Nowhere are the contrasts on display at the Goodwood Festival of Speed more in evidence than the cossetting, leather-lined cockpit of Morgan’s handsome new Aero 8. Twenty-four hours earlier I was trussed up in full-harness belts in the focused-for-action Nissan Juke-R 2.0 cockpit.
Relaxing in the sun, with the roof down and the Aero 8’s 370bhp 4.8-litre BMW V8 engine burbling purposefully, this is motoring in a different style and sums up Morgan’s appeal in a nutshell: modern running gear clothed in seductive bodywork with a louvred bonnet and 1930s-style running boards.
If the styling looks familiar, that’s because the front end is borrowed straight from the wonderfully art deco Aeromax, but from the A-pillars back the sheetmetal is all-new from Jonathan Wells, Morgan’s talented young design chief.
Wells’ main work has been to create curvaceous new rear wings and bootline capable of packaging the twin-layer mohair roof to fold flat, seamlessly with the rear bodywork, a first for Morgan, whose soft-tops usually sit proud, pram-style. "We’re very pleased with the result," Wells beams. A clever design feature is the rear-hinging luggage cover, which doubles up as the tonneau cover for the roof.
Inside, the cabin is trimmed with very tasteful ‘box weave’ carpet, in an oatmeal colour and edged delicately with brown leather trim, which finishes the Morgan interior to a new level. In fact, looking around this cabin, the details of the finish and the soft trim are a very high standard indeed.