It’s not clear why it has taken Morgan more than a decade to marry the classic looks of the original Plus to the bonded aluminium structure of the startlingly ugly Aero 8, but I am glad they’ve finally got around to it. For the first time in too long, here is a Morgan that’s both gorgeous in appearance astonishingly quick point to point.
Not that I’d yet call it a good car, at least by any conventionaI measure. Its faults are too numerous to mention in detail, but fundamentally the 390bhp 4.8-litre BMW engine asks questions that the car to which it’s fitted can’t answer. The performance is savage and electronic regulation nonexistent, meaning that on damp roads it will happily spin its rear wheels at dizzying speeds. Worse, the steering is so ludicrously aggressive off-centre that the car requires concentration to guide even at sensible speeds, let alone when the back’s got loose on a wet road. There’s also nowhere to put your left foot, a gale in the cabin even with the roof up and guaranteed loss of dignity every time you get in and out. And there is no storage space at all.
Yet used on the right road (dry) at the right time of year (summer) for the right purpose (going to the pub and scaring your friends), its charm is real and rare. Whether that makes the Plus Eight an £85,000 investment worth making is another matter. It won’t depreciate much and you’ll look very dashing in it. But the Plus 8 is simply not good enough to be treated as a serious road weapon, so it’s scope is limited to that of recreation. And in that case you can buy a Morgan Three Wheeler, have even more fun, and look even more dashing and all for a third of the cash.