It’s striking - a touch concerning, even - to note just how modern a car-making outfit the Morgan Motor Company has become. In June last year we drove the firm’s range-topping Plus Six sports car, whose all-new, ‘CX’-branded aluminium monocoque platform marked the beginning of a new era for the firm. Now that era ekes its way onward, and it’s the turn of the related Plus Four to hit the road.
Among the tools being used to drum up interest in this car is - wait for it - an introductory personal finance offer. I know; who’d have thought it? I like to think some Morgan owners might wonder, when offered a 'PCP' deal, why on earth they’ll be needing discounted antiseptic with their brand-new ‘classic’ roadster. Others should certainly be interested to hear that, despite the slightly off putting list price, you can currently finance a Plus Four for less than an entry-level Porsche 718 Boxster or an Audi TTS Roadster.
Very sturdy residual values are to thank for that. Those residual values will doubtless also be the excuse used to seek to justify a near-doubling of the Plus Four’s pricetag over the course of just six years. I’m not altogether sure how Morgan’s more traditional customer base will feel about a four-cylinder roadster with a starting price beginning with a six, although my guess would be pretty sore. It’s certainly a big chunk of change to divert from your pension pot, and for the kind of car many will have wanted forever and will want to keep for almost as long.
To give Morgan it’s due, that £63,000 buys a car of quite different characteristics and capabilities than any other four-cylinder Morgan in the company’s 110-year history. The Plus Four’s performance level has certainly been transformed, and its drivability and refinement greatly improved. And yet it’s still a Morgan - idiosyncratic and lovable, but not as usable, sophisticated or rounded as other modern sports cars, even now. Somehow this still feels like the Series I Land Rover of the two-seater market, for all the good and ill that might imply.
Did somebody say Land Rover? Perhaps the similarity is so strong because, just as in the Landie, the Plus Four has a driver’s door you must, at least in part, remove in order to best accommodate your right elbow. Luckily the upper part of the doors can be detached pretty simply; and it’s in top-down, minimal-doored mode you’ll want to drive this car, when the sun’s out and you’ve got nowhere particular to go other than around on the map in largish, unhurried circles.