Morgan Aero GT 2018 review

Morgan Aero GT 2018 UK first drive review - hero front

An imperfect but infinitely likeable sports car, and a worthy swansong for Morgan’s 20-year affinity for BMW V8 engines

At any speed, in any gear, a Morgan Aero doesn’t so much rouse the deceased as haul them out of the ground by their metatarsals. Presumably the good people of Malvern are now accustomed to this kind of ruckus.Morgan has been hand-building cars in this corner of Worcestershire since 1909, and using a BMW-supplied V8 for its most serious models since the supply from Rover began to dry up around the millennium. It really is devastatingly loud in this application, firing pavement-bound pulses from a pair of side-exhausts and with enough torque to turn fourth gear while trundling along only a whisker quicker than walking pace. You can open the throttle early and wide for a locomotive chug-chug-chug that’s just so addictive.And yet this, for all intents and purposes, is the last time those residents will get to enjoy (or decry) such a sound, at least from a freshly constructed car. This year the deal with BMW ends, and though Jaguar’s name has been mentioned, a new supply line of big, juicy engines is yet to be established.Truth be told, it may never materialise, usurped by a V6, and along with the fact no successor for the flagship Aero 8 is planned, that makes the Morgan you see before you rather special.It’s called the Aero ‘GT’, this one being number eight of a run of only eight ‘gloves off’ cars, as Morgan puts it. Each costs £144,000 but the sky is limit as goes customisation, with the handful of owners individually invited to the Malvern Link works to meet chief designer Jon Wells and create something unique.Though both are actually Lamborghini hues, the green and gold livery of this example is inspired by the ash-framed Aero Super Sport cars prepared by Jacques Lafitte for FIA GT3 racing a decade ago. Dazzling? Just a bit. An Aventador would struggle to hold the limelight next to one of these; a Huracàn may not as well exist.Look closer and you’ll clock aggressive aero, which most noticeably differentiates these models and which the GT wears in the manner of Kalashnikov-carrying librarian. Louvres cascading down the hydroformed aluminium wheelarches are redolent of that other brutish Brit, the TVR Sagaris, and there are diveplanes in the front bumper with further pressure-relieving cutouts behind the gold-painted rear wheels.Then there are the circular vents in the trailing edge of the removable carbon roof – to these eyes a superb historical touch – but the coup de grace is a carbonfibre diffuser cut high into the tapered rear bodywork. Morgan insists the changes are functional, with their roots in the development work done during the 2015 redesign of the standard Aero 8.What hasn’t changed is the driveline or the mechanical underpinnings. Given Morgan places a £50,000 premium on the GT over the Aero 8, that should raise a few eyebrows, but it remains a mouth-watering setup, so bear with.That naturally aspirated 4.8-litre N62 BMW engine delivers 367bhp and 370lb ft exclusively to the rear tyres through a six-speed manual ‘box and a mechanical limited-slip differential also of Bavarian origin. All this in an aluminium bonded and riveted chassis weighing a mere 1180kg without fluids? Only Lotus does similar. Meanwhile at each corner you’ll find manually adjustable dampers with AP Racing brakes. …read more

Source:: Autocar

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