2012 Morgan Plus 8 review

* Morgans new Plus 8 roadster driven * 0-62mph in 4.5 seconds * On sale now, priced from 85,200...

Author Avatar
Tom Webster
21 May 2012 16:21 | Last updated: 14 Jun 2018 00:03

The Morgan Plus 8 will be familiar to most, because the overall shape has barely changed since the original version was launched in 1968.

Under the skin, however, this latest Plus 8 is built on the same chassis as the 100,000 Morgan Aero supercar, while power comes from a V8 engine thats a version of the one found in the previous-generation BMW 550i.

Whats the 2012 Morgan Plus 8 like to drive?
Unlike most new cars, the Plus 8 has few electronic safety aids. Power steering and anti-lock brakes aside, youre on your own.

Despite the powerful engine and rear-wheel-drive configuration, the Plus 8 never feels as though it's going to bite as instinct suggests it might with 390bhp on tap and no stability control to rein it in.

Part of the reassurance comes from the steering, which is sharp and precise.

This sharpness is further aided by firm suspension, which keeps everything stable, although it does make the ride jittery on poor surfaces.

The Plus 8's look has changed little since its 1968 launch

Another disappointment is the sluggish automatic gearbox, which feels more suited to a relaxed cruiser than a sports car. However, slide the lever into manual override and it feels usefully sportier. The barking blips of the throttle that come with downshifts are a delight to hear.

At idle, or at work, the V8 engine provides a growling soundtrack that never becomes irritating.

Whats the 2012 Morgan Plus 8 like inside?
There's no clock in the Plus 8, and that's no real surprise for a cabin that looks much like time forgot.

The only nod to modern life a CD-player is tucked away almost out of sight. Elsewhere on the dashboard, the speedometer and rev counter are centrally mounted, while most of the other functions are controlled with a row of small buttons lower down.

There's no clock in the cabin that time forgot

The hood feels solid and is easy enough to flip up if it starts to rain, but you might get wet while securing the fastenings.

Day trips are the realistic limit of the Plus 8, considering that theres no boot, and youll be left wedging luggage behind the seats and in the passenger footwell.

Should I buy one?
Dont be fooled by the Plus 8's classic looks; the new engine and chassis mean it handles extremely well better than the more expensive Aero, in fact.

There are, however, a few drawbacks; most notably the 82,500 price. Anyone paying this might then frown at the interior finish, which is not up to the standard found in similarly priced rivals.

What other 85,000 cars wont provide as readily is the special feeling that comes with owning, driving and looking at the Plus 8.

We think the Plus 8's better to drive than its 100K Aero Coupe sibling

Rivals:
Aston Martin V8 Vantage Roadster
Jaguar XKR Convertible

What Car? says

Tom Webster