This is the brand-new Morgan Plus Four

By topgear, 03 March 2020

While the rest of the world gets tweaked about electric this and battery that, here comes Morgan with… a new engine. Which has absolutely no kind of hybrid assistance. Kind of refreshing, when you think about it. Also: an aluminium chassis.

If you’re a keen follower of the goings on in Malvern, you might recognise this template from the Plus Six that was launched last year as a replacement for the Plus 8. Well, this is the new Plus Four, a replacement for the Plus 4 (numerals for old cars, spelled out words for the new ones) and 97 per cent new. Same basic CX-Generation aluminium chassis as the Six which, if you speak Roman numerals, you might realise celebrates 110 years of Morgan production.

There are differences between Plus Six and Plus Four – the latter has different corner packaging to allow for smaller wire wheels, and is 78mm narrower overall. The 97kg chassis is bonded aluminium (a la Lotus), with the bodywork supported by an ash frame (there’s the wood). Suspension is by double wishbones all round.

The major difference between the two cars is, as you’ve probably guessed, the engine. While the Plus Six uses BMW’s straight six turbo, the Plus Four makes do with a 2.0-litre four cylinder. Which doesn’t sound that exciting until you realise it only weighs 1,009kg and the motor in question is BMW’s single turbo unit that develops 258hp and 400Nm.

Now, for the Plus Four, this is a big step up – the old car had an ancient Ford four cylinder and a Mazda gearbox – the new one has 65 per cent more power and torque, yet also emits 30 per cent less CO2. As far as improvements on outgoing models go, this must be unbeaten in the whole car industry. The claims are 7l/100km and 159g/km on the WLTP cycle.

The numbers that probably matter more to you are 4.8secs and 240km/h. That’s for the 8spd auto. The 6spd manual is heavier (yes, if only by 4kg), and is only given 350Nm to cope with. Its 0-100km/h is 5.2secs.

But that’s not all. Standard equipment includes remote central locking, ABS brakes, power steering and sun visors. You lucky people. For a bit extra you can even have a Bluetooth stereo. But let’s not be too harsh. You don’t buy a Morgan to connect to the modern world, you buy it to escape from it.

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