Morgan Motor Company has just completed the build of their first Morgan Plus 8 GTR at the company’s factory in Malvern Link, Worcestershire. This new car is Morgan’s most powerful car to date and this particular one is finished in a striking Yas Marina Blue pictured here.
Based on the Morgan Plus 8, this first example pays homage to prominent nineties Plus 8 race car ‘Big Blue’ and is evocative of the original design sketches.
This car served as the testbed for Morgan’s first bonded-aluminium chassis, which went on to underpin the Aero 8 and ‘Aero-chassis’ Plus 8 models. Following the recent launch of Morgan’s CX-Generation bonded-aluminium platform, it seemed fitting to use this opportunity to pay tribute to the car that pioneered Morgan’s use of aluminium structures to create this limited edition car. As with every Morgan that is built, each of the nine Plus 8 GTR’s is hand crafted using traditional coachbuilding techniques that have been passed down over many years.
All nine cars are in fact a bespoke commission, with their new owners working alongside Morgan’s design team.
Enhanced performance has increased the Plus 8’s V8 engine power output to 375bhp, making it the most powerful Morgan ever built and only nine examples of the Plus 8 GTR will be made, the project only being possible due to the recent availability of a number of Plus 8 rolling chassis.
The design of the Plus 8 GTR explores design themes that have not been seen on a traditional Morgan body for decades, such as the high shoulder line and the five-spoke centre-lock wheels that are reminiscent of Morgan’s 1990s Plus 8 race cars. There is also a revised rear end, front wings and front splitter, all of which have been hand crafted using aluminium. Even the hard top with cockpit vent helps to add the race-inspired aesthetic. The car’s interior has new door cards to fit with the high door tops, along with bespoke GTR dials and the option of carbon fibre racing seats and harnesses. There are also some unique graphics featured throughout and each GTR is fitted with a plaque denoting its number in the build sequence.
Other performance upgrades include a new engine tune and cannon-style twin-exit sports exhaust pipes which improve throttle response, increasing the power output over the previous production Plus 8.
The other eight cars are all currently in production, several of which will be finished before the end of the year, with the remainder being completed in the first quarter of 2022. All nine cars are being built in varying configurations of transmission and drive side depending on customer requirements, with five of the cars being exported internationally.
The Plus 8 GTR is the second Morgan special project of 2021, the first being the Plus Four CX-T. Whilst quite different, both models serve to demonstrate the flexibility of the Morgan brand, celebrating beautiful craft, design and the driving experience.
Steve Morris, Chairman & CEO, Morgan Motor Company, said:
“We are excited to release the first images of the Plus 8 GTR following the design sketches published earlier this year. The Plus 8 GTR represents an opportunity for Morgan to celebrate the V8 engine once again, something we did not expect to do since finishing the Plus 8 and Aero 8 models in 2018. Striking design, the finest craftsmanship, and an exhilarating sports car to drive, the Plus 8 GTR is the perfect swansong to the Morgan V8. We have been delighted to work alongside customers from around the world during the design and build process, and we look forward to sharing the final examples over the coming months.”
For more information, please visit www.morgan-motor.com/plus-8-gtr
Simon Burrell is Editor of Our Man Behind The Wheel, a professional photographer and former saloon car racing driver.
Photographs courtesy of Morgan Motor Company