Morgan has taken the covers off a brand new open version of its breathtaking, limited-run flagship; this is the Aeromax SuperSports concept.

The car was unveiled to the public for the first time today, at Italy’s Villa D’Este Concourse d’Eleganza. Morgan insiders say it’s a 95 per cent match for a convertible version of the Morgan Aeromax that’s scheduled for production in 2010.

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The new car rides lower than the coupe, and has a 40mm lower profile overall. Its roof consists of two removable panels that stow inside its large boot, and has been conceived to offer coupe-like refinement when in place, and roadster levels of fun and enjoyment when removed.

Underneath its aluminium ‘superformed’ skin, the Morgan Aeromax SuperSports is largely identical to the 2008 Aeromax coupe. That means it uses an extruded and bonded aluminium chassis with double-wishbone suspension, and runs a version of BMW’s 367bhp, 4.8-litre V8 engine driving the rear wheels.

Like all Morgan’s sports cars, the new Aeromax SuperSports features English ash in its construction; the wood forms the basis of the car’s body frame onto which its aluminium panels are mounted.

“Ash gives us a unique combination of strength and flexibility,” explains marketing director Matthew Parkin, “and it’s also extremely light, which is why the car only weighs 1100kg, and has such impressive performance.” The new Aeromax should accelerate to 60mph in around 4.5sec and be capable of cracking 170mph flat out.

Morgan will be exploring farther-flung markets with its new car, as Parkin explains. “Thanks to structural changes made to the car’s platform, the new Aeromax will pass a 50mph rear impact test without leaking fuel. That means we’ll be able to make it available to buyers in the USA.”

The original Aeromax coupe was built in a run of just 100 cars; 200 examples of the SuperSports will be made, and an estimated 25 per cent of cars will be exported to the US. Morgan anticipates a similar price to that of the current Aeromax coupe, so expect the car to cost around £110,000.

Matt Saunders