Morgan Plus Four revealed: the shock of the new

Published: 03 March 2020

New Mog looks ancient
Turbo BMW four-pot
On sale now from £62,995

Morgan’s continued existence in an anachronistic corner of the car industry is unique, as evidenced here by the latest Plus Four.

Only the Malvern-based firm could produce a model that’s 97% new, yet, at first glance appears to be little more than a tszujed-up version of what’s rolled-out of the factory gates for eons.

Turquoise 2020 Morgan Plus Four front three-quarter driving

So how has Morgan chosen to signify this seismic change? By using the word ‘Four’ instead of the numeral in its name.

What makes this one so different?

Last year saw the introduction of the Plus Six based on an all-new bonded aluminium chassis known as CX-Generation in Morganspeak – CX being the Roman numerals for 110, the number of years the company had been operating at the time of its launch.

What’s underpinning the Plus Four is a narrower version of that aluminium-intensive structure, which follows Morgan traditions of being more slender than its bigger-engined brethren. Overall its 78mm narrower than a Plus Six and 104mm slimmer in the passenger compartment, yet it remains more spacious than the olde worlde model it’s ousted.

Turquoise 2020 Morgan Plus Four rear three-quarter driving

Morgan’s also invested a significant amount of engineering resource into the suspension and braking components to permit the fitting of 15-inch wire wheels for those maxing out on the trad looks – alternative designs inspired by 1960s and 1970s rim styling are also available.

Will it do the business performance-wise?

Packing a 255bhp punch in a roadster with a dry weight of 1009kg suggests it is.

The ‘Four’ aspect of the name refers to the powerplant’s cylinder count and again Morgan’s turned to BMW for one of its units – namely a 2.0-litre TwinPower with specific-to-Morgan engine mapping to tailor the driveability of the featherweight flyer.

Two transmissions are offered: an eight-speed automatic is available from the factory in a Plus Four for the first time, and it’s both quicker and more efficient than the six-speed manual alternative.

Turquoise 2020 Morgan Plus Four side elevation driving

Both can reach 149mph, but the 4.8-second 0-62mph time of the auto is four-tenths quicker than the stick shift can manage.

That’s essentially down to the drop in torque for the manual version: 258 lb ft at 1000-5000rpm, versus 295 lb ft at 1000-4300rpm for the automatic.

Not that fuel efficiency is front of mind when making a purchase as irrational as a Morgan, but under the latest WLTP regulations, the self-shifting Plus Four claims 40mpg and CO2 emissions of 159g/km, while the manual is quoted at 39mpg and 165g/km. Not that either are likely to feature high on many company car lists.

Hardly a realistic daily, though…

No, not really, but then how many of us would go out doing the gardening wearing a pair of tailored brogues? Morgans are lovingly crafted by hand using techniques from a bygone age despite the modern chassis and engine combo.

2020 Morgan Plus Four dashboard

Trappings such as ABS, power steering and remote central locking now feature, along with useful sops to contemporary cars including LED lighting front and rear and an optional multimedia system with Bluetooth functionality.

All that for £62,995 for the manual or an extra two grand for the automatic. Hardly cheap, but given there are one trillion colour and option combinations available, you’re unlikely to ever see another identical to yours – suddenly exclusivity seems like good value.

Check out our Morgan reviews

Turquoise 2020 Morgan Plus Four front elevation driving

By Keith WR Jones

Managing editor of the Bauer Automotive hub and car brochure library owner