[As we mentioned with the post on the Aero GT, the last of the BMW V8 motors are being reserved for a few special edition cars. Only 8 Aero GTs will be produced and now it appears that the 50 of the BMW V8s have been allocated for a special edition 50th Anniversary Plus 8. Unfortunately, we here in the US will not see these cars (in the metal) for a long time, however we should get lots more details when they are officially announced at the International Motor Show Geneva in March. Mark]
The MMC11 at Chateau Impney hill climb in 2017
Our wedding car was a classic Morgan Plus 8, which we drove from the wedding service to the ceremony. The location was archetype English – pristine countryside dotted with pretty little villages, quaint churches and old pubs. It was a hot summer’s day and the car was a hot red with no roof and superb fun as we temporarily parted from family and friends, hopped into the tiny two-seat roadster, maneuvering the twisty lanes. It was exhilarating. It was also an ideal set for a Morgan car, for I cannot think of another marque with quite such a distinctively British aesthetic – quirky, elegant, a little bit wrong maybe, but a lot of fun and a nod to the romance of another time.
Plus 8 with Peter Morgan at factory
So, it has been exciting to hear that Morgan Motor Company will honor this most celebrated of its cars with a Plus 8 50th anniversary special edition model with only fifty planned for production. The first Plus 8 was born in 1968 when Peter Morgan conceived then debuted the prototype at the London Earls Court Motor Show. The car was based on the Morgan Plus 4, though proportionally bigger, with redesigned hand-crafted elements and powered by the Rover V8 engine.
The first production MMC11 model became one of the most successful cars Morgan has ever built with production continuing for 36 years. Some 6,000 cars were created at Morgan’s Pickersleigh Road factory in England until the model was discontinued in 2004 when the production of Rover V8 engines ceased. Then in 2012, the Plus 8 was reborn.
The first Morgan Plus 8 production model, MMC11
Unusually, Morgan has managed to remain family-owned, continuing to make intricately crafted sports cars. The cars are so much about design for desire and the Plus 8 50th will continue this tradition of combining artisan skills, luxury and technology. A lightweight aluminum chassis and 4.8 liter BMW engine sit beneath the traditional Morgan body. At just 1100kg, the Plus 8 is one of the lightest V8 passenger cars in the world and is capable of 0-62 mph in 4.5 seconds and has a top speed of 155 mph.
The Morgan Plus 8 50th logo
“Each design detail of the Plus 8 50th has been considered to celebrate the Plus 8 and what it has meant to Morgan and its customers over the last 50 years,” says head of design Jon Wells. “This famous V8 was a darling of the automotive industry in the sixties and has today become an unrivalled machine offering raw exhilaration and effortless power delivery. Overlooking the long wide bonnet sat directly on the rear axle, when driving a plus 8 you are very aware of, not just its sound track, but its significance and its capability. The design of this special final edition hopes to do both justice.”
The Plus 8 50th will be revealed in March this year at the Geneva Motor Show.
and more . . .
Morgan Plus 8 50th Anniversary edition celebrates the end of V8-engined model (www.autocar.co.uk/)
50-unit special edition will be revealed at Geneva in March to commemorate the end of the BMW V8-engined Plus 8, alongside the last Aero 8 edition.
The standard car will no longer be produced with the 4.8-litre BMW V8
Morgan has announced that its Plus 8 will no longer be made with the 4.8-litre BMW V8 engine, commemorating the departure with a 50-unit, 50th Anniversary edition of the retro-styled sports car.
Set to be revealed at the Geneva motor show in March, the Plus 8 50th Anniversary Special Edition will be a more luxurious edition of the Plus 8, although the brand has revealed none of the car itself.
The limited edition will be sold through Morgan’s dealer network, although the brand hasn’t yet revealed pricing. It’s likely to command a premium over the standard car’s £85,461 starting price, though.
The Plus 8 was reintroduced into the Morgan range in 2012, and since then has been atop the brand’s lineup in terms of power-to-weight ratio; the light 1100kg kerb weight and 367bhp combining for a figure of 315bhp per tonne.
It was first introduced in 1968, and was produced until 2004, powered by a Rover V8.
Design boss Jon Wells said: “Each design detail of the Plus 8 50th has been considered to celebrate the Plus 8 and what it has meant to Morgan and its customers over the past 50 years. Overlooking the long wide bonnet sat directly on the rear axle, when driving a plus 8 you are very aware of, not just its soundtrack, but its significance and its capability. The design of this special final edition hopes to do both justice.”