Morgan has completed the first of the eight special 367bhp GT variants of its Aero 8 sports car it is producing to mark the end of the model's production.
The Aero GT was announced at the Geneva motor show last month, but the first customer car has already come off Morgan's Malvern production line. All eight GT cars will be built bespoke to customer specifications. The first example, which is headed for Revolutions Morgan in Scotland, has been finished in Miami Blue paint.
The variant will also be the last car to use BMW’s long-standing N62 V8 engine. Having powered Morgan’s Aero since it launched in 2000, the naturally aspirated 4.8-litre unit, which hasn’t been used in a BMW since 2010, will also bow out in its most potent form.
Producing 367bhp and 370lb ft of torque, the V8 is linked to a BMW six-speed manual gearbox that delivers drive to the rear wheels. It can accelerate the 1182kg Aero GT to 62mph in 4.5sec and a top speed of 170mph.
This is a 365bhp, rear-drive sports saloon with something to prove. Let’s see...
Those performance figures are identical to the Aero 8's, but Morgan says the Aero GT is the most extreme car to leave its Malvern factory doors yet. This is because the bespoke variant gets more aggressive aerodynamic features inspired by Morgan’s 2009 GT3 racing car.
Most noticeable is the larger rear diffuser, which is said to lower pressure at the rear to push the car into the ground at speed. But there are also other smaller aerodynamic parts, including a pair of canards on the nose and extra louvre vents that help to reduce air pressure over the body. Every panel is sculpted by hand.
“The additional wing top louvres, side impressions and dramatic rear diffuser have all been tested extensively to ensure they work together to reduce drag and increase road holding capability,” explained Morgan design boss Jon Wells. “The merits of these additions were first unearthed during the early development phases of the 2015 Aero 8 while we were exploring the requirements of a more aerodynamically efficient Aero.”
The car retains the Aero 8’s aluminium chassis and adjustable suspension, but gains the option of a carbonfibre hard top in place of the standard soft top. This covers a hand-finished interior featuring painted stitching and pinstriping, along with trim made from wood – a material synonymous with Morgan since it was established in 1910.
The eight examples of this final Aero model will be hand-built, with each priced from £120,000 excluding local taxes. That’s £144,000 including VAT in Britain and £49,335 more than a regular Aero 8.
Morgan boss Steve Morris said every car “is built to an exacting specification and is bespoke to each customer”. A build time of eight to 10 weeks is expected, with buyers offered the chance to follow the production of their car from start to finish at Morgan’s Malvern factory.