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Happy birthday: Morgan Aero 8 has been updated in the company's 100th year.

Bespoke British brand Morgan upgrades Aero 8 range to celebrate its centenary

22 Jan 2009

CLASSIC British sports car maker Morgan has announced a significantly upgraded version of its Aero 8 for 2009, its 100th year of production.

Leading a host of changes for this year’s upgraded Series 4 model is the fitment of BMW’s newest 4.8-litre V8, replacing the 4.4-litre V8 that powered the 2007 model-year Series 3 when it became available in Australia last year.

Available to order now from Morgan Cars Australia (MCA) for delivery this year, the revised Morgan Aero 8 is priced at $255,000 as a manual and, for the first time, $264,000 as an automatic.

Unlike Morgan’s Classic models, which were originally designed in 1935, the Aero 8 two-seater convertible features an all-aluminium chassis and body (with carbon bootlid) comprising most of the equipment expected by $200,000-plus vehicle buyers as standard.

53 center image As such, Morgan says the Aero 8 is not only well suited to being a “daily driver”, but that its lightweight race-tested chassis gives the car a total weight of just 1145kg, making it one of the world’s lightest V8 production platforms.

The result of more power and torque (270kW/490Nm versus 245kW//450Nm) is claimed 0-100km/h acceleration in a supercar-like 4.5 seconds, along with average claimed fuel consumption of 10.8L/100km and CO2 emissions of 260g/km.

Besides better performance and fuel efficiency, the 2009 Series 4 gains a new heating and air-conditioning system with tunnel-mounted air-outlets, a repositioned handbrake, larger front air intake, new upper-level heat outlets on the top of the front guards and a larger boot due to a relocated fuel tank.

Carryover Series 3 components include a cantilever front suspension with inboard spring/damper units, patented double wishbone independent rear suspension, six-piston AP Racing front brake callipers with 348mm ventilated discs, and two-piston rear callipers gripping 332mm ventilated rotors.

Also standard is a Bosch anti-lock braking system (ABS), 18x8.5-inch forged alloy wheels with Avon ZZ3 tyres, tyre pressure and temperature monitoring, cruise control, remote central locking, remote boot release, power windows, heated windscreen, power steering, an adjustable steering column, drag torque control (DTC), electronic brake-force distribution (EBD), a bespoke leather interior, headlight washers, gas discharge headlights, driver and passenger airbags and a CD sound system.

Some 19 “standard” Morgan exterior paint colours continue to be available for the Aero 8, but among a host of optional extras is the ability to paint your Aero 8 in any automotive colour for an additional $2200, plus two-tone paint, a removable hard-top, a selection of Muirhead or Yarwood leather trims (normal or quilted) with matching or contrasting piping and stitching and the choice of wool carpet colours.

Of course, the fully trimmed double-layer Mohair soft-top is also available in a selection of colors. There are choice of four versions of wood trim, the standard spun aluminium fascia may be switched for a Graphite fascia and the same finish can be applied to wheels instead of the standard aluminium look.

To meet demand, MCA has established a waiting list for Ford-engined Classic models, Australian production of which ceased in 2007 when the 3.0-litre V6-powered Morgan Roadster sold at $145,000, the 2.0-litre four-cylinder Morgan Plus 4 was priced at $117,000 and the 1.8-litre Morgan 4/4 cost $99,000.

Production for Australia of Classic Morgan models is expected to resume in late 2010, when the range is likely to comprise the Morgan Roadster, Morgan Plus 4 and Morgan 4/4 Sport.

MCA says it will attempt to retain the price positions of the previous models, depending on standard specifications and options, the value of the Australian currency and government taxes.

It says production of the unique Classic Morgan four-seater, which is available in Europe in Plus 4 and Roadster versions but has not been sold in Australia as a new vehicle for about 20 years due to design rule issues, could also recommence in 2011 following strong demand here.

A series of events will celebrate the centenary of the Morgan Motor Company throughout 2009, culminating in a number of special events in the UK in late July, when a contingent of Australian-registered Morgans will help commemorate the milestone.

MCA sold three Aero 8s in 2008.

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