Iconic for their sweeping wheel arches and low slung bodies, Morgan motor cars are quintessentially British – as much so as afternoon tea at the Ritz or cowering from torrential rain on a pebbly beach.
But, as with all good things, the heritage carmaker has now decided that it is time the Aero 8 came to an end. But what a closing act they’ve cooked up for us before sending the sports car out to pasture. Long the choice of Sunday drivers, the Aero 8 is going out with a bang — this British bulldog finally given the chance to bare its teeth in the form of the Aero 8 GT.
It is a car 100 years in the making
Upon its release in 2001, the original Aero 8 was Morgan’s first new model since 1964. It was a bold move, and a loud, cocksure statement that there was life in one of Britain’s most storied car manufacturers yet.
This year, the Geneva Motor Show saw the GT unveiled, a “gloves off” variant of the Aero 8. Convention and subtlety have been thrown out of the sliding window, as this model combines over 100 years of experience with lessons learned during the product of the latest Aero 8 in 2015. The result of this hotpot of heritage? A winning, four-wheeled machine bringing together vintage spirit and modern engineering.
You’ll have to have deep pockets to drive it
The Aero GT will set you back upwards of £120,000, but for that you’re not only getting the meticulous engineered car, but a piece of history. Only an octet of cars will be produced in this final farewell, and the GT will mark the final appearance in a Morgan of the naturally aspirated BMW N62 V8 engine.
"This year saw the GT unveiled - a 'gloves off' variant of the Aero 8..."
Each of the eight will be tailored by the Morgan Special Projects department after a in-depth design consultation with Morgan’s head designer, which means that each of these GTs will be truly one-of-a-kind.
Everything - from the panels to the paintwork - is handcrafted
The GT is Morgan’s love letter to the Aero 8, and as such they’ve made sure to bring it to life with care and affection. Everything is hand finished, from the machine-produced body panels and jeweller-made GT badges to the painted stitching and pinstripe accents on the wooden interior.
The tension expressed in each line of the car’s contoured bodywork shares more with Morgan’s 2009 GT3 race car than your average Aero 8, giving a boost in both looks and performance. But mainly looks. Could this be the most striking Morgan ever made?
But it’s not just a pretty face
The seductive contours and curves of the Aero 8 GT aren’t just there to catch your eye; they deliver on their promises. You’ll find the same 367bhp V8 under the bonnet as in the standard Aero 8, but enhancements to the aerodynamics have upped the performance.
"The GT is Morgan’s love letter to the Aero 8..."
Note the wing top louvre vents, adjustable suspension and a dramatic rear diffuser — all of which drastically improve downforce and help deliver a car that can do 0-62mph in 4.5 seconds and hit a top speed of 170 mph. And that’s enough to make any petrol head quiver in excitement.
Morgan Aero GT