New Morgan Aero 8 takes a bow in Geneva
Morgan brings back Aero 8 name for fifth-generation model, with a new chassis, modernised interior and soft-top option
It’s a special event when British sports car maker Morgan reveals a new model, and with its debut here at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show the fifth-generation Aero 8 has made a big splash, delighting fans of big, brawny two-seaters.
At first glance the new car looks extremely close to the old Aero 8, with a muscular, low-slung profile that deliberately harks back to the thirties. The retro styling cues continue at the front, with a similar design to before, but the shape of the rear has been tweaked slightly with new tail-light lenses.
Morgan is quick to point out that this isn’t just a facelift, though, making special mention of the all-new, hand-crafted, bonded and riveted aluminium body, as well as the distinctive rear-hinged clamshell bootlid that hides the new mohair hood. The Aero 8 is also available with a removable hard-top, and Morgan claims reduced wind noise and more relaxed high-speed cruising than before for both options.
Inside, the traditional real wood and leather trim remains, giving the hand-built feel and character that many Morgan enthusiasts crave. But the British firm claims the trim and upholstery has taken a step up in quality, helped by modern tech like cruise control and a new touchscreen media system.
Buyers will also be able to add a racier feel to the quaint Morgan’s cabin, with low-slung carbon fibre seats and bespoke detailing packs.
Behind the retro facade lurks plenty of new tech, including a revised air-conditioning system that means the new Aero 8 should be more usable all year round, especially in warmer areas of the globe where Morgan is now selling a significant number of cars.
Power, as before, comes from a 4.8-litre BMW-sourced V8, producing 367bhp and 490Nm of torque, linked to a six-speed manual or auto box. Thanks to its lightweight aluminium body, the 2015 Aero 8 should deliver rapid acceleration – weighing just 1,175kg dry, Morgan’s latest sports car can sprint from 0-62mph in 4.5 seconds and on to a top speed of 170mph, or 155mph for the automatic version.
The self-shifting option now comes with paddleshifters for the first time, giving more control to the driver. The V8 now complies with Euro 6 emissions regulations, too, although CO2 outputs are still fairly high, at 282g/km for the manual and 256g/km for the automatic. Fuel economy is quoted at 23mpg and 26mpg respectively.
On top of its performance streak, the new aluminium chassis is said to feature improved torsional stiffness, with new suspension all-round, anti-roll bars and a BMW-sourced limited-slip differential that helps to improve both grip and refinement.
Morgan's managing director Steve Morris said: “Morgan cars are synonymous with open-top motoring. We produce two-seater sports cars that are lightweight and exhilarating to drive. The new Aero 8 signifies a return to this formula within our flagship range of vehicles.
"The Aero 8 offers a marriage of expert craftsmanship and performance technology.”
Priced from just under £80,000, the Aero 8 range will be sold in limited numbers towards the end of 2015.
Get all the latest from the Geneva Motor Show 2015 here