Key Improvements Give Morgan's Range a Boost
For Morgan, a tiny boutique sports car maker from Malvern,
|This is a 4/4 70th Anniversary Edition Roadster, Morgan's classical two-seat sports car. (Photo: Morgan Motor Company)
England, 2006 is shaping up to be one of its biggest years to date. Unlike the many small independent carmaking firms that have appeared and disappeared from one decade to another, Morgan and its unique products have stood the test of time, bringing a piece of old-world British charm to the modern-day automobile. As of late, we've been paying close attention to Morgan, as the storied marque, like Lotus, has re-entered the North American marketplace. Earlier last week we covered the 4/4 70th Anniversary Edition, but there's much more to this brand, as you'll soon see.
|Here's the new +4. It's quite different in that it seats four people, and not just two. (Photo: Morgan Motor Company)
being absent for eighteen months, Morgan announced that it will be bringing back the +4 model, which, aside from being old enough to claim pension, was well sought after by Morgan enthusiasts. For the longest time, the +4 model was a modified version of the two-seat 4/4 model, powered by the same engines, using the same gearboxes, and the same antiquated horse-drawn carriage suspension system, the only differences being that it was longer and bigger which gave it the ability to share classic motoring with two more people than the 4/4.
In the time that the +4 was absent from the model lineup, Morgan claimed to have significantly changed it. So, what's new about the 2006 +4? A look down the specs shows that it still has the same ladder chassis, and they haven't even changed the way that they make it; the frame for the body is still hand crafted out of ash wood by a man in a shed at Morgan's Malvern factory. The brand has changed the look of the car, ever so slightly, with different fenders, new headlamps, and a more aerodynamic grille, but unless you're a true aficionado, it still looks like a grand old 1930s car. For that truly tweedy look, buyers can have their +4s fitted with new 18-inch stainless steel wire wheels.
Morgan has also addressed issues that its customers had with
|+4 now features greater legroom, and an optional full-length centre console. (Photo: Morgan Motor Company)
the interior of the old +4; it was simply too small, and too uncomfortable. After repackaging the rear half of the car to improve legroom, they also re-worked the roof for better headroom, and for easier operation. But wait, there's more: the rear bucket seats, for the first time, offer ISOFIX clip-in attachments for child seats, and they also flip down for improved cargo carrying capacity. Talk about revolutionizing for the times! Buyers can also specify a new console that stretches the entire length of the car, which strengthens the car's rigidity and adds beauty to the interior.
|Aside from the high-performance sports tires, the only modern thing about the +4 are the new Ford engines. (Photo: Morgan Motor Company)
reason to celebrate is that the +4 features a new lineup of engines. After the demise of MG-Rover, Morgan's previous supplier of engines, the brand switched over to powertrains produced by Ford. The base +4 features a 2.0-litre 145-horsepower inline-four, described by the brand as 'lusty', while the top of the line 223-horsepower 3.0-litre V6, to replace the old Buick-derived MG-Rover V8. These two engines are probably the most modern components featured in the car, using such newfangled technology as fuel injection and dual overhead camshafts. Nevertheless, Morgans have always been quick machines, and the new V6 +4 is no exception; it possesses one of the best power to weight ratios of a four-seat open top car.