Automotive

Morgan AR Plus 4 blends classic lines with modern power

The Morgan ARP4 is a Cosworth-powered celebration of 65 years of the Plus 4 bodystyle
The Morgan ARP4 is a Cosworth-powered celebration of 65 years of the Plus 4 bodystyle
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The Plus 4's 16-inch wheels are shod in sticky Yokohama tires
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The Plus 4's 16-inch wheels are shod in sticky Yokohama tires
The ARP4's body takes advantage of a mix of modern and classic materials
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The ARP4's body takes advantage of a mix of modern and classic materials
Morgan has moved the fuel tank for easier access
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Morgan has moved the fuel tank for easier access
Wooden detailing is combined with unfinished, exposed aluminum inside
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Wooden detailing is combined with unfinished, exposed aluminum inside
The detailing on the Morgan is beautiful, and all functional
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The detailing on the Morgan is beautiful, and all functional
A new suspension design removes leaf springs, and frees up more space for passengers
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A new suspension design removes leaf springs, and frees up more space for passengers
Box weave carpet is a part of Morgan's move to improve refinement in the cabin
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Box weave carpet is a part of Morgan's move to improve refinement in the cabin
LED headlamps are a concession to modernity from a car manufacturer that has staunchly defended classic construction methods
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LED headlamps are a concession to modernity from a car manufacturer that has staunchly defended classic construction methods
Extra soundproofing helps to suppress road and engine roar on the move
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Extra soundproofing helps to suppress road and engine roar on the move
The Morgan ARP4 is a Cosworth-powered celebration of 65 years of the Plus 4 bodystyle
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The Morgan ARP4 is a Cosworth-powered celebration of 65 years of the Plus 4 bodystyle
Adjustable dampers let drivers tailor the Plus 4's handling
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Adjustable dampers let drivers tailor the Plus 4's handling
Central twin exhausts are a change that should make the Cosworth powered ARP4 sound racy
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Central twin exhausts are a change that should make the Cosworth powered ARP4 sound racy
With 225 hp powering about 900 kg, the ARP4 will be quick
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With 225 hp powering about 900 kg, the ARP4 will be quick
The bubble rear end is a throwback to racing Morgans on old
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The bubble rear end is a throwback to racing Morgans on old
Only 50 ARP4s will be built
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Only 50 ARP4s will be built
Inside, the ARP4 features a new dashboard design
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Inside, the ARP4 features a new dashboard design
Uprated brakes fit in with the car's racy character
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Uprated brakes fit in with the car's racy character

Long after the rest of the world has moved on, Morgan is still staunchly standing by the old-fashioned way of doing things. The boutique manufacturer's cars combine modern powertrains with wood and aluminum chassis' and its latest creation is no different. The limited edition AR Plus 4 combines classic Morgan values with a motorsport inspired Cosworth motor to celebrate 65 years since the launch of the original Plus 4.

Hiding under the Morgan ARP4's long, vented bonnet is a naturally aspirated, Cosworth-fettled 2.0-liter Ford engine, which produces 225 hp (167 kW). That might not sound like an extreme amount in the age of sky-high power outputs and turbocharged torque figures, but it's worth bearing in mind the standard Plus 4 only weighs 877 kg (1933lb), and the AR Plus 4 shouldn't weigh much more than that.

So while it might not have a supercar-rivalling power figure, expect the limited-run Plus 4 to be properly brisk.

With 225 hp powering about 900 kg, the ARP4 will be quick
With 225 hp powering about 900 kg, the ARP4 will be quick

The ARP4's totally new rear suspension takes advantage of a five link design for sharper handling and, thanks to the removal of leaf springs, more legroom for passengers. Adjustable Spax dampers allow the driver to tailor the car's feel to how they plan on using it, while the uprated brakes hail from AR Motorsport.

The APR4's body might look familiar, but Morgan has fitted it with a number of small trim touches that set it apart from standard Plus 4s. Aluminum panels are left untrimmed and exposed inside, and a new dashboard design includes a 4.1 sound system with auxillary input. The Plus 4 might be based on a car from the record player's heyday, but has at least made some concession to the iPod generation.

Extra soundproofing helps to suppress road and engine roar on the move
Extra soundproofing helps to suppress road and engine roar on the move

Another touch of modernity can be found in the LED headlamps, and Morgan has also added extra soundproofing and improved vibration damping inside the cabin.

The Morgan AR Plus 4 made its debut the Silverstone Classic this weekend. Only 50 will be made and pricing is set at £54,995.

Source: Morgan

7 comments
Buellrider
If I had 85K to burn I'd buy one for sure. Better yet if it was a hybrid or full on electric car. Beautiful looking ride.
jerryd
Buellrider, it does come in full electric in another model. And people best be careful thinking you can beat one on the road race course as it kicks butt and takes names. They have a new 3wh version is now EV too.
Robert in Vancouver
I'm surprised other car makers don't do the same - re-make some of their classic cars so they look exactly the same as the orginal cars, but with modern parts and technology. I had a 1971 Volvo P-1800 back in the day, and I'd love to buy a new one that looked exactly the same as my 1971 model but with 2015 Volvo parts and technology in it.
Expanded Viewpoint
Back in 1987 or so, some Japanese company was talking about recreating the 1964 Ford Mustang platform, but with the requisite bumper upgrades and a modern drive train. From the outside, you'd never know if it was a restored car or brand new import job. The 1964 Mustang has only four bays in the fuse block, compared to two dozen or more in today's version! You could have a four, six or eight cylinder engine under the hood to suit your needs with automatic or manual transmission behind it. [Ed. note: See our article on the Revology Mustang at http://www.gizmag.com/revology-1960s-mustang/36726/ ]
bergamot69
I've a soft spot for Morgans, they are very British (more specifically, very English), yet somehow manage to pull off the incredibly difficult art of combining traditional artisanal car building with up-to-date power plants and usability. By comparison, most manufacturers doing 'updated retro' get it so very wrong, or simply not close enough to carry it off, whereas Morgan, in its very long history, has never done anything but plough its own furrow almost regardless of what the rest of the car industry is doing- just taking whatever it needs from outside sources. Morgan doesn't care about fashion- they've never been in fashion, so never go out of style. Really don't care for those LED lights though.
nubwaxer
no good. steering wheel on wrong side and probably not compliant with california safety and emissions standards.
unklmurray
Butt if it doesn't have left side steering they can keep it!!I don't have the tech to rebuild it with American steering......LOL