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Morgan Aero 8

Morgan wings

 

 

 

 

 

Road & Track said:"A Morgan ... has a way of engendering good-hearted responses from everyone around you. If they're automotive enthusiasts, they likely already know something about Morgans and admire the car, at least in theory, for what it is ... And even if people aren't especially into cars themselves, they respond warmly to Morgan drivers because they assume that you're having fun. And, of course, they're absolutely correct in this assumption."

A Senior BMW Engineer said: "At last, here's a car worthy of my engine."

Morgan Aero 8

 

Morgan Motor Company

The Morgan Motor Company is the worlds oldest privately owned car manufacturer, being run today by Peter and Charles Morgan, son and grandson respectively of the founder H.F.S. Morgan.

Located deep in the British Midlands - in Worcestershire, England - the quite country town of Malvern Link has been producing Morgan sports cars for enthusiasts since 1919.

Morgan's are still built by hand in Malvern Link, and buyers are invariably enthusiasts prepared to order a car from the company and wait several years for delivery.

 

Morgan Aero8

The Introduction

Introduced at the Geneva Motor Show in 2000, the Aero 8 is Morgan's first all-new car to be launched in 64 years. It was indeed the talk of the show.

Geneva Motor Show Having waited this long for a new model, you would think the British Press would be pleased. On the contrary, "It looks like it's been hit with a shovel," said one reporter. London's Daily Telegraph called it "stupendously ugly". "It looks like it ... hit a telegraph pole head on," the reporter said. "The squinting headlamps just look, well, dreadful, as if the company couldn't decide whether to place them in the wings or next to the radiator shell, and the rear panels look as though they've been cold-chiseled off a 1950s' Triumph TR2, which wasn't exactly a high point in British car design."

The Daily Telegraph's motoring writer commented: "My initial reaction was to ask if customers would be able to specify their Aero 8s without the body."

 

Morgan Aero8

The Partnership

The development of the Aero 8's drivetrain led to a partnership with BMW that not only means Morgan's new supercar is powered by one of the world's most advanced powerplants, but also that the Morgan development team has been able to utilize BMW resources throughout the Aero 8 development project. Two BMW engineers and an engineer from Robert Bosch Motorsport worked with Morgan in the development of an engine management system for the Aero 8's BMW engine.

The engine is BMW's 32-valve, 4.4-liter V8 featuring the VANOS variable inlet valve timing system, cruise control, on-board diagnostics, an immobiliser and drive by wire technology. This is the same engine BMW uses in the X5 SAV. As part of the agreement between Morgan and BMW, all of Morgan's 44 dealer's worldwide will receive full BMW training on the new engine, drivetain and management system.

Aero 8 prototypes have completed thousands of miles of extensive testing, both at BMW's advanced test facility in the South of France, and at other locations throughout Europe where hot weather testing was conducted at temperatures in excess of 40 degrees Celcius.

BMW V-8 Engine

"Charles Morgan told (a story) of how his test drivers took an early Aero 8 to BMW's Miramas test track in the French Camargue.  In the hot sun, the Morgan men set up camp with their cricket hats, biscuits and flasks of tea. BMW's engineers, who up to that point had not been aware of the project's existence, thought this was funny. Then, Morgan's engineers fired up the Aero 8. When the bellowing car pulled through the corners on road tires, BMW's engineers were dumbstruck, especially when they looked under the hood and saw the body resting on a frame made of wood." (Andrew English)

Using the BMW facility, prototypes were run extensively at maximum speed and tested to the same exacting standards as BMW vehicles, in order to fine tune the Aero 8's positive handling, performance and smooth ride. In addition to weeks on the proving ground, Morgan conducted a bench marking exercise to evaluate the Aero 8's performance, ride, handling, cabin noise levels and passenger comfort against the competition.

Michael Urbschatt, Vice-President of BMW's powertrain division; Guenter Ranzinger, Senior Project Engineer at BMW; and Manfred Christian, BMW's Senior Project Manager, all worked closely with Morgan in the development of the Aero 8.

 

Morgan Aero8

The Pictures

Click for a larger image

 

Morgan Aero8

The Design

The Morgan Aero 8 is based on the design of the GT2 racing car that competed in the 1997 GT Championship, and built of aluminum with the help of the latest in Alcan technology. High strength aluminum sections are glued and riveted together to form a "tub" that serves as the basic structure of the car. Aluminum is also used in the suspension and other areas, helping to achieve a weight of just 1,000 kg.

Morgan Aero 8 Chassis

The engine is mounted in a cradle constructed from aluminum extrusions, a design giving the necessary strength and durability for crash safety. Aluminum is also used in the manufacture of some of the braking and suspension units.

The body panels are also aluminum, but they are still mounted on an ash frame - kiln-dried Belgian ash - the way Morgan's have been built for decades.

 

Mated to a six speed Getrag gearbox, the BMW engine propels the Aero 8 to 60mph in less than five seconds, with a top speed of 160 mph. The aerodynamic profile of the car is such that the drag coefficient is similar whether the roof is up or down. A flat underbody and discreet Venturi tunnel at the rear contribute to the high speed stability of the car.

