock wheels are reminiscent of Morgan’s 1990s Plus 8 race cars, framed perfectly by subtly re-sculpted wheel arches.
“Further design elements include a revised rear end, front wings, and front splitter, and the fitment of a hard top. The model also benefits from learning and expertise gained by the company since the Plus 8 officially finished production in 2018.”
Morgan said the design was inspired by “Big Blue,” a Plus 8 race car from the 1990s that served as the test bed for Morgan’s first bonded-aluminum chassis, later used on the Aero 8 and “Aero-chassis” Plus 8.
As for the recent availability of parts, Morgan said they have been “re-acquired from a third party following a discontinued project. These were all built by Morgan before 2018 and were never used for their intended purposes. All are to be recommissioned and will benefit from the upgrade of selected mechanical components.”
Transformation of those parts from rolling chassis to finished vehicles will be done by hand using traditional coachbuilding techniques. Thus, the work will be done at M-DEC rather than at the Pickersleigh Road factory.
The Plus 8 GTRs will be powered by the BMW N62 4.8-liter V8 engine, and buyers will have a choice of a 6-speed manual or ZF 6-speed automatic transmission.
“Reviving a V8-powered Morgan at the current time may not seem like the obvious choice for a manufacturer firmly focused on new platforms and powertrains,” said Jonathan Wells, the company’s head of design. “However, when the opportunity presented itself to recommission a number of rolling chassis and create an exciting special project such as Plus 8 GTR, we embraced it fully.
“This project has allowed Morgan’s design and engineering teams to revisit some of their favorite elements of past Morgan models, as well as experiment with some features that we hope will appear on future Morgan cars.”
For more information, visit the Morgan Motor website.