- Helping you drive happy

Morgan Revives 4-Seat Roadster, Improves Aero 8

Get the best interest rate
Khatir Soltani
Like the 4/4, Morgan will not be selling the +4 in North America for
One of the main changes is the roof, which allows for better headroom and easier operation. (Photo: Morgan Motor Company)
many different reasons, but chiefly because the +4 could not pass federal safety standards without a serious overhaul. It features no airbags, no side-impact protection and crash safety hinged on not hitting anything (ie. a hope and a prayer). Remember, this is a car that was designed in an era where other cars still looked and weighed much the same. For the curious, prices for the +4 start at £32,020, which is equal to $64,400 CAD, or $55,470 USD. Because the car is entirely hand-built, there's a waiting list of between six to twelve months.

And now for something completely different... The very modern, very slick 2005 Aero 8. (Photo: Morgan Motor Company)
it's nice to see a manufacturer still building vehicles from its glory days (literally), progress is marvelous. Back in 2001, when Morgan introduced the Aero 8, it shocked the world (or at least, the part that was aware of Morgan) because it was the first new car that the company had engineered since the original +4 and 4/4. The innovation that the Aero 8 featured was simply astounding, and I'm not saying this just because it's a Morgan. Through the extensive use of aluminum, the car was so light that the wheels alone made up 10 percent of its weight, and it featured the world's first cantilever rear suspension, which is currently waiting in line for patent.

And then there's the styling, which is an artistic,
2006 Morgan Aero 8 features BMW's finest V8 engine, a lightweight chassis and the world's first cantilever suspension. (Photo: Morgan Motor Company)
modern-day interpretation of what a 21st century Morgan ought to look like. It's an epic machine, with an enormous nose that sticks way out in front, squeezed between two oversized teardrop fenders, and a cabin that puts the driver's bottom over the rear axle. And to drive? It's been said that it captures all of the Morgan 'Sunday driver', open-air experience, but it's got the performance and capability to hang with Porsche 911s and other bests that the market has to offer. Of course, it would be a no-brainer that with all this, the brand would export it to the United States, and so it did last year.

Unlike the +4 which looked as if it would fall apart on the way to the wall in a crash test, the Aero 8 not only withstood the federal government's bash, but it surpassed their standards; although not before a few important tweaks. The cabin was widened to make it more commodious and to alleviate width-related cramps, not to mention a new ZF variable-assist steering system, bigger brakes with AP pistons and a Bosch ABS system, and the all-important driver and passenger airbags. On the side of luxuries, the Aero 8 gained central locking, a tire pressure sensor and power windows, the sort of things that don't clash with the Aero 8's quilted leather and burled wood.

For this year's Geneva Motor Show, Morgan unveiled the new 2006
MINI Cooper sourced headlamps give the Aero 8 a less cross-eyed look. (Photo: Morgan Motor Company)
Aero 8, with one key improvement - they fixed the nose. The biggest criticism against the '8 was the fact that its headlamps made the car look cross-eyed, to the point where it truly split opinions. The new car draws on last year's Aeromax concept, a one-off hardtop coupe version of the Aero 8, nabbing the alterations made to the front end. In place of the canted headlights are self-cleaning xenon units that point straight ahead, as well as fog lamps, all borrowed from the MINI Cooper. The new Aero 8 also gets a revised front air dam that features a smaller intake, and the option of a hard top.
Khatir Soltani
Khatir Soltani
Automotive expert
  • Over 6 years experience as a car reviewer
  • Over 50 test drives in the last year
  • Involved in discussions with virtually every auto manufacturer in Canada