 

Morgan Aero8

The Specs

from the official Morgan site

Engine
Configuration
V8
Valve mechanism
4 cam 32 valve "VANOS" variable intake timing
Bore & Stroke, mm
82.7 x 92
Engine capacity
4398
Max. output EEC, kw/hp/rpm
210/286/5500
Max. torque EEC, Nm/rpm
430/3700
Max. torque EEC, lb ft/rpm
322/3700
Power to weight ratio, bhp/tonne
286
Torque to weight ratio, LB ft/tonne
322
Octane rating
min 95 Ron
Fuel system
Bosch fuel injection with full engine management
Exhaust system
Stainless steel
Compression Ratio
10:1
Alternator output 140 amp max, water cooled
Transmission
Mph/1000 rpm (top gear)
28.44/45.8
Mph at 2500 ft/min , piston speed
117.8
Final drive ration
3.08:1
Indirect ratios:
 
1st gear
4.227:1
2nd gear
2.506:1
3rd gear
1.669:1
4th gear
1.226:1
5th gear
1:1
6th gear 0.828:1
Performance
Maximum speed 160 mph
0-62mph (0-100Kph) Under 5.0 seconds
Drag co-efficient 0.39
Steering
Turning circle ft/m
32
Turns lock to lock
3
Type
Morgan power rack with variable assistance Centre point steering
Rake / Reach adjust (in)
2/2.5
Suspension
Front:
Independent - unique long cantilever upper arm with lower wishbone and inboard Eibach coil springs over Koni shock absorbers
Rear:
Rear independent long transverse wishbones with cantoilever mounted, fully floating, inboard Eibach coil springs over Koni shock absorbers
Linkages
Rose jointed suspension
Lubrication 7 lubrication points
Anti Roll BArs None
Brakes
Type
AP Racing to Morgan specifications
Disc diameter front 330mm cast iron ventilated
Disc diameter rear 306mm cast iron ventilated
Calipers Front - 4 pot alloy; Rear - 2 pot alloy
Fuel Tank
Gallons / litres 15.4 / 70
Weights
Kerb weight, kg (actual dependent on specification
1000
Ground clearance inches / mm
6 / 150
Weight distribution
50/50 with one occupant
Length inches / mm 161 / 4090
Width inches / mm 69 / 1750
Height inches / mm 43 / 1090
Wheels and Tyres
5 spoke 18" OZ magnesium alloy wheels
9" rim size
Peg drive centre lock hubs
Dunlop SP Sport 9000 225/40 ZR 18
Foam fill run flat system
Weight of wheel & tyre 18Kg
Pressure sensors with internal visual/audible low pressure warning
Chassis
Stiff CAD designed aluminium alloy chassis specially treated and bonded with Gurrit Essex adhesive and rivetted with Ballhoff rivits

 

Morgan Aero8

The Links

Morgan Motor Company official website. Check out the new race version of the Aero 8 that has been specially developed for GT racing. You can also subscribe to their free newsletter.

BMW World's index of vintage BMW cars.

Morganville is a great starting point for Morgan enthusiasts.

The New Plus 8 and more from GoMog.

February 29, 2000 pictures and specs from the Geneva show.

The AERO 8 in a PLUS 8 Body.

Charles Morgan's Aero 8 Presentation to the University of Bath.

Images of Libra's Aero at Silverstone in September 2001.

MorganMania photo gallery.

First images of the Aero race car from the Birmingham Show  in January 2002.

Morgan production photos. See how a hand-built car is produced up close!

Morgans for sale in the USA.

Morgan Motor Company Challenge, racing Morgan's, good links.

SOL's Morgan Web has lots of resources.

The eMOG Pub and Grill features all things Morgan.

sMOG has lots of pictures of Morgan's.

Morgan Oil Paintings from John Erickson.

 

Reviews


Some Great Reviews:

Morgan articles from a Road and Track special edition in August 1980:

Car and Driver: The Morgan is Back!

Motor Trend review of the Plus 8.

 

Groups & Clubs


GoMog is a Canadian club site with lots of Morgan links.

Morgan Sports Car Club

Morgan Three Wheeler Club

Morgan Owners Group NorthWest (MOGNW)

+4 Club of Southern California.

MOG MOG (Morgans on the Gulf)

Morgan Sports Car Club of Canada

Morgan Motor Car Club of Texas

The Morgan Plus Four Club of So. California

The Morgan Three-Wheeler Club, Ltd.

Morgan 3/4 Club

Morgan Owners of Philadelphia

Morgan Car Club of Washington D.C.

Manx Morgan Club (Isle Of Man)

Thames Valley UK

MOG Italia

Swiss MOG

British Racing & Sports Car Club

 

Dealers


You can find a complete worldwide dealer list on the Morgan official website.

Isis Imports Ltd. for the USA in San Francisco, CA. Morgan Aero 8's will be available in the USA in 2003.

Cantab Motors Ltd. in Virginia in the USA.

Melvyn Rutter, Ltd. in Hertfordshire, England.

Libra Motive in London, England.

Morgan Spares Ltd. in New York, USA.

F.H. Douglass Morgan Dealer since 1929.

Wykeham's in London, England.


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