Morgan Motor Company is adding to the Plus model line-up with the reimagining of the Plus Four and the Plus Six. As part of the new ‘Plus’ line, enhancements will be introduced and it will be seen on the new Plus Four and Plus Six models starting January 2023.
The ‘Plus’ moniker means that it is a mainstay of Morgan production and that it is at par with the newly introduced ‘Super’. It was in 1950 that the ‘Plus’ was first introduced in the Plus 4. With more than 70 years of heritage, Plus bravely looks towards the future, fully embracing new technologies while reimagining the experience of driving a modern yet handcrafted sports car for the 21st Century.
The new Morgan Plus Four and Plus Six is coach-built using Morgan’s CX-Generation bonded aluminum platform. Its design is an automatic timeless classic. The Plus Four was given a slightly narrower body and wire wheels, with its aesthetic reminiscent of the original vehicles. On the other hand, the Plus Six have a wider and more assertive appearance, and has a more contemporary aesthetic. Both vehicles were given new features and to ensure a more cohesive tailoring experience for clients, their list of options and configurations will also be closely aligned.
Morgan Motor Company Chief Executive Officer Massimo Fumarola shared, “The new Morgan Plus line celebrates the essence of unconventional driving and ethical engineering. It unites timeless design and craftsmanship with the most exhilarating driving engagement. With Plus we want to honour those individuals who believe that motoring is not about status, but more about character, authenticity, and pleasure.”
Significant update on the interior is one of the main features of the new Plus models from Morgan. It offers greater refinement, more personalization opportunities, and more usability compared to the earlier generations.
A new range of marquetry veneers which extend throughout the vehicle starting from its center console has been introduced, highlighting the company’s commitment to craftsmanship and bespoke tailoring, showcasing the natural materials, form, and design that Morgan has become known for.
Abstract motifs for moving spokes are ‘Spokes in Flight’ and ‘Kinetic Diamond’, which are inspired by the spoked wheels that for decades have been featured on Morgan cars. A third veneer option is ‘Engineered’ and it features aluminum strips between wood, and it signifies the two core materials that Morgan has used in their cars.
A new instrument panel and superformed aluminum dashboard can be specified in either matte black, or matte silver. It can also be specified to match a specific body color. On the passenger side of the dashboard, it can also be specified that a model designation be placed. New instruments are featured on the dashboard, and it will also have a new face artwork. A minimal and clutter-free aesthetic is featured on the instrument artwork which was inspired by premium timepieces and has been simplified. The dashboard design incorporates a new and larger LCD information display screen, and has been placed in front of the driver. To improve its usability for drivers, it was given updated screen graphics and improved animation. The screen itself is subtle, only displaying necessary information, as part of Morgan’s philosophy of appropriately introducing technology to its vehicles.
Beneath the aluminum dashboard is a solid wooden lower rail that coordinates with the center column. Each wooden section was meticulously handcrafted by the skilled craftspeople at Morgan, and it can be given a variety of finishes and colors. For the first time, a Plus model was given a new glovebox, and it sits just below the wooden lower rail, is designed in matching leather, and it is also where the USB power sockets were hidden.
The steering wheel can now be specified to have a satin polished center section which coordinates with other internal embellishers which includes the door handle, speaker grille, hand brake, and gear shift surrounds.
Designed specifically for the latest Plus models is the two-tone fabric which offers a mix of textures and beautifully contrasts on the seats and door cards. As standard, it has black pebble grain leather and black fabric, and it has an additional six color options and leather grains to choose from.
The natural textile is woven from worsted wool using fine marl yarns. Each fabric is matched with a complimentary leather colorway, so that the leather is used sparingly, celebrating it as a fine material.
One of the most noticeable update to the door interior is the new ‘bolt-action’ door handle which is placed on the lower section of the door. Made from lacquered stainless steel and high-quality saddle leather, it gives an aesthetic upgrade as well as an impressive mechanical sensation during egress.
A variety of enhancements can also be seen in both the standard and Comfort Plus seat options. A full redesign was given on the headrests of both seat variants and it now features intricate stitch detail and is now slimmer than before. Comfort Plus seats now have an adjustable thigh bolster and knurled metal recline adjustment level. For the first time in Plus models, Morgan also added an optional integrated cup holder. It can be detached and easily fits into the base of the passenger seat.
Morgan Motor Company Chief Design Officer Jonathan Wells stated, “The Plus line in 2023 presents a marked evolution of the four-wheeled Morgan. As with any enduring design, it is crucial to strike a balance between moving forward whilst complementing established product qualities.
“The design team is fortunate to work in proximity with mechanical and quality engineers, as well as the craftsmen at Pickersleigh road. Designers can deliver solutions that envelope a clear understanding of constraints and opportunities. Through this understanding, we have been able to introduce sizeable new technologies and features, whilst also enhancing the perceived quality of Morgan Plus cars.
“A holistic whole vehicle study has considered the more significant changes, through to multiple more nuanced design updates – the increased impression of quality will be evident.”
