top of page

Retro? Modern? Yes. It’s the new 2024 Morgan Plus Four


2024 Morgan Plus Four


Yes, really. It’s new! Well, in parts…Ken Pearson explores the newest classic that money can buy from Morgan.

While chatting with RUSH founder, editor and supreme leader Craig about the new Alfa Romeo Milano compact (and optionally electric) SUV, I pointed out my love for the retro wordmark within the grille, in spite of being bored with retro stuff - excluding the new Renault Twingo Concept. It seems that the Morgan Motor Company got wind of this, so they presented the new Plus Four which is a great example of how to gently modernise a classic formula.

Morgan have been building cars and three-wheelers since 1909 and the lineage of the new Plus Four stretches all the way back to the 4/4 of 1936 which was the first four wheeled car to be made by the firm. In 1950, Morgan added a more powerful version of the 4/4 and christened it the +4. The wooden wonder went racing and after 270 laps at the 1962 24 Hours of Le Mans, the +4 driven by Chris Lawrence and Richard Shepherd-Baron finished 13th overall, winning the 2.0 litre GT class in the process.

Over the course of the next few decades, the metal and wooden chassis would play host to engines from Fiat, Ford, Rover, Standard and triumph - all within a few cubic centimetres of 2000 cc in capacity. In 2020, the successor of the long running +4 arrived and with it a new name. It was out with the +4 and in with the Plus Four, which has just been updated for 2024.



2024 Morgan Plus Four


2024 Morgan Plus Four - subtle evolution and detailed styling changes

At first glance, you may wonder what’s changed? I don’t blame you. The new Plus Four needs a keen eye and more than just a quick glance to spot the differences. The front wings are newly reprofiled with only two light clusters as opposed to the previous six. The new lights - which at 8” are one inch larger in diameter than before - incorporate the indicators and daytime running lights. The same can be said for the rear lights which again, feature one round cluster on each side which houses the brake lights and indicators, halving the number of protruding lights from the sloped rear bodywork. Both sets of lights have been designed by Morgan and are manufactured exclusively for them.

The front wings are more cohesive than before, with the inner wing blending seamlessly with no hard edges to the inner wheel arches. It’s a subtle change but one that really makes the car look more elegant than its predecessor. The front splitter has been ever so slightly reshaped and the intake housed within it narrowed. This, along with the rear diffuser, is deliberately painted in dark matte grey to hide them from view and keep the focus on the metalwork above. I can see why they’d want to - the car looks fabulous.



2024 Morgan Plus Four

2024 Morgan Plus Four

2024 Morgan Plus Four


The front wings extend rearwards to become the sills before ending at the base of the rear wheel arch. This is where under the metal skin, the material that Morgan is most known for creates the shape: ash wood. Whilst the chassis itself is made of aluminium, English ash is used to make the frame and the shapes that the body panels placed on top will follow. I’ve always loved how the rear wheel arch blends into the rear bodywork and falls back towards the ground at the same angle as the boot lid.

Jonathan Wells, Chief Design Officer at Morgan said: “To think of a Morgan is to picture the unmistakable silhouette of the Plus Four…the continuous evolution of Plus Four – our time-proven brand anchor – is rightly afforded a more delicate approach.

The changes we have made – as with any longstanding design-led product – consider the delicate balance between tradition and innovation. For the latest Plus Four, we are proud to present an extensive list of component design updates that come together to deliver an undeniably refreshing yet reputably authentic impression.”

I’d be inclined to agree. Look at the 2024 Plus Four, then look at the 2020 model and you’ll see how all the subtle changes have made the classic shape look better than ever. It’s not just the exterior of the Plus Four that’s been overhauled; the interior has been reworked too.



2024 Morgan Plus Four

2024 Morgan Plus Four


Yes, it’s still a strict two-seater, but it was hardly going to become a three-row people carrier was it? There is now a digital display for media information that sits behind the steering wheel, between the analogue temperature and fuel gauges. There’s no Apple CarPlay or Android Auto to be found here, but there is a multifunction steering wheel. By that, I mean it can be used to operate the front wheels, the horn and the driver’s airbag but that’s all. There’s an optional Sennheiser audio system which places invisible speakers around the cabin - including under each seat - along with a pair of visible speakers in each door card. The dashboard hosts the centrally mounted speedo and rev counter along with a selection of buttons for the heating, hazard/parking on double yellow lines lights, traction control and more.

