In line with its philosophy of continual evolution, Morgan Motor Company is reimagining its Plus Four and Plus Six models. The enhancements, which are being introduced as part of a formal recognition of a new ‘Plus’ line, will feature on all Plus Four and Plus Six models from January 2023.
The name ‘Plus’ signifies a mainstay of Morgan production, and sits alongside the newly introduced ‘Super’ pillar. The nameplate was first witnessed on the Plus 4, introduced in 1950. Plus represents more than 70 years of heritage, yet looks firmly to the future, embracing relevant new technology and reimagining the experience of a modern, handcrafted sports car for the 21st Century.
Coach-built on the company’s lightweight CX-Generation bonded aluminium platform, the design of Plus models is timeless and enduring. Plus Four, with its slightly narrower body and wire wheels, is more akin to the original vehicles in its aesthetic. Plus Six, which is wider with a more assertive appearance, presents a more contemporary aesthetic. Both vehicles will benefit from the new features, and their list of options and configurations will be closely aligned, ensuring a cohesive tailoring experience for customers.
“The new Morgan Plus line celebrates the essence of unconventional driving and ethical engineering. It unites timeless design and craftsmanship with the most exhilarating driving engagement. With Plus we want to honour those individuals who believe that motoring is not about status, but more about character, authenticity, and pleasure.”Massimo Fumarola, Chief Executive Officer, Morgan Motor Company
The enhancements to the company’s latest Plus models are headlined by significant changes to the interior, offering greater levels of refinement, further personalisation opportunities, and increased usability over earlier generations.
The introduction of a new range of marquetry veneers, which extend through the vehicle via its centre console, reinforce the company’s commitment to craftsmanship and bespoke tailoring, celebrating the natural materials, design, and form, synonymous with the Morgan marque.
‘Spokes In Flight’ and ‘Kinetic Diamond’ are abstract motifs for moving spokes, inspired by the spoked wheels that have featured on Morgan cars for decades. ‘Engineered’ – the third veneer option – features aluminium strips between wood, signifying the company’s use of the two core materials.
A new formed aluminium dashboard and instrument panel can be specified in matte silver, matte black or matched to body colour, and a model designation can now be specified on the passenger side of the dashboard. The dashboard is home to new instruments which feature new face artwork. The instrument artwork is simplified and draws inspiration from premium timepieces, exuding a minimal and clutter-free aesthetic.
In addition to the new instrument artwork, a new LCD information display screen has been incorporated into the dashboard design. Situated directly in front of the driver, the screen is larger than the previous screen, and has increased resolution. Updated screen graphics with enhanced animation, and the introduction of driving mode dependant backdrops, help to improve usability for drivers. The screen is subtle and displays strictly necessary information, continuing the company’s philosophy of appropriately introducing technology into its vehicles.
A solid wooden lower rail coordinates with the centre column and is situated beneath the aluminium dashboard. Configurable in a range of finishes and colours, each wooden section is meticulously hand crafted by Morgan’s skilled craftspeople. Beneath the wooden lower rail is a new glovebox, a feature introduced for the first time on a Plus model. The glovebox is trimmed in matching leather, and houses USB power sockets inside.
The steering wheel is now available with a satin polished centre section. When specified, this finish coordinates with other internal embellishers including the speaker grille, door handle, handbrake, and gear shift surrounds.
Two-tone fabric, which contrasts on the seats and door cards, offers a mix of textures and has been designed specifically for the latest Plus models. Black pebble grain leather and black fabric is specified as standard, with a further six colourways and leather grains optional.
Woven from worsted wool using fine marl yarns, the natural textile embraces a purity of composition. Each fabric is paired with a complimentary leather colourway, ensuring leather is used sparingly, celebrating it as a fine material.
Redefined door cards provide the base for a curated range of two-tone fabric options – introduced for the first time on a Morgan four-wheeled model – and Sennheiser branded speaker grilles (when specified with Sennheiser audio system).
A new ‘bolt-action’ door handle, situated on the lower section of the door, is the most notable change to the door interior. Created from lacquered stainless steel and high-quality saddle leather, it provides a material and aesthetic uplift, whilst introducing a lasting mechanical sensation for occupants exiting the vehicle.
Both the standard and Comfort Plus seat options benefit from myriad enhancements. The headrest on both seat variants has undergone a full redesign, and now displays a slimmer aesthetic featuring intricate stitch detailing. The Comfort Plus seat now features an adjustable thigh bolster and knurled metal recline adjustment lever. In another first for Morgan’s four-wheeled models, new Plus models now feature an optional integrated cup holder, which is detachable and fits into the base of the passenger seat.
“The Plus line in 2023 presents a marked evolution of the four-wheeled Morgan. As with any enduring design, it is crucial to strike a balance between moving forward whilst complementing established product qualities.Jonathan Wells, Chief Design Officer, Morgan Motor Company
“The design team is fortunate to work in proximity with mechanical and quality engineers, as well as the craftsmen at Pickersleigh road. Designers can deliver solutions that envelope a clear understanding of constraints and opportunities. Through this understanding, we have been able to introduce sizeable new technologies and features, whilst also enhancing the perceived quality of Morgan Plus cars.
“A holistic whole vehicle study has considered the more significant changes, through to multiple more nuanced design updates – the increased impression of quality will be evident.”