Engaging Vehicle Dynamics
A Morgan sports car is defined by its lightweight engineering, the driving pleasure it provides, and the unique connection it offers between the driver and the car. To ensure the continuous dynamic evolution of Plus models, in-house engineering teams in Morgan have constantly worked with industry leading external partners. During the whole process, It was important that the key principles of the Morgan driving experience is kept, this also includes requirements for future technology, safety, and legislative requirements.
The new Plus models also introduced Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and an all-new braking system, which were developed with Continental and AP Racing. All Plus Four and Plus Six models will have ESC. The ESC is mode dependent and it has been tuned for each model and gearbox variant, and depending on the driving mode, it can also be switched between levels of assistance.
Developed with the ESC program, the new AP Racing braking system was designed to deliver high-performance braking.
In partnership with BMW, they developed bespoke gearbox calibrations for the automatic variant of the Plus Four and Plus Six models.
In ‘normal’ driving mode, four calibrations will automatically adapt gear shifting based on the steering angle and brake pressure. Four additional calibrations are added in ‘Sport’ and ‘Sport+’ modes, programmed to be more dynamic, it will adapt gear shifting which is also based on the steering angle and brake pressure.
An accelerometer and driver torque demand is used the new hill detection so that it can automatically select a lower gear for steep inclines. Aside from improving drivability and increasing performance, the new calibrations also improves efficiency.
Completing the dynamic enhancements of the Plus models is the addition of the new suspension dampers and bushes. Further refinement is provided by the new bush rating on low-frequency road undulations while the new dampers enhance ride compliance, high-speed performance, and progressive rate.
As standard, airbags have been added behind the new aluminum dashboard and in the steering wheel. These new addition represents a significant engineering project and is above the homologation requirements for the vehicle.
“The introduction of new dynamic features to our latest Plus models reflects Morgan’s philosophy of continual evolution. Above all, Morgan sports cars should be fun to drive, providing occupants with a unique and memorable experience. Our latest introductions celebrate these qualities, whilst also increasing the level of safety, and future-proofing our models against ever changing legislative requirements,” said Morgan Motor Company Chief Technical Officer Matt Hole.
As part of Morgan’s philosophy of bringing together traditional coachbuilding methods with the latest technology, Morgan is partnering with Sennheiser to provide a revolutionary audio system in their new Plus models. With more than 75 years of experience in audio and music, Sennheiser’s expertise is unmatched.
Previous Morgan sports cars may have offered an audio system, but Sennheiser’s audio experience solution matches its premium reputation, easily better than any previous systems. They provide an enveloping sound with a unique soundstage with the highest level of audio fidelity.
Sennheiser’s tuning creates the illusion of a sound stage in front of the passengers, adding an unmatched high-quality soundtrack during memorable drives. The AMBEO Contrabass algorithm enables the audio system to create a unique bass response which has been optimized for definition, punch, and depth and still keeps the system efficient and compact.
Eight transducers are used in the system; four conventional speakers are placed in the door and rear panel, and an additional four invisible speakers were added, with three placed behind the dashboard and one in the lower compartment panel for bass reproduction. A new amplifier controls the transducers and it has a dedicated DSP which is powered by Sennheiser’s audio processing software.
The addition of the speakers does not alter the design of the cabin, and the use of invisible speakers ensures that only minimal weight is added, which is integral in every sports car. Premium sound quality if maintained, even with the demanding conditions that is set by an open-top sports vehicle.
Subtle Sennheiser branding can be seen on the speaker grille placed on each door. The iconic Morgan louvres stamped on each bonnet of Plus models influenced the design of the speaker grilles. Finished in polished satin, it is coordinated with the other embellishers that can be seen in the cockpit of the vehicle.
Head of Sennheiser Mobility Veronique Larcher shared, “Both companies collaborated closely to create a one-of-a-kind product with no compromise in sound reproduction, performance, design, and quality. We couldn’t have celebrated our road debut better than with a brand whose pursuit of quality and excellence in craftsmanship is so fully aligned with Sennheiser’s values.”
Individuality is certainly celebrated by Morgan cars and they really encourage their owners to commission their own bespoke Plus model, as there is a wide variety of options to select from. Each customer have the chance to finally bring their dream car to life as they create a true one-off that reflects their personal style and taste.
To help clients through the process of commissioning their own Morgan, the design team created a series of specification themes that help bring the model to life. These specifications not only showcase the versatility of the Morgan design, but it also duplicates the different environs that Morgan cars frequent.
Some of these themes include Riviera, Nordic, Stateside, Britannia, Urban, and Alpine. Each one of them can be selected through Morgan’s online configurator starting 2023.
In honor of the company’s roots in motorsport and trialling success, they also added 12 new graphic packs that include roundels, strikethrough numbers, and bonnet stripes. They will also be available starting 2023. For additional personalization, all the graphics will be available in black, white, or clear vinyl. Another option is the ‘pilot’ and ‘co-pilot’ call sign that can be placed on the exterior of the vehicle.
Production is scheduled to start in January 2023 and prospective clients are currently welcome to already start their bespoke Plus commissions.