Morgan at the London motor show 2008

Published: 23 July 2008

Considering Morgan has been making largely the same cars since the Ark was launched it’s a bit much to expect the tiny Malvern firm to have much new to shout about.

What’s new on Morgan’s London motor show stand?

The firm has actually managed to come up with a new Sport derivative of its evergreen 4/4. The £26,221 model has been stripped out so it now weighs just 800kg. Using the Ford Sigma 1.6 its emissions are a respectable 139g/km.

CAR’s Morgan highlight

The model of the firm’s Lifecar is brilliant at whetting the appetite for the new car. It makes it all the more frustrating that the lightweight hydrogen powered coupe isn’t ready to drive yet. The good news is the firm is testing a running chassis. The bad news is that getting such a complex machine production ready won’t be the work of a moment.

What were they thinking?

Morgan’s hoods still look like they’ve been hand stitched by my blind grandmother. And the bright orange on the already aesthetically challenged Aero 8 is simply a step too far.

In a nutshell

Morgan continues to re-invent itself as the eco-friendly sports car maker.

And now read CAR reader reporter asp’s review of the Morgan stand. Be sure to ‘Add your comment’ afterwards and rate their efforts

What surprised me most on the Morgan stand?

Charles Morgan’s claims that their cars retain 95 percent residual value. It’s heart-warming to see that Morgan is still here and being successful in an industry that is a struggle for most small manufacturers. Even more surprising is it has managed to develop the Lifecar concept, it shames many big companies supposed green efforts.

Forget the PR spin. I reckon the real story here is…

Morgan are slowly re-inventing themselves. Its reliance on yesteryears cars will have to reduce with increasing pressure from safety and crash regulations. The Aero8 has started a gradual movement to a more relevant range with its competitors, its hand finished character will surely tempt even more people away from their increasingly common 911s. BMW apparently have shown considerable interest in their plans for their Lifecar.

Reader verdict

Morgan’s future is quite secure. It has the balance between satisfying its core market, and developing new models with good success, especially since they facelifted the bug-eyed Aero. I hope the future of Morgan does include developments like the Lifecar, it’s got the ability to make you feel romantic about the car industry again, without the guilt.