Morgan has a long history of using BMW engines, having borrowed naturally-aspirated V8s for its Plus 8 and, more recently, the BMW B58 in the Plus Six. Now, the plucky British sports car brand is borrowing yet another Bavarian engine for its latest car — the Morgan Plus Four.
Like the rest of the automotive world, Morgan was a bit put out by the cancellation of the 2020 Geneva Motor Show. So it resorted to revealed its all-new sports car via the interwebs. So making its official reveal today, the Morgan Plus Four shows off its new BMW-sourced B48 engine and it should be a riot.
The B48 engine in the new Plus Four will make a maximum (we’ll get to that in a second) 255 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque, which is about the same as the BMW 330i, except it’s powering a car that’s a lot lighter than a 3 Series. To get that much power, you’ll have to opt for the eight-speed automatic gearbox, the same one as the aforementioned 3 Series and even the Morgan Plus Six. However, unlike the Plus Six (and the 330i in North America), the Morgan Plus Four will have an optional six-speed manual gearbox. However, if you choose the manual, your torque figure drops from 295 lb-ft to 258 lb-ft.
With the full-beans engine and automatic gearbox, the Plus Four can accelerate from 0-62 mph in 4.9 seconds, which is bloody, brilliantly, properly, dashingly quick, to be quite British. If you get the manual and the lesser-powered engine, that 0-62 mph time drops to 5.2 seconds. If it were my choice, I can live with the extra few tenths for a proper row-your-own gearbox. It’s a drop-top Morgan sports car, get a manual, dammit.
To me, personally, this is the most attractive Morgan on sale. Not only is it available with a manual gearbox but it’s also lighter over the noise and more of a sports car, less of a hot-rod. At £62,995 (about $81,000 USD), the Morgan Plus Four is not cheap to start and tack on another £2,000 for the automatic gearbox and punchier engine. So for that money, I want the pure, triple-distilled essence of a Morgan and you’re only going to get that with the lightest weight possible and a manual gearbox. So the Plus Four seems like the best Mog there is.