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First look: Morgan airs Aero SuperSports

Morgan's new drop-top SuperSports celebrates 100 years of British marque

30 Apr 2009

BRITISH classic car-maker Morgan revealed its most modern offering to date, the limited-edition Aero SuperSports, at last weekend’s (April 25-26) invitation-only Villa d' Este concours at Lake Como in Italy.

Morgan Cars Australia is now taking orders for the bespoke Aero 8-based special, first local deliveries of which are due to arrive in 2010 – at a price of around $370,000.

As we reported in January, a significantly upgraded, BMW V8-engine Aero 8 is also open for Australian orders, at a price of $255,000, ahead of first deliveries later this year.

The open-topped SuperSports version of the Aero 8 celebrates the centenary of the Morgan Motor Company (MMC) this year, and will be produced from early 2010 following the cessation of production of the current Series 4 Aero 8 this year.

Morgan’s factory in Worcestershire, England, continues to operate at an “undiminished pace”, and MMC, which now claims to be the oldest and largest British-owned car company, is urging potential SuperSports customers to place their orders now, before all production slots are filled.

Essentially a hard-top convertible version of Morgan’s limited-production AeroMax coupe flagship, of which just 100 examples were built in 2008 and 2009, the SuperSports rides lower than the coupe and has a 40mm-lower profile overall.

While the car that debuted at Lake Como was a concept, the production version is likely to feature an almost identical roof system, which is said to offer coupe-like refinement when in place and comprises two detachable aluminium panels that can be stowed in its boot. The two-seater SuperSports was designed in-house by Matthew Humphries.

53 center imageUnderneath the SuperSports’ aircraft-style ‘superformed’ aluminium skin, the convertible is virtually identical to the AeroMax coupe, including its extruded and bonded aluminium chassis with double wishbone suspension.

The SuperSports retains some traditional wood – English ash, of course – in a few areas of the cockpit frame, including the doors, but like the Aeromax coupe and Aero8, has a modern backbone of aluminium.

As with the latest Aero 8, power comes from a current 267kW 4.8-litre BMW V8, mated to either six-speed manual or automatic ZF transmissions and an Australian-designed and built limited-slip final drive unit.

Of course, all standard Aero 8 features are fitted, including electronic tyre pressure monitoring, while four versions of interior wood trim are also on offer, along with the choice of a graphite or spun-aluminium dashboard finish.

As with all Morgans, SuperSport buyers will be able to specify any automotive paint colour for the exterior and choose from a range of carpets and carpet trims, while leather trim – including matching or contrast trim piping and stitching – can be selected from the ranges offered by two leather suppliers, potentially making every Morgan unique.

Weighing in at just 1180kg, the rear-drive SuperSports is claimed to sprint to 100km/h in just 4.2 seconds in automatic guise and on to a top speed of 270km/h. Interestingly, the manual version will be slightly slower and less fuel-efficient than the auto, though fuel consumption figures are not given.

“No other automatic car offers such dynamic power transmission,” says Morgan, which adds that structural changes make the SuperSports able to withstand a 100km/h rear impact without leaking fuel, giving MMC the opportunity to sell it in the US for the first time.

Of the 200 examples it plans to build, 25 per cent is therefore expected to be sold in the US.

“The Morgan Aero SuperSports is a luxurious, flamboyant sportscar which also remains true to Morgan’s philosophy of lightweight minimalist simplicity,” said Charles Morgan, grandson of HFS Morgan, who founded the company in 1909.

“It is a celebration of our love of cars and the romance of travel and is a fitting model to announce during Morgan’s centenary year.”

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