Morgan’s evergreen two-seater roadsters have always epitomised the sporting car, rather than the sports car, if you get the distinction.
Morgans are made for swift but relaxed top-down motoring, not Tarmac tearing. Morgan drivers certainly enjoy speed, but they are not necessarily speed merchants. So it comes as a bit of a surprise that Morgan has created a go-faster version of the mainstay Plus 4, to celebrate the model’s 65th anniversary.
The Morgan AR Plus 4 – AR being Morgan’s in-house racing department – is powered by a Cosworth-tuned, 2.0-litre, four-cylinder Ford engine producing a healthy 225bhp. That makes this the most powerful four-pot car in the company’s 115-year history.
Morgan hasn’t quoted performance figures, but expect 0-62mph in under six seconds. Top speed is probably limited by the brick-like aerodynamics to around 130mph.
The running gear has upgraded with beefier brakes, adjustable dampers and a reinforced chassis. But the AR Plus 4 remains largely the same wood-framed, aluminium-bodied bolide it’s always been.
The styling has been given a modern twist, with most of the exterior chrome ditched or swapped for dark metal and LED lights all-round. There are pleasingly chunky multi-spoke alloys instead of the usual wire wheels, as well.
No doubt the AR Plus 4 will be an absolute riot to drive. It’s probably about as close as Morgan will ever come to building a trackday special and I suspect wouldn’t take too much work to turn into a proper race car – AR offers several turn-key Morgan race cars as well.
Only 50 will be built, costing £54,995. That puts the AR Plus 4 firmly into Porsche Boxster territory. The Porsche is obviously the better car, but comparing the two is ridiculous. If you want a Morgan, nothing else will do.
Actually, you can go further as there is a sub-set of four-cylinder Morgan loyalists. So if you want a four-cylinder Morgan, nothing else will do. And this is surely the ultimate four-cylinder Morgan.
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By Only Motors