The Plus Four gives you plenty of driver involvement in the old-fashioned way.

The power steering is lighter and slower paced than you might expect in a one-tonne sports car, but it is much more consistent in both senses than Morgan steering tended to be previously. Its weight and pace also say plenty about the character of a car that’s by no means unwilling or incapable of entertaining when driven quickly but quite plainly still prefers the sort of pace at which top-down summer motoring can be really savoured.

Even when driven in no particular hurry, the car feels animated and keeps you busy. The chassis is more softly sprung than most in the sports car class and so it’s quite pitch sensitive. Under power and when cornering, it doesn’t roll much but certainly likes to gather its weight around its rear wheels. The consequently varying front axle loading that results makes cornering with speed, stability and precision a bit of a challenge – although not an uninviting one.

Take the side screens off and you’ve got lots of leverage at the wheel, which you need in order to carry plenty of speed with the scope of steering input that’s necessary. The flex in those 60-profile tyre sidewalls doesn’t make for the last word in handling accuracy even when the chassis stays level and the car is in a steady state, and outright lateral grip is pretty modest. So you earn your corn if you can carry speed in a Morgan, now as ever.

You’re constantly adjusting and cajoling the Plus Four as you whisk it along, then. At a 60mph cruise on an A-road it needs regular little course corrections to account for its shifting mass and suspension deflection, and at fast B-road pace it requires a deliberate hand and plenty of concentration. On-centre steering feel is notably better if you drive the car in ‘S+’ mode, which is what most of our testers preferred.

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Vertical body control on really testing surfaces is certainly loose enough to slow you down over bigger lumps and bumps and gives you plenty of pause for thought. This is a car that can feel oddly short on suspension travel; moreover, one that still seems to come up short on structural integrity and outright dynamic composure when really tested. At just the right speed, though, it rewards and engages in a disarmingly honest, simple way.

Driving this car quickly on Millbrook’s Hill Route is an undertaking that demands a bit of warming up to. With speed comes a heightened awareness of the Morgan’s fairly lax attitude to containing body roll through faster bends, as well as the really quite marked rear weight transfer that can accompany mid-corner applications of throttle.

It’s arguably in these instances where the Morgan is simultaneously at its most unsettling and exciting. As weight shifts rearwards, you feel the already mute steering go light, which makes sensing the point at which front-end grip becomes slip that much trickier. You often see the nose push wide before you feel it.

At the same time, your position out over the rear axle does mean you feel far more keyed in to any shimmies or slips on exit when you get it right, and the Morgan’s progressively geared steering provides decent scope for making those more minute, delicate corrections required to easily get things back in shape.

Comfort and isolation

Roof up or roof down, the Plus Four is not what anyone with working ears would call an isolated car. Morgan was initially keen for us to wait until its hard-tops were available before conducting this test, and you needn’t drive the car far with the hood up to appreciate why. With some 84dB of noise in the cabin at a 70mph cruise, it was fully 11dB noisier than the Porsche 718 Boxster we tested in 2016. A completely open, windscreenless Atom 4 is another 8dB noisier at the same speed.

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There are equal amounts of road noise and wind intrusion evident as you drive, both out-shouting the car’s exhausts most of the time. With earplugs, it’s a noise level that you’d be willing to tolerate for reasonably extended periods. But quite clearly, when Morgan recommends a solid hard-top (which ought, at least, to better keep out the wind noise) to those who intend to drive their car frequently or to tour in it, it does so with good reason.

The car’s ride has much better suspension compliance and absorption than Morgan’s ‘trad’ roadsters and a notably more settled gait overall, but it still only really splits the difference between those old-timers and a typical modern sports car for ride comfort. It can feel a bit brittle over sharp edges, the car’s soft springing apparently willing at first to soak up some inputs but its shortness of travel and lack of progressive damping support making the gesture somewhat hollow.