Thursday, 17 June 2010

A mistake for Morgan?

Morgan's EvaGT teaser shot.

Just checked my e-mail inbox, and one's popped in informing me of a new Morgan. The EvaGT is said to be a 4 seat coupe, based on the Aero 8 chassis, and is to be a limited run model only. The company have released a teaser sketch - one of those that barely shows you anything. But what it does show is pure pornography - rather like a coupe version of the unique Wallis Special Austin Seven, built by Wing-Commander Ken Wallis, but swoopier.

If it's based on an Aero 8 it should drive well enough, but I'm concerned about the idea of departing from the true Morgan formula. The last time Morgan did this was with the Plus Four Plus. This was another of my favourite Morgans purely for oddball value, but when it was new it bombed - just twenty eight were made.

The figures look promising though - a 300bhp BMW 3.0 straight six, 0-60 in under 5 seconds and 40mpg. Predicted top speed is in the region of 170mph. It shouldn't be cheap though - if the price tag isn't six figures I will be surprised.

I might be concerned about the idea of a 'modern' Morgan, but I'm even more concerned about their brand plan overall. Sources close to the factory have suggested that due to their size Morgan hope to launch a new car every 2 years or so - hybrids, track cars, electric cars and more. This will undoubtedly offend the purists - I am by no means a Morgan Nazi but I'm stunned it's even being contemplated. The appeal of a Morgan is that they've been round since slightly before the Ark, and are a taste of England As She Used To Be. If the Plus Four Plus of the 1960s was such a flop, then how do Morgan think their traditional clients will react to an electric car or a Westfield-esque track car? And who else would want to buy into the brand - say you have a Morgan and it's a Plus Four being driven by Brian Blessed in a flat cap. What bright young playboy would want to be associated with that?

I like the Morgan range as it is - I'd adore one of those Aeromax Coupes, and I suspect that the EvaGT will be even better as far as I'm concerned - like an old school Bristol for those to whom the Fighter doesn't appeal. But Morgan are taking a huge risk with this change in direction - I have my fingers crossed it'll pay off, but the doubt's still there.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. It could be a turnaround for Morgan in the same manner as it was for Jaguar with contemporary looking cars. Not that there's anything wrong with retro designs on cars. But if they make a car look and feel old fashioned doesn't have a wider appeal (e.g. The S-Type and previous XJ). Jaguar's sales have shot up with the new XF, XK and XJ line up.

    Retro, olde-worlde cars is what Morgans are about. So I can see where you're coming from Sam. You couldn't mistake one for another car. If they want a new overhaul of their brand with more contemporary looking cars. It could be a real gamble for them but from a commercial perspective, it could give the Morgan brand a boost. But the risk could be losing the loyal customers Morgan already have by trying to attract new ones.

    Despite that, I do like the look of the EvaGT as well as Morgans in general. Especially the Aero8 and Aeromax models. Looking forward to see what the new EvaGT looks like unleashed.

    Great and interesting read Sam. Keep up the good work :) I enjoy reading your blogs on cars