As the first in a line of several Morgan special projects to commence in 2021, just nine examples of the newly unveiled Plus 8 GTR will be built, powered by the 4.8-liter BMW N62 engine that originally produced 362 horsepower in the now discontinued Aero-chassis Plus 8 series. These naturally-aspirated V8s will be retuned for 2021, along with some mechanical upgrades done to the Plus 8 rolling chassis Morgan has re-acquired from a third party following a discontinued project. Produced before 2018, these are now perfectly suitable for its market-specific Plus 8 GTR series.
Morgan says it has fixed allocations for both the six-speed manual or ZF six-speed automatic gearbox options, while the body of the GTRs brings back the high shoulder line, something we haven't seen on a traditional Morgan body for decades. Previously, from 1968 to 2004, Plus 8 models used Morgan’s traditional steel chassis combined with Rover V8 engines.
The main inspiration for the Plus 8 GTR series was the Plus 8 GT race car of the late '90s known as "Big Blue." Morgan used this 600-horsepower prototype as its testbed for its bonded-aluminum chassis, which would then go on to underpin both the Aero 8 and later Plus 8 models. With Morgan now using its next-generation CX bonded-aluminum chassis for both its still BMW-powered four- and six-cylinder models, it's only fitting for the limited edition cars to pay tribute to the original lightweight V8 Morgan.
Continuing with the racing theme, the Plus 8 GTRs also come with five-spoke center-lock wheels, a wider body full of vents and aero elements, extra louvers through the long hood to improve cooling, six-inch spotlights, and the classic slide windows. While still using the traditional coachbuilding techniques, the nine specials will not be built at the Pickersleigh Road factory, but at the nearby Morgan Design and Engineering Centre. Production is set to begin in summer 2021.
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