The Morgan Aero 8 sports car has made a comeback at the Geneva motor show. Complete with an updated chassis and suspension system, and a new look inside and out, it has become the famous British sport car firm’s most high-tech model yet.
The two-seat Aero 8 will replace the Aero Coupé and Aero Supersports in the Morgan range. Production will start in October this year. The Plus 8 will still be offered, but Morgan expects most potential Plus 8 buyers to migrate to the Aero 8. A production run of 300-350 units is planned over a two-year period.
Morgan boss Steve Morris said the firm “changed everything it possibly could” on the Aero 8 when bringing it back to “maintain the essence of the Aero” and to “fill an obvious gap that’s missing in our range”.
The chassis has been made significantly stiffer and a completely new suspension is fitted. The previous inboard suspension system has been ditched in favour of an outboard double-wishbone set-up at each corner and anti-roll bars. Much more predictable and engaging handling is promised as a result, along with improved body control, low-speed ride and flatter cornering.
Although the front-end design of the Aero 8 is similar, the look from the doors backwards is completely new. The most significant part of design chief John Wells’s work on the Aero 8 is the way the fabric roof folds completely out of sight behind the two seats – a Morgan first.
A removable hard-top ‘fighter cockpit’-style roof cover is also offered from the car’s launch, Morgan having worked hard to properly integrate it into the design from the outset, rather than retrospectively. This offers significant headroom despite its sleek looks.
The interior includes a new dashboard with toggle switches. One option for it is an infotainment system that can be specced to include features such as sat-nav, connectivity apps and a reversing camera. The steering wheel, instrument binnacle and centre tunnel are also new and there is increased stowage inside the cabin as well as a larger boot.
The BMW-sourced 362bhp 4.8-litre V8 from the rest of the Aero range is carried over to the Aero 8 and is offered with a choice of six-speed manual or automatic gearboxes. However, the engine mapping and power delivery are revised for the Aero 8. Morgan has again turned to BMW to source a mechanical limited-slip differential for the car.
Other changes to the Aero 8 include, Morgan says, better build quality, improved passenger comfort, a more slippery aerodynamic profile following wind tunnel work and computer simulations, greater refinement, reduced wind noise and improved protection from water leaks thanks to new doors and seals. It’s also lighter than the other Aero models and is expected to come in at just over 1000kg.
In standard form, the Aero 8 will cost about £80,000.