Engaging Vehicle Dynamics
Above all else, a Morgan sports car should be lightweight, exciting to drive, and offer a unique connection between driver and machine. Morgan’s in-house engineering teams have worked with industry leading external partners to ensure the continual dynamic evolution of Plus models. Throughout this process, the key principles of the Morgan driving experience have remained paramount, alongside requirements for future technology, safety, and legislative requirements.
Dynamic enhancements to Plus models are headlined by the introduction of Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and all-new braking system, developed alongside Continental and AP Racing. ESC will be introduced on all Plus Four and Plus Six models. Mode-dependent, the ESC has been tuned for each model and gearbox variant, and can be switched between levels of assistance depending on driving mode.
The AP Racing braking system is all-new and has been developed alongside the ESC programme to deliver high-performance braking.
Bespoke gearbox calibrations have been developed, in partnership with BMW, for the automatic variant of Plus Four and Plus Six models respectively. Gearbox calibrations receive further intelligence and are integrated deeper into the vehicle, adapting to feedback from control systems throughout.
In ‘normal’ driving mode, four calibrations will adapt gear shifting based on brake pressure and steering angle. In ‘Sport’ and ‘Sport+’ modes, a further four calibrations, programmed to be more dynamic, will adapt gear shifting, also based on brake pressure and steering angle.
New hill detection uses an accelerometer and driver torque demand to automatically select a lower gear for steep inclines. In addition to aiding drivability and increasing performance, the new calibrations also deliver an increase in efficiency.
The addition of new suspension dampers and bushes completes the dynamic enhancements to Plus models. The new bush rating will deliver further refinement over low-frequency road undulations, whilst the new dampers improve ride compliance, progressive rate, and high-speed performance.
The addition of airbags, fitted as part of the standard specification, reinforce the company’s commitment to continually developing and evolving its products. Situated behind the new aluminium dashboard and within the steering wheel, the new addition represents a significant engineering project and exceeds the homologation requirements for the vehicle.
“The introduction of new dynamic features to our latest Plus models reflects Morgan’s philosophy of continual evolution. Above all, Morgan sports cars should be fun to drive, providing occupants with a unique and memorable experience. Our latest introductions celebrate these qualities, whilst also increasing the level of safety, and future-proofing our models against everchanging legislative requirements.”Matt Hole, Chief Technical Officer, Morgan Motor Company
Audio by Sennheiser
Continuing its philosophy of combining traditional coachbuilding methods with the latest technology, Morgan is partnering with Sennheiser to offer a revolutionary audio system in its new Plus models. With more than 75 years of experience in audio and music, Sennheiser’s expertise is unparalleled.
Whilst previous iterations of Morgan sports car have offered an audio system, the audio experience of the Sennheiser solution is true to its premium reputation, surpassing any offering that has come before it. The sound system delivers an enveloping sound with a unique soundstage that takes audio fidelity to its highest level.
Sennheiser’s tuning creates the magical illusion of a sound stage in front of the passengers, providing a high-quality soundtrack to those unforgettable drives. Thanks to the AMBEO Contrabass algorithm, the audio system delivers a unique bass response optimised for definition, punch, and depth while keeping the system as efficient and compact as possible.
The system includes eight transducers: four conventional speakers in the door and rear panel, and four invisible speakers, of which three are behind the dashboard and one in the lower compartment panel for bass reproduction. The transducers are controlled by a new amplifier with a dedicated DSP, powered by Sennheiser’s audio processing software.
The integration has been carried out in line with Morgan’s key philosophy of appropriately introducing modern technology into its vehicles. The cabin design is unaltered, and the use of invisible speakers ensures that additional weight is kept to a minimum, a must for any sports car. Even under the demanding conditions of an open-top sports vehicle, this system maintains premium sound quality.
Visual cues arrive in the form of subtle Sennheiser branding, visible on the speaker grille situated on each door. The design of the speaker grilles takes inspiration from the iconic Morgan louvres that are stamped into each bonnet of Plus models. Each speaker grille is finished in polished satin, coordinating with other embellishers visible within the cockpit of the vehicle.
“Both companies collaborated closely to create a one-of-a-kind product with no compromise in sound reproduction, performance, design, and quality. We couldn’t have celebrated our road debut better than with a brand whose pursuit of quality and excellence in craftsmanship is so fully aligned with Sennheiser’s values.”Veronique Larcher, Head of Sennheiser Mobility
Morgan cars celebrate individuality and entice owners to commission their own bespoke Plus model, selecting from an almost endless list of possibilities. Each customer is presented with the opportunity to bring their dream to reality and create a true one-off, reflecting their own individual style and taste.
To help prospective clients on their commissioning journey, Morgan’s design team has created a series of specification themes that help bring each model to life. These specifications reflect the environs that Morgan cars frequent, and celebrate the versatile nature of Morgan design.
Specification themes include Nordic, Riviera, Britannia, Stateside, Alpine and Urban, with each one being selectable on Morgan’s online configurator in 2023.
Paying homage to the company’s rooting in motorsport and trialling success, 12 new graphic packs – including roundels, bonnet stripes and strikethrough numbers – will be available for 2023 models. Adding a further method of personalisation, all graphics are available in white, black and clear vinyl. Owners will also have the option to select from a ‘pilot’ and ‘co-pilot’ call sign to be situated on the exterior of the vehicle.
Morgan’s latest introductions will be produced from January 2023, with prospective customers being invited to begin their own bespoke Plus commission from today.