The Morgan Aero Supersports is essentially a targa-roofed derivative of the previous Aeromax coupe, with the two cars sharing the same bonded aluminium chassis and lower bodywork. 

It was designed by Matt Humphries, while he was still a design student at Coventry. Now graduated - and installed as Morgan's first head of design - the Supersports is his first major project for the company.

Deputy editor
The Supersports sees Morgan becoming a premium brand

It looks amazing. Undeniably a Morgan, but with a modern twist, which means it will steal the attention away from just about any other car on the road. The effect is even more pronounced with the side-exit exhaust system, and the bassy V8 soundtrack.

The Morgan's interior is equally impressive, with a high-quality feel and plenty of bespoke materials.

You could park the Supersports next to anything short of a gold-plated Bugatti and know that it would win the bulk of attention. The traditional lines and muscular contours manage to refer to Morgan's illustrious sportscar past without degenerating into caricature.

It has a bonded aluminium chassis and 'superformed' alloy body panels. Power comes from a BMW-sourced 4.8-litre V8 with 367bhp and 370lb ft. And the car weighs just 1180kg. Performance is on par with most supercars, despite what the looks might suggest.

With a ZF six-speed gearbox, a 0-62 of 4.5sec is possible, as is an official figure of 23mpg. Modern Morgans have their dynamics underpinned by the company's extensive - and successful - experience in GT racing; one of the Supersports roles was actually to homologate a more aerodynamically efficient body shape to help the competition effort.

The result is a very rigid chassis with excellent body control, agile responses and huge mechanical grip.

The Supersports doesn't have any stability control system, but on dry roads that's really never an issue. The targa roof system definitely isn't designed for making the most of a showery day, though.

Removing the heavy roof panels and packing them in their protective bags takes a good ten minutes, and if you carry them with you they'll wipe out most of the otherwise generous boot space.

Morgan has pulled off a trick that many, far larger, organizations have failed at - successfully moving their brand up market. When the Aero 8 launched, it was £5000 less than the cheapest Porsche 911.

Now the Supersports has a price tag to match a Bentley Continental GT or Aston Martin. And few would argue the leftfield Morgan Aero Supersports doesn't deserve a place among such luminaries.