5

The Morgan Aero 8 is essentially a modern take on an old-school British roadster, 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 Aero 8 is the follow on from his first major project for the company - Aero Supersports, which was discontinued in 2015 ahead of the launch of the fifth gen car.

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. There are 37 leather colours to choose from, eight seat piping and carpet options and three seat pleat variations. Even the dash is configurable - with those looking for an old-school toggle switch dash or a modern infotainment system catered for. There are even seven soft-top colour and three hard top options.

There are also two Performance Pack options to adorn your Aero 8 with the first compiling of side exit sports exhaust, red brake calipers and a gloss black diffuser, while the second pack gets a more conventional rear sports exhaust among other small exterior details.

You could park the Aero 8 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 the 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 original roles was actually to homologate a more aerodynamically efficient body shape to help the competition effort.

The result is a very rigid chassis matched with a BMW-derived limited slip differential gives excellent body control, agile responses and huge mechanical grip.

The Aero 8 doesn't have any stability control system, but on dry roads that's really never an issue. The folding roof folds neatly into the rather bulbus rear all electrically done too.

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

Now the fifth generation has a price tag to match that is in the same ball park as the 911 Carrera S, BMW M6 and the Mercedes-AMG CLS 63 S. And few would argue the leftfield Morgan Aero 8 doesn't deserve a place among such luminaries.

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