The Charmingly Simple Yet Surprisingly Modern Morgan Plus Four Is Coming To America In 2023

Morgan Plus Four Topshot

Great news: After years away from America’s four-wheeled car market, the quirky three-wheel-car-building British brand Morgan plans on making a return for 2023 with its recently-updated Plus Four roadster that represents a massive leap forward for the brand.

In case you’re not familiar with Morgan, this funny little British car brand was founded by H.F.S. Morgan back in 1910. After a few decades of making quirky three-wheelers, Morgan cooked up a four-wheeled sports car called the 4/4 in 1936.  It used a conventional frame and hand-beaten panels, as was the fashion of the time. While that might not sound particularly remarkable, Morgan stuck with this general style of car for more than eighty years, fenders sitting proud of the body and all (that’s a newer 4/4 below).

Since MG, Triumph, and Austin-Healey packed their sports car bags long ago, Morgan remains one of the last companies still manufacturing classic-style British roadsters. It’s a delightful anachronism of a firm, wonderfully intent on doing things its way and having its own definition of progress.

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Image: Morgan. This is the 4/4, which was in production starting in the 1930s and ending just a few years ago.

Currently, Morgan makes three different cars. There’s the Super 3 three-wheeler, the Plus Six high-performance six-cylinder roadster, and this Plus Four, which sits right in the middle of the range. Although previous Morgans featured more streamlined styling, the new Plus Four still looks exactly how you think a Morgan should. Sweeping fenders, a prominent rear-mount spare tire, and wonderfully vintage lighting provide faithful looks for leather-capped cosplay. However, there are subtle signs that the Plus Four, shown below, is something brand new. The proud lower grille and wide track are two key hints as to what lies beneath the body.

Morgan Plus Four Side

While historic Morgan four-wheelers featured engines from the likes of Ford and British Leyland, the new Plus Four has taken inspiration from the Morgan Aero 8 and gone Bavarian. Under the hood sits BMW’s 255-horsepower B48 four-cylinder engine, a robust and torquey engine good enough for a zero-to-62 mph time of 4.8 seconds, a properly quick run that’s sure to surprise a few four-cylinder Supra owners. Coincidentally, that’s the same zero-to-62 time quoted for the old BMW N62B44 V8-powered Aero 8. Power goes to the rear wheels through ZF’s segment-defining eight-speed automatic gearbox, although a six-speed manual will join the Plus Four’s star-spangled market lineup at a later date.

Morgan Plus Four Interior

If the presence of a ZF 8HP automatic gearbox isn’t enough of a shock to Morgan traditionalists, the new interior is sure to draw opinions. Instead of featuring all the luxury of a bus shelter, the Plus Four’s new interior puts a new focus on comfort and equipment. Twin airbags bolster confidence, while the dash face is now aluminum rather than wood. Other lovely updates include beautifully slim interior door releases, a funky linear wood treatment on the center console, a digital driver’s display to streamline idiot lights, and a glovebox.

Cx Generation Chassis

Granted, if a glovebox, available cup holders, air conditioning, and a digital display in front of the driver help propel the Plus Four into the 21st century, Morgan’s new platform takes it all the way. No longer a Biggles-era ladder-framed curiosity, Morgan’s entry-level four-wheeler sports an aluminum chassis, although ash is still used to frame the coachwork. The chassis itself weighs just 213.8 pounds and incorporates floorpans, the central tunnel, and a mounting panel for the spare tire, things that weren’t part of the old ladder frame.

Altogether, the Plus Four is a unique blend of old and new: A Lotus-esque aluminum chassis with old-school wood body framing, a quick automatic gearbox with proper vintage styling, handcrafted production techniques with multi-mode stability control. It promises vintage motoring without the compromises and modern performance without modern conformity. Sure, you could buy a GR Supra, a BMW M2, or a very fast Camaro instead, but Morgans usually have that affable quaintness that makes them hard to dislike. In an age of synthesized engine noise and artificial pops and bangs, isn’t it nice to see something unashamedly real?

Morgan Plus Four Rear

Expect the Plus Four to arrive in America next year, with a manual variant coming a few months later. Don’t expect this hand-built wonder to be cheap, although don’t expect it to be complete unobtanium either. Recent UK pricing for the updated 2023 model suggests a price of £58,495.67 excluding VAT, or just under $69,000. In the realm of specially-crafted small-batch vehicles, that doesn’t seem terribly crazy.

All photos courtesy of Morgan

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24 Responses

  1. I test drove a Caterham once and found it deliciously engaging but a bit too raw for what I wanted —it’s more of a track toy than a weekend road carver—. This, with the manual, might be just what the doctor ordered for no-frills fun driving around the mountains.

  2. The girlfriend is going to hate it when I trade my X4 in on one of these… She /hates/ vehicles that look “old” but I’ve wanted a Morgan for years… Putting a BMW engine in it, making it slightly more dialy-able, and actually available in the US is going to put it at the top of my wishlist for next year.

    I’ve been searching for a 4-wheeled Morgan for years, but they don’t seem to exist on this side of the US for some reason. I’ve found plenty of 3-wheelers, but I’ve never been a fan of those.

    1. I also feel a renewed sense of desire for these. Aside from the obvious huge changes, two things stand out for me.

      I think the BMW engine is actually a huge negative. I’ve seen far too many four cylinder BMWs in bad condition in more than a dozen MINI Coopers I’ve shopped recently. Check engine codes for these are such an issue that I bought a BMW/MINI code reader just to do my shopping. At this point, I’m almost ready to throw in the towel on owning a MINI at all. I wanted to start with an older model, with the plan to resell it for a new or late model JCW after a few years.

      On the other hand, the ZF 8 speed automatic is such a great transmission that to me, it’s a big plus, even in a Morgan. I enjoy manuals, but over time, I’ve come to realize that I enjoy manuals in large part because I drive better than an automatic. The ZF is close enough in spirited driving, and better when driving to relax. I’ll still want a manual car, but not in a Morgan if the ZF is available.

  3. For me this car falls into the category of things I have always lusted for but never seriously enough to go ahead and pull the trigger. Instead I have given myself three 911’s, a TR3-B, a Miata 2nd gen., a Solstice, and a small herd of Euro and Japanese oddities such as a Honda N600, a Citroen CX2000, a BMW 520 (Euro only) and a Borgward. Now I am an old retired duffer with a Cadillac CT6 and a Silverado, as well as a 1932 Chevrolet Confederate. So why no Morgan? I guess I just never got around to it like so many other dreams I have harbored over the years. Now if I just live to be 150, I might still manage a Morgan!

  4. Seriously gorgeous car, one of the few new models out there that strongly triggers, I don’t know what you’d call it, lust? desire? in me. Wonder how long it will last here this time? My bet is the NHTSA makes some minor tweak to seatbelt mounting point hardware rules in 2028 or requires 360-degree outside monitoring cameras, and Morgan winds up not being able to afford to meet the new regs and goes home after a few years. Its happened like 3 or 4 times over the decades.

  5. Ooooh! I have just the oil stain to park this over.

    Trad paint or one of those fancy metallics or pearls? “Opie orange” looks interesting. As does “Furka rouge.” Although both worry me that they are some inside joke that I don’t get.

  6. As a longtime British car fan, I should love this but it falls into the uncanny valley for me. The interior is great but the exterior dimensions just don’t work for someone already familiar with the Plus4. They stretched some dimensions and not others so it just looks odd.

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