When we last checked in with our friends at Morgan, they were teasing the future, shelving the V8 powered Aero, and promising a turbocharged future for their future models. With the Geneva Motor Show now upon us, Morgan has formally unveiled the fruits of their labor, with the all new Morgan Plus Six roadster which brings a number of new technologies to the Morgan brand.
The exterior styling of the Plus Six may not look like its hiding much at first glance, with the Plus Six embracing the distinctively retro elements that have become an iconic calling card for the storied British automaker. However, it’s what lurks under the old world motif that truly propels this particular Morgan model in a new direction. Like the Aero before it, the Plus Six is based on an aluminum platform, but Morgan engineers flipped the script this time, and instead used an all new aluminum bonded platform to underpin the Plus Six. Dubbed the CX platform, the new chassis is twice as rigid as before, and it actually incorporates real wood pieces in its construction. Despite this infusion of nature and technology, Morgan is quick to point out that there is no weight penalty, and that the entire structure weighs less than 220 lbs in total weight. This is very impressive, especially for a platform that was built entirely in house by Morgan as part of a three year development process.
Performance for the Plus Six does come from a turbocharged six cylinder engine (the first turbocharged engine ever outfitted to a Morgan offering.) But unlike our prior theory, which suspected a possible contribution from long time engine supplier Ford for the new powerplant, Morgan pulled a sly fast one on this observant Morgan enthusiast, and has once again sourced an engine from BMW. This time, it is the familiar 3.0 liter turbocharged inline six which is in fact the same B58 spec unit that also powers another BMW crossbreed, the Toyota Supra. As such, performance here is roughly the same as that model, with the Plus Six producing a healthy 335 horsepower, and 369 lb-ft of torque. An eight speed automatic is currently the sole transmission available, but Morgan did promise that a manual offering is in the works for those that might cry foul at the prospect of some of the car’s analog character possibly being lost with the new automatic.
This potent muscle, as well as the Plus Six’s 2,369 lb curb weight allows the car to make the sprint to 62 mph in 4.2 seconds, with the final top speed surpassing the traditional 155 mph barrier, and rounding out at an impressive 166 mph. Morgan also claims that the combination makes the Plus Six “the most dynamically capable Morgan ever produced.” BMW’s fuel saving technologies also make the transition to the Plus Six, and they allow the car to also be one of the most fuel efficient entries the company has ever produced, with the Plus Six capable of achieving a combined 38 mpg which is quite good for a sports car.
Befitting the basic DNA that defines a proper Morgan product, the interior of the Plus Six ditches the near universal standard touchscreen infotainment system cliché, and instead is very analog with plenty of switches, gauges, and a very expertly built interior that features high quality leather, real wood trim, metal accents, and other unique extras. The center console and the shifter have strong whiffs of BMW influence, and the transmission only has two driving modes (Sport and Sport Plus.) Unlike their BMW counterparts, the modes in the Plus Six can only change throttle response and gear shift timing, since the accompanying adaptive suspension is not present for Morgan duty. Look for BMW parts to also be found in some of the car’s electrical accessories, including a small digital screen, which will be a noticeable addition to the interior.
Morgan revealed that it will be only building about 300 Plus Six models a year, with the model featuring a starting price of £77,995 which roughly translates to about $102,670 at current exchange rates. Morgan was tight lipped on whether the Plus Six will make the trek to the U.S. market which has long been the domain of the company’s other hot selling offering, the Morgan 3-Wheeler.
There is a slim chance that it could eventually do so with persistent rumors suggesting that it could appear a few years after its initial European launch. Of course, this would depend on if the Plus Six can be readily converted to U.S. standards, but if it can, look for this model to be a complimentary offering to the 3-wheeler which has held down the fort single handedly for Morgan’s U.S. dealers since its debut several years ago, and helped end Morgan’s absence from the U.S. marketplace due to tightening regulations that began in the 1970s.
Carl Malek has been an automotive journalist for over 10 years. First starting out as a freelance photographer before making the transition to writing during college, his work has appeared on numerous automotive forums as well as websites such as Autoshopper.com.
Carl is also a big fan of British vehicles with the bulk of his devotion going to the Morgan Motor Company as well as offerings from Lotus, MG, and Caterham. When he is not writing about automobiles, Carl enjoys spending time with his family and friends in the Metro Detroit area, as well as spending time with his adorable pets.