When you first think of Morgan Motor Company, usually the words trail busting and off-roading don’t pop out rapidly in your mind. The iconic British sports car maker has always preferred to stay mainly on the pavement, with some hardcore loyalists scoffing at any notion of taking one of their hand-built creations off-road. The company is out to prove these skeptics wrong and has unveiled the 2022 Plus Four CX-T Roadster, which takes Morgan into uncharted waters.
An Off-Road Capable Morgan? It’s Not A Joke
While this surprising move might seem a bit insane at first glance, observant Morgan fans (this author included) will realize that the company is actually paying homage to its rallying roots. Yes, Morgan did compete in rally racing (albeit in its early days), and the CX-T is a vivid reminder of the past. The exterior of this creation shares the bulk of its roots with the standard Plus Four, but Morgan made several modifications that transform this droptop into a completely different animal.
Morgan completely overhauled the rear of the roadster and transformed the trunk area into a large storage area that fits not only two massive spare tires and wheels but also a small tool kit to help fix any problems that might occur when out in areas less frequented by others. Oh, and don’t forget the two 11 liter Rotopax sourced fuel containers as well as two Pelican branded water-resistant luggage cases. The changes to the trunk also forced Morgan engineers to completely rethink how the drop-top operated, with the fabric top being replaced by a composite one-piece unit that was designed to work perfectly with the two-layer roll cage setup that’s on the CX-T.
CX-T Interior Is As Wild As It Gets For Morgan
With the exterior sporting numerous trail-ready modifications, the interior also gets in on the act and brings its own share of revisions to owners. It’s still a snug fit for occupants, but the space comes with trail-ready accessories. That includes a first aid kit mounted behind the seats, a removable map holder, a built-in insulated cool bag, and a mounting track to help keep cameras and phones securely in place when the car is being driven hard by its owners. Rounding things out are model exclusive seats that have the CX-T logos embroidered onto the headrests.
While this might not seem like much as luxury or bespoke touches are concerned, the overtly functional theme here is a nod to the serious trail-busting intentions of the car. With minimal distractions being required to complete any form of rally event, we think that the CT-X does a good job of broadcasting its intentions to the world loud and clear.
CX-T Performance Goes To The Extreme To Tame Trails
A perfect indication of any rallying creation is the sum of its parts, and we’re glad that Morgan engineers didn’t put in a half-hearted effort at making the CX-T a trail thrashing beast. Instead, the engineers examined every detail and left no stone unturned in the quest for capability. For example, the suspension system has been completely reworked, with wishbones from the bigger Plus Six being grafted in to improve suspension travel and widen the car’s track. That forced engineers to redesign the wheel wells, but it appears that the tires have barely enough room to even turn about properly from some angles.
Rally Raid UK also equipped the car with its EXE-TC coil-over springs with internal bum stops that were tailor-made just for this particular Morgan. The exhaust system was even reworked, and the plumbing was shuffled around to help improve the departure angle for the roadster. The radical setup delivers over 9-inches of extra ground clearance. It also reveals a five-piece skid plate setup that helps protect the entire underbelly of the car from rouge boulders, branches, and other obstacles.
Morgan was quiet about what engine modifications were made, but we suspect that the company left that part of the equation alone. That means a 2.0 liter BMW sourced turbocharged four-cylinder (no more Ford four cylinders here) with the mill producing 255 hp. The CX-T also gets BMW’s electronically operated X-Drive rear differential but with custom software. The modes here are pretty straightforward, with Road model fully opening the diff for on-road excursions. When you go off the road, though, All Terrain and All Terrain Extreme modes help provide the needed lock with 45 and a full 100 percent lock respectively.
When Can I Buy A Morgan CX-T Roadster?
Morgan revealed that it’s taking orders for the CX-T roadster as of this writing, but interested explorers or weekend rally warriors will have to act quickly. Morgan is only building eight examples of the CX-T and will cease production when all eight are built. Pricing will start at £170,000 ($236,000), and buyers will be invited to work hand-in-hand with Morgan’s design team to help craft the CX-T in their own image. Like other rPlus Four models, the car will be built at Morgan’s Malvern. England plant before it’s shipped off to Rally Raid UK for the final touches needed to transform it into one of these models.
Chances are good that this Morgan will not be coming to the U.S., but the CX-T would be the second special project vehicle that Morgan has produced. The first vehicle to hold that honor is the Plus 8 GTR, a track-focused special crafted using leftover Plus 8 chassis material and parts. That model didn’t come to the U.S. either, but it was another example of just how ingenious Morgan’s team of engineers could be when given a challenge. In the meantime, Morgan released a brief video of the CX-T in action, which can be seen below.
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.