Chances are, if this all-new Morgan Plus Six drove by you, you’d crane your neck around to watch it pass, but not because you were thinking “holy shit, look at that radically all-new Morgan!” but because you were thinking “hey, look, a Morgan!” Most people—even ones who know what Morgans are—wouldn’t have any idea that this was a pretty radical car, for Morgan. But it is, and here’s why.
The Plus Six replaces the old Plus 8 as Morgan’s flagship model, something that pretty much had to happen as the BMW V8 used by the old car wasn’t even used by BMW anymore.
That means this Morgan uses BMW’s B58 turbocharged straight-six, making it Morgan’s first turbo car ever. That’s also the same engine used in the new Toyota Supra, which should give car-buyers whose only criteria is a particular engine some fun cross-shopping options.
The turbo straight-six makes about 32 horsepower less than the old V8, 335 HP and 369 lb-ft of torque, but because the Plus Six weighs so little—about 2370 pounds—it’s actually quicker than the old Plus 8, getting to 62 MPH in 4.2 seconds instead of 4.7.
Visually, the Plus Six looks pretty much exactly how Morgans have looked for decades and decades. Sure, it’s a good bit wider, has about an inch more of length in the wheelbase, but the overall look, with the big flowing curvy front fenders and every light in its own funny little cylindrical pod and the cut-down doors and tombstone-shaped grille is all pure, raw, uncut Morgan.
Which is exactly what people who want Morgans want.
Under the skin is where things are more different, as Morgan is using an all-new aluminum bonded platform that they claim gives a “100% increase in torsional rigidity” over their last aluminum platform, which is, I guess, entirely better.
You’ll also note on that image up there that Morgan is still very much Morgan, which means that the body’s frame is still ash wood, just like they’ve been doing for over a century, and will likely be the only automaker to keep doing it for centuries to come, on into an era when fusion-powered Morgans are feeding space termites on our Europa colony.
Inside, there’s a good bit more interior room for both people and luggage than before, but that’s not exactly a high bar to set with a Morgan. The dashboard includes a color, in-dash LCD screen for the first time in a Morgan, and you’ll probably notice that BMW shifter stuck in there, too.
That’s because the only transmission available is BMW’s 8-speed automatic, something that just seems strange in a Morgan, but, what the hell, even an anachronism like a Morgan has to make compromises for modernity.
This is Morgan’s top-of-the-line car, so while it’s not cheap, it’s cheaper than the outgoing Plus 8. The Plus Six starts at around $102,524 (£77,995). Even though I gave that price in American dollars, I wouldn’t hold my breath for these to come to America. I don’t even see any bumpers on this thing, unless those turn indicators are much more substantial than I’m imagining.
While I’d love to see some of these on American roads, I’m just happy that someone out there is still building cars like this, brand-new. I know resto-mod cars have been becoming more and more popular lately, and it’s worth remembering that Morgan is essentially building completely brand-new resto-mod type cars. All new cars built with new technology and incredibly outdated methods and materials all at the same time.
I hope they can keep cranking out these wooden-boned elegant dinosaurs forever.