► New Morgan Plus Six
► Turbo'd 6cyl with 335bhp
► Morgan sold to venture capital
Crikey, this is arguably about as modern a Morgan has ever been. It’s the new Morgan Plus Six, revealed at the 2019 Geneva motor show - on the same day as the company revealed it had sold a majority stake to the same venture capital fund that bought a stake in Aston Martin.
The ‘Six’ bit of the name comes from the powerplant; the Plus Six uses BMW’s B58 straight-six turbo – the same engine that the G20 M340i, Z4 M40i and Toyota Supra use. It cranks out 335bhp and 369lb ft mated to a ZF eight-speed auto. In the Plus Six, that means a 0-62mph sprint in just 4.2 seconds and a top speed of 165mph.
That's pretty quick - and so was talk at Geneva of Morgan's takeover, as it was revealed that the Morgan family has relinquished control of the Malvern-based traditional car maker. Italian venture capital fund InvestIndustrial has bought a majority stake in Morgan for an undisclosed amount, bringing to an end 110 years of family ownership.
Morgan remains a bit part player, producing just 800 or so new cars every year from its Malvern HQ, hand-crafted by 190 staff. But the new owners are keen to expand its export markets and senses a commercial opportunity to exploit this most British of brands - and one which still builds its cars around a wooden chassis.
Morgan remains a pleasingly profitable concern; in 2018 the Morgan Motor Co reported revenues of £33.8 million and net profit of £3.2m. It has strong demand and reliable waiting lists (now down to a few months, rather than years).
The Morgan Plus Six: out with the old, in with the new
That also means the Plus Six is the first-ever turbocharged Morgan in the brand’s first century. It’s also one of the cleanest current Morgan models, with rated emissions of 170g/km – second only to the 4/4.
Less than 1% of the 4000 bits used to build each Plus Six has been carried across from other Morgan models, and it’s the first to use an all-new bonded aluminium platform called ‘CX-Generation’.
The chassis weighs just 98kg and allows for a longer wheelbase, making for more cockpit legroom and luggage space. There’s a still a bit of ash wood in there – a classic Morgan move – that happens to be thicker than in the Plus 8, so it’s stronger. Due to this new chassis, the Plus Six has a power to weight of 315bhp per tonne – albeit calculated using the 1075kg dry weight figure.
Morgan says the Plus Six can be at the mercy of everyone’s customisation whims and you can order one now, priced at £77,995. Or, if you’re a diehard Morgan fan, there’s a First Edition available in two specs at £89,995.
Check out our Morgan reviews