Morgan Aero 8

This is the car that combined the stylish elegance of a bygone automotive era with the latest technology to create a handsome roadster that respects and enhances that great British habit of producing special hand-built sports cars.

As Morgan’s first all-new design since the 1940s, the Aero 8 advanced the old-fashioned marque into the 21st century upon its debut in 2001.Morgan didn’t entirely abandon tradition, however, for there was still some seasoned wood used to frame the body, but the thoroughly modem chassis is made of bonded aluminum.

Out too went the trusty old Rover engine and in came a muscular BMW 4.4 litre V8. This powered quite a few performance cars, but none went better than the lightweight Aero 8. The Morgan Roadster offers a four-seater version, but not the Aero. This is strictly for two, with a low seating position within a narrow cabin — though sports seats provide ample support and a reasonably comfortable ride.

This is a robust machine but, despite its modern credentials, Morgan has been careful not to load the car with gizmology. Along with wooden frames, the company believes that its cars should provide an old-fashioned hands-on driving experience where the pilot makes the decisions and the car mostly does what it’s told. And so it does, being quick off the mark with crisp handling and impressive roadholding. It also happens to be rather speedy.

There was a revamp in 2005 that did away with headlights that had been characterized as ‘cross-eyed’, and a 4.8 litre BMW V8 was fitted. This was partly to facilitate US sales because the new engine — though larger — was less powerful than its predecessor. Performance remained unchanged, but it did allow Morgan to produce a special Aero America that satisfied tough American regulations.

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

UK

FIRST MANUFACTURED:

2001

ENGINE:

4,398 cc or 4,799 cc V8

PERFORMANCE:

Top speed of 160 mph (257 km/h); 0-60 mph (97 km/h) in 4.4 secs

YOU SHOULD KNOW:

The one collectors of the future will all want is the Morgan AeroMax, a superb coupe variation of the Aero 8 with production limited to 100 cars. This is a modern classic that unashamedly evokes the golden prewar era of the Bugatti Atlantic— at a price.

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