Morgan has launched a completely revised Plus Four, the second of its new generation of BMW-powered models to use the all-new CX bonded aluminium platform pioneered last year in its traditional-looking but all-new Plus Six.
The car replaces the old, steel chassis 4/4, Plus 4 and Roadster models and is expected to account for around half of Morgan’s annual volume of around 900 cars a year, when customer deliveries begin in late spring. Prices start at £62,995 for the entry-level six-speed manual model, the first time a manual gearbox has been offered in the new chassis. The eight-speed auto version costs £64,500.
Though very similar-looking to the outgoing Plus 4, the new car (which adopts “Four” for its name instead of “4”) is entirely different from its predecessors under the skin; Morgan says only 3% of parts are carried over. The Four’s version of the boned aluminium CX platform is almost identical to that of the Plus Six, apart from necessities such as different engine mountings, but like its predecessors the four-cylinder car itself is a little narrower than Morgan’s most powerful model — in this case by 84mm — by use of shorter front and rear double wishbones, modified wings and slightly smaller wheels and tyres.
The car still incorporates the usual Morgan high degree of hand manufacture: it has many hand-beaten aluminium panels (though not the wings, which are Superformed) and these are supported by a hand-crafted ash body frame, plus a hand-trimmed leather interior. One notable achievement is the way the the new double wishbone suspension is adapted to low-offset 15-inch wire wheels, a difficult engineering challenge properly regarded by Morgan engineers as a must for the new Plus Four. Silver-painted wires are standard equipment, but elegant alloys are also available.