Morgan Plus 8 GTR
The Morgan Plus 8 GTR is raw, noisy and low, and represents what Morgan Motors can create when its design and engineering teams allow their imagination to develop. A production limited car to nine examples, it marks the first in a series of special Morgan projects that will begin this year.
Plus 8 GTR explored design themes, such as high shoulder lines, which have not been found on traditional Morgan bodies for decades. Its five-spoke wheels with central locking resemble the '90s Morgan Plus 8 racing cars, perfectly framed by subtly redesigned wheel arches. Other design elements include a modified rear end, front wing and front splitter, and hardtop installation. Since Morgan Plus 8 officially completed production in 2018, the model has also benefited from the company's learning and expertise.
A special design inspiration is the Plus 8 racing car that participated in the GT series in the late nineties, often referred to as the "big blue". This car served as a testing ground for Morgan's first bonded aluminum chassis, which will be the basis of the Aero 8 and "Aero-chassis" Plus 8 models. Following the recent launch of Morgan's latest CX-Generation bonded aluminum platform, to take this opportunity to pay tribute to a car that pioneered the use of aluminum structures by Morgan.
The project was made possible because of the recent availability of multiple Plus 8 rolling chassis that have been re-acquired from a third party as a result of an abandoned project. These were all built by Morgan before 2018 and were never used for its intended purpose. All of these will be put back into service and will benefit from the upgrade of selected mechanical components.
As part of the transition from a rolling chassis to a finished car, each GTR will be handcrafted using traditional Morgan bodybuilding techniques. In a break from more than a century of Morgan's tradition, much of this work will be completed at the nearby Morgan Design and Engineering Center (M-DEC). Morgan Plus 8 GTR runs alongside core programmes and is one of several Morgan special projects announced this year. It follows many special Morgan models in recent years, such as the Aero GT, SP1 and Aeromax.
These "Aero-chassis" Plus 8 use Morgan's first-generation bonded aluminum chassis originally developed for Morgan Aero 8. Previously, from 1968 to 2004, the Plus 8 model used Morgan's traditional steel chassis and was powered by the Rover V8 engine.
All "Aero-chassis" Morgan Plus 8s are powered by the BMW N62 4.8-liter engine, and the GTR is no exception. In its original specifications, the engine produced 362 bhp , but the exact power output of the GTR has not yet been confirmed. You can choose six-speed manual or ZF six-speed automatic transmission.
Only nine Morgan Plus 8 GTRs will be built, and production will begin in the summer of 2021. The modified special project will be sold in certain global markets, but it will comply with local regulations on European vehicle imports. As part of the special project plan, customers will be invited to commission the customized Plus 8 GTR with Morgan's design team.
Morgan’s design director Jonathan Wells said: “For a manufacturer focusing on new platforms and powertrains, it does not seem to be an obvious choice to revive a V8-powered Morgan. However, when the opportunity arose to get several rolling chassis back up and running and create an exciting special project like the Plus 8 GTR, we fully embraced it. This project allowed Morgan’s design and engineering team to revisit some of the favorite elements of previous Morgan models and try to use some of the features, we hope these features will appear in Morgan cars in the future".
Gordon Murray T.50s Niki Lauda
Gordon Murray Automotive launched the T.50s Niki Lauda supercar. It was conceived, designed and manufactured to provide the ultimate track driving experience. Like T.50, Gordon Murray T.50s Niki Lauda is designed and manufactured without compromise, but its specifications are more extreme. It weighs only 852 kilograms and will be substantially redesigned from the 3.9-liter V12 Cosworth engine, which can produce 725bhp, revving to 12,100rpm, and through the newly designed Xtrac six-speed propeller gearbox . Advanced aerodynamics technology, assisted by a 400mm rear fan, will generate up to 1500kg of downforce to achieve the best track performance.
Gordon Murray will only produce 25 units at a price of 3.1 million pounds (before tax). After completing the operation of 100 T.50 supercars, production will begin in January 2023 at the Gordon Murray Automobile Manufacturing Center in Dunstford, Surrey, UK.
Gordon Murray and his team worked hard on the body design of the T.50 to achieve its aerodynamic performance goals while maintaining the balance and classic proportions of the T.50. The excellent aerodynamics of the Gordon Murray T.50s Niki Lauda immediately released its performance potential, highlighting his central fin designed to enhance stability. At the rear it's an unique 400mm fan with a larger rear diffuser and new delta wings. The aerodynamic elements continue in the front of the car. Barge boards are setted to improve airflow to the side tubes, which house the oil cooling system for the engine and gearbox. The splitter and dive planes are also prominent, further reflecting the air-influenced design of the car. At the same time, the purity of T.50 is not lost, creating a purposeful and elegant appearance.
The 3.9-liter V12 engine designed by Cosworth is very different from the engine that powers the T.50. It's even more powerful and faster, delivering 711PS@11,500 rpm, while reaching the rev-limit of 12100 rpm. The power/weight ratio is 835PS/ton, which is better than mostly naturally aspirated LMP1 cars. The maximum torque figure is 485Nm, produced at 9,000rpm.
Gordon Murray T.50s Niki Lauda is made around a lightweight carbon fiber monocoque optimized to reduce weight and increase structural rigidity. This stiffness and strength also contribute to the excellent occupant safety. It uses the same forged aluminum front and rear double wishbone suspension system as the Gordon Murray T.50. However, springs, shock absorbers and anti-roll bars have been redesignated to optimize track performance and the ride height has been reduced.
It's fitted with Brembo carbon ceramic disc (front 370mm/rear 340mm) with six-piston front calipers and four-piston rear calipers. The combination of braking system and aerodynamics produces an incredible 3.5G deceleration.