Engine options, speed, acceleration and refinement

Despite what we find wrong with the Morgan’s interior, there’s very little to complain about the pace with which it goes down the road. The sound the Plus 8 makes on start-up is eager. This engine, which has been gradually replaced by turbocharged units in BMW’s range (but which we know from many just-departed ‘50i’ models), offers genuine V8 woofle and character at any revs.

Step-off is brisk. The six-speed manual that comes as standard is heavy but direct, and complements the nature of the car. There’s considerable creep built into the six-speed automatic ZF transmission (which is used to lugging around more than the Morgan’s 1230kg).

Our noise meter was away being calibrated on the day of our test. Morgan should feel quite relieved by that

However, the gearbox largely does what it’s told if you sling it into its manual-override mode, whereupon it blips a little (although not enough) on downshifts, and changes up on your whim. It’ll still auto-upshift at the 6500rpm rev-limiter, but that’s fine by us. As is the way that, left in automatic, it mooches around at lower speeds.

Straight-line speed? As fast as you’d realistically want, we suspect. We returned 0-60mph in 4.9sec and don’t doubt that, in a manual variant that could hit 60mph in second gear, the Plus 8 would match Morgan’s claim of 4.5sec over the same benchmark. It’s a strong, lusty performer at any revs.

A tickle of throttle at low revs in a high gear is likely to get you where you want to go at a speed you could eventually feel slightly uncomfortable with, for reasons that we’ll come to in the next section.

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The servo-assisted brakes are perhaps a touch sharp for easy modulation around town but overall, in the dry, it brakes quite well. In the wet, it is a different matter. There’s noticeable directional instability when you first hit the pedal, and thereafter the stopping distance is poor.