Currently reading: Morgan styling could be modernised, says design boss
British car maker's styling direction will move from the 1940s to the 1960s, keeping distance with the present

Morgan is famous for building roadsters that look like time capsules from the 1940s, but its stylists don’t feel constrained by its vast heritage. The company is open to the idea of moving its design language forward.

“We have always believed that Morgan's design library is incredibly flexible and in no way constrained by the nostalgic influences that we deploy in our cars,” head of design Jonathan Wells told Autocar.

He cited the members of the Aero range, which put a more contemporary spin on Morgan’s design approach, and the stillborn electric EV3 as examples. Both stretched the boundaries of the company’s visual identity but neither looked out of place in its line-up, because they retained a high degree of purity.

“Every part of a Morgan should communicate its function and be there for a reason,” Wells said.

Morgan will follow these strict guidelines as it creates newer-looking cars, which Autocar understands is a process already under way as the British firm mulls designs for forthcoming models.

“Instead of moving so drastically from the 1940s and the 1950s to the 2020s and the 2030s, we’re sort of migrating into the 1960s and the 1970s and maintaining that distance [with the present],” Wells affirmed. “We’re trying to do so in a way that we don’t generate a pastiche but maintain that authenticity and function.”

Although he stopped short of revealing precisely what the company has in the pipeline, or when it will expand its range, Wells did tell us that the process of designing a car like the recently revealed all-new Plus Four starts by carefully studying the era to which it's a tribute. Simply copying and pasting an existing design wouldn’t cut it.

“We try to imagine what these designers were inspired by," said Wells. "For example, the understanding of aerodynamics in the 1950s was very different than the understanding of aerodynamics today and, as a result, that was influencing the shape of those cars. We also try to understand the manufacturing techniques at the time and the cultural influences, which could be anything from interior design to fashion, and try to replicate that. We find it really exciting."


New Morgan Plus Four arrives with BMW power, new chassis

Morgan ditches traditional ladder chassis for next-gen frame 

Autocar confidential: Morgan's factory expansion plans, BMW's hydrogen doubts and more 

Blast in the past: How to rent a classic car

Join the debate

Add a comment…
Speedraser 26 March 2020

This sounds worrisome to me.

This sounds worrisome to me. Morgans have generally avoided being a pastiche of anything because they simply continued to look basically the same -- they were authentic, the real thing. The Aero cars were controversial for a reason. The Aeromax worked because it was absolutely gorgeous. If they can repeat that level of design then maybe this will work, but if they start building tributes to an era, they risk becoming a pastiche just like any other company's cars do.

russ13b 24 March 2020

sounds good

problem could be keeping it different from the cars of the era though, in the way that the Jannarelly Design-1 looks like so many cars all at the same time. How about something like a Morgan styled Ginetta G32?

Chris C 24 March 2020


I hope they go more in the direction of the Morgan SLR rather than the Plus Four Plus....