Morgan Plus 8 GTR will be a limited-edition racer

Published: 19 February 2021

► V8 special based on old stock Plus 8 chassis
► BMW-sourced 4.8-litre engine
► Only nine cars will be built

Morgan Motor Company has announced it will build a limited run of nine special edition models, based on the Plus 8 chassis. The Plus 8 GTR will be the firm’s first V8-engined model since the Aero 8 was discontinued in 2019.

A discontinued external project has allowed the company to re-acquire the old stock chassis, which have so far been unused. They’ll be turned into the ‘raw, visceral, loud and low’ Morgan Plus 8 GTR, which draws heavy inspiration from the company’s GT racer of the 1990s.

It’s the first of several new projects Morgan will announce this year.

Only nine cars?

Yep – the Plus 8 GTR will be based wholly on old stock produced before 2018. They’ll be recommissioned and upgraded, and the brand’s traditional coachbuilding techniques will be out in full force with the exploration of new design elements.

Highlights are said to include the return of a high shoulder line, a revised rear end, front wings and front splitter, a hard-top roof and five-spoke centre-lock wheels.

Design inspiration comes from the ‘Big Blue’ GT racer of the 1990s, which was the testbed for the brand’s bonded aluminium chassis that went on to underpin the Aero 8. Sketches show it looking particularly low and sleek.

Also read: Morgan Plus Four unveiled

What’s it powered by?

Drive will come from a BMW-sourced 4.8-litre V8, as the standard car did. However, while the original produced 362bhp, Morgan says ‘the exact power output is yet to be finalised’ hinting it could receive a boost in performance.

Gearbox options will be a six-speed manual or six-speed ZF automatic.

Morgan Plus 8 GTR sketch - rear

'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, 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 favourite elements of past Morgan models, as well as experiment with some features that we hope will appear on future Morgan cars.'

Can I have one?

Probably not. With just nine to go around, sales are likely to be offered to customers who have a strong relationship with the brand already – collectors, long-time collaborators and the like.

Even if you get the chance to purchase one, it’s likely to be fairly pricey. No word on an official figure yet but certainly expect to be writing six figures in your chequebook.

Those lucky customers will be able to specify their car exactly as they like it, though, and the bespoke coachbuilt nature of Morgans means plenty of customisation will be available.

Production will take place, in a break from tradition, at the Morgan Design and Engineering Centre rather than at the Pickersleigh Road factory. We’ll see the car for real before it enters production later in the year.

By Tom Wiltshire

Bauer Automotive staff writer; Cotswoldian, Peugeot enthusiast, SsangYong Turismo apologist