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Morgan’s swansong for V8

Big Blue from 1990s GT series provides design inspiration for marque’s most powerful car.
Posted on 12 January, 2022
Morgan’s swansong for V8

The first Morgan Plus 8 GTR, the most powerful car in the company’s history, has completed its build at the company’s factory in the UK.

Finished in “yas marina” blue, the first example is evocative of the original design sketches, which pay homage to prominent ’90s Plus 8 race car Big Blue released to announce the model in February 2021. 

Limited to just nine examples, the project has only been possible due to recent availability of some Plus 8 rolling chassis.

The remaining eight cars are all in production and are expected to all be completed in the first quarter of 2022. 

Each customer has worked closely with Morgan’s design team to commission their own bespoke example.

The nine cars are made in varying configurations of transmission and drive side according to customer requirements, with five of the eight vehicles being exported.

Performance upgrades include a new engine tune and cannon-style twin-exit sports exhausts. These enhancements improve throttle response and increase the power output over the previous production Plus 8.

Steve Morris, chairman of Morgan Motor Company, says: “The Plus 8 GTR represents an opportunity for Morgan to celebrate the V8 engine once again, something we didn’t 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, it 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 look forward to sharing the final examples over coming months.”

The Plus 8 GTR explores design themes, such as the high shoulder line, which has not seen on a traditional Morgan body for decades. Its five-spoke centre-lock wheels are reminiscent of the company’s 1990s Plus 8 race cars, perfectly by subtly re-sculpted wheel arches. 

Further design elements include a revised rear end, front wings and front splitter, all handcrafted using aluminium. Fitment of a hard top with cockpit vent completes the race-inspired aesthetic. 

The interior features new door cards to fit with the high door tops, bespoke GTR dials and the option of carbon-fibre racing seats and harnesses. Unique graphics feature throughout and each GTR is fitted with a plaque denoting its number in the build sequence.

One design inspiration was the Plus 8 race car that competed in the GT series throughout the late 1990s, more commonly known as Big Blue. 

This car served as the testbed for Morgan’s first bonded-aluminium chassis, which would go on to underpin the Aero 8 and “Aero-chassis’” Plus 8 models. 

The company felt it was fitting, following the more recent launch of Morgan’s CX-Generation bonded-aluminium platform, to use this opportunity to pay tribute to the vehicle that pioneered Morgan’s use of aluminium structures. 

As with every Morgan, each Plus 8 GTR is handcrafted using traditional coachbuilding techniques.

The Plus 8 GTR is the second Morgan special project of the year, following the Plus Four CX-T.