Two vents sit at the top of the centre console trim and seem to be placed behind and underneath the dashboard so I wonder how effective they’ll be. That said, having the roof down at all times is better at aerating the cabin than any vent could ever be so I’ll let them off. As part of the launch video for the new Plus Four, Alex Goy pointed out that the rear view mirror not only looks good but it is now functional! I’ve never tried to use any Morgan mirrors so I’ll have to take his word for it.



2024 Morgan Plus Four


2024 Morgan Plus Four - Improved handling, ride & performance

Some changes have been made under the aluminium and ash body to improve the driving experience of the new Plus Four. The standard suspension setup has been adjusted with re-valves dampers and new spring rates. Available from launch is the Dynamic Handling Pack which has been developed alongside suspension wizards Nitron. This sees new springs, single-way adjustable dampers, an adjustable spring platform and an anti-roll bar at the rear.

One thing that has remained the same for the new Plus Four is the powertrain that sits behind the classic horseshoe radiator and long, narrow bonnet: the engine. The Plus Four retains the BMW B48 2.0 litre four-cylinder turbo petrol engine which sends 255 bhp and 258 lb ft (295 lb ft for the auto) to the rear wheels through a six-speed manual or an 8-speed automatic transmission. The top speed is 149 mph regardless of the number of pedals but the auto is quicker from rest to 62 mph, taking 4.8 seconds compared to the manual’s 5.2 second time.

The car which tips the scales at just over 1,000 kg dry will certainly feel quick but it won’t be considered a supercar baiter anytime soon, however, I suspect that outright speed and straight line performance play second fiddle to the look, feel and quality of the two seat roadster which is hand-built and formed from start to finish.



2024 Morgan Plus Four


Morgan have been making lightweight sports cars their way for over 110 years now and it is impossible not to admire the dedication to the classic techniques which have been refined over that time. The only other multi-generation passenger car that I can think of that has stuck true to the original’s design, exterior features and construction methods has to be the Mercedes-Benz G-Class which still uses a body-on-frame chassis, flat metalwork and visible door hinges. That said, when the first G-Class was built in 1979, the Morgan +4 had already been on the market for 29 years…

The new 2024 Morgan Plus Four is available to order now with the fabulous configurator also live. Production is set to begin at the Malvern Link factory in May of 2024 with cars reaching dealerships in June. One option box that anybody ordering a new Plus Four should tick is the one for a hard-bound book that documents the production of your car. No boxes saying “cruise control” or “ventilated seats” were anywhere to be found though…

The new Plus Four is a great example of how to modernise retro without going retro-modern. The car looks classic but not old fashioned. So while it remains true that I am generally bored of retro stuff, I’m surprised by how fascinated I’ve become by the most retro looking car that money can buy with a 24 plate on it.


 

Specs: 2024 Morgan Plus Four manual [auto]

Engine: BMW B48 2.0 litre turbo petrol

Max power: 255 bhp at 5,500 rpm [4,400 rpm]

Max torque: 258 lb ft [295 lb ft]

Transmission: six-speed manual [8-speed automatic]

0 - 62 mph: 5.2 seconds [4.8 seconds]

Top speed: 149 mph

Dry weight: 1,013 kg [1,009 kg]

Length: 3,830 mm

Width: 1,650 mm

Height: 1,250 mm

On sale: Now



2024 Morgan Plus Four

2024 Morgan Plus Four

2024 Morgan Plus Four

2024 Morgan Plus Four

Comments


Latest Articles

Introducing RUSH XP1.

Our first print magazine, limited to just 1,000 copies

---------------------------------

FEATURING

- Subaru Impreza P1

- BMW M5 (E39)

- Ford Racing Puma

- Megane R26.R

- Ferrari 430 Scuderia

- Finding the best hot hatch for £5,000

- Porsche 968 Club Sport buying guide

+ so much more

-------------------------------------

Over 50,000 words spread across 164 pages with no advertisements, printed on premium, 115 GSM paper, delivered direct to your door

bottom of page