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If you like your modern cars to have a retro flavor, then Morgan cars are for you. Founded in 1909, the Morgan company handcrafts its cars primarily from ash, aluminum, and leather.

The cars feature modern performance capabilities paired with stylings influenced by the past. The Morgan Aero 8 was something a little different for the company.

The modern Morgan Aero 8

The Morgan Aero 8 first appeared at the Geneva auto show in 2000 and then went on sale in Europe. It later went on sale in the U.S. around 2004. The Aero 8 was produced from 2001 to 2010 and again from 2015 to 2018.

In 2015, its starting price was around $121,000, according to Wired. The Aero 8 helped the Morgan company become even more prestigious. The fourth-generation Aero 8 cost less than the cheapest Porsche 911. The fifth-generation in 2015 came out priced to match the Porsche 911 Carrera S, BMW M6, and Mercedes-AMG CLS 63 S.

The exterior design

The lines of the Aero 8 are a nod to the Morgan sports cars of the past. The car matches modern performance with vintage style, including ’30s-style running boards. The Morgan Aero 8 takes its design direction from a British roadster.

People thought the Aero 8 looked cross-eyed when it first came out, due to the placement of its headlights, something that was altered over time. The 2007 and later Aero 8s had a front end similar to the Aeromax and lost its cross-eyed look.

Two Performance Packs let owners select either side exit sports exhaust, red brake calipers, and a gloss black diffuser or a conventional rear sports exhaust and other exterior details.

The design of the rear allows the removable mohair roof to fold down flat, something different for Morgan, since its soft tops usually are visible when retracted. It does not include anti-roll bars, which most sports cars do.

The chassis and frame

A Morgan Aero 8 on display at an auto show
A Morgan Aero 8 on display | Jean-Marc ZAORSKI/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

The Aero 8 was the first Morgan car built with an aluminum chassis rather than a steel one. The Aero 8 that returned in 2015 featured a second-generation bonded alloy chassis, which was about 10% stiffer than the first generation. It did, however, keep the ash wood frame construction for the body, which Morgan is known for.

The powertrain

The first Aero 8 had a 4.4-liter BMW V-8 engine with a six-speed manual transmission. It generated 282 horsepower and 324 lb-ft of torque. In 2007, the Aero 8 switched to a 4.8-liter V-8 BMW engine, generating 367 horsepower and 370 lb-ft of torque.

Featuring a six-speed transmission, the Aero 8 can go from zero to 62 MPH in 4.5 seconds. It’s also able to get 23 MPG. The Aero 8 came with a manual transmission, but an automatic was available starting in 2007.

A luxury interior

There are plenty of ways to customize the luxury interior. The Aero 8 had 37 leather colors, eight-seat piping and carpet choices, three-seat pleat options, seven soft-top colors, and three hardtop options. Even the features in the dash could be configured.

The history of its predecessor

Founded in 1909, the Morgan company was under the control of the founding family until its sale in 2019 to an Italian venture capital group called Investindustrial. The Morgan family has retained minority ownership and remains involved with the company.

The company’s handcrafted cars are built in its historic factory in Malvern, England. Morgan started with its three-wheel car, not releasing a model with four wheels until 1936.

It sells about 700 cars per year, mainly its Plus sports cars and three-wheel cars. When the Aero 8 came out in 2000, it was the first new car from Morgan since 1968.

And that car, the Plus 8, was very similar to the Plus 4, which appeared in 1950. Today, Morgan sells the Plus Six, which has a 3.0-liter six-cylinder BMW engine and an eight-speed automatic transmission.

The Aero 8 was sold in limited quantities in the U.S. and can still be found used through Morgan dealers and auctions.


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