► New chassis, roof, interior
► Same 5.0-litre BMW V8
► Prices now start from £66k
Morgan has unveiled a new Aero 8 at the Geneva Motor Show, 15 years after the model first went on sale. The new Aero 8 will effectively replace the current Aero Supersports.
The big news is the price: where the current Aero Supersports costs £100-128k, the new Aero 8 will start from £66k. Both cars are identical from the A-pillars forwards, and use the same 4799cc BMW-sourced V8 with 362bhp and BMW limited-slip diff. Presumably Aero Supersports owners will be smarting at the news.
The Aero 8 is available only as a soft-top (with the option of a removable hardtop), while targa top and coupe Aero Supersports models end production in April 2015.
CAR was talked around the Aero 8 by designer John Wells. ‘From the A-pillars back, the car is all new,’ said Wells, ‘with new doors, rear wings, and convertible roof cover – we’ve tried to keep the shutlines to a minimum, and the filler cap is hidden for a cleaner appearance. For the first time ever with a Morgan, the mohair hood is hidden away by the bodywork when stowed, and the roof panel helps to tension it. There’s a lot of crown in the roof panel, and in plan view it creates a yacht-like feel without making the occupants feel exposed.’ A removable hardtop is available at extra cost.
Inside, box-weave carpet contrasts with leather and wood trim, while a Parrot touchscreen infotainment system is optional equipment. There are also new dials, and switchgear – some of it BMW-sourced.
Despite the familiar appearance, the Aero 8 uses a new aluminium chassis, which is said to be 30-40% more torsionally stiff. The previous in-board, cantilever suspension has been replaced with dual wishbones, coilover dampers and anti-roll bars. The result, says Morgan, is less body roll, better body control, and an enhanced low-speed ride. A choice of traditional manual and sequential manual semi-automatic gearboxes are offered.
Morgan’s 170 employees currently build around 900 cars per year: 45 each of the aluminium-chassis Plus 8 and Aero Supersports, 400 three-wheelers, and 500 classics. It says order books for the new Aero 8 are now full until the end of January 2016.