Morgan is waving goodbye to its venerable Aero 8 model with a special edition ‘race-inspired’ variant called the Aero GT – a car the company describes as a ‘gloves-off’ Aero 8.
Just eight examples of the new car will be handbuilt at Morgan’s Malvern HQ – and it seems everyone is getting in on the special projects division action, because the British sports car maker’s own skunkworks unit will be looking after this car.
The car, which was revealed at the Geneva motor show, is powered by a familiar 367bhp 4.8-litre BMW V8 which is mated to a six-speed manual transmission – it’s the same engine and gearbox combo used in the ‘standard’ Aero 8.
That helps the Aero GT sprint from 0-62mph in 4.5 seconds and on to a top speed of 170mph. Not only will this be the final Aero 8, but the final Morgan to be fitted with BMW’s normally aspirated N62 V8 too, with the German company quietly canning production of the engine a number of years ago.
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Morgan says that each of the eight Aero GT customers will get a one-to-one session with Jon Wells, the company’s head of design, before every car is built bespoke over a period of around eight weeks.
The Aero 8 was first produced between 2001-2010, and then again from 2015 until last year, and also formed the basis of the AeroMax and Aero SuperSports. The race version, which inspired the new Aero GT raced twice at Le Mans, as well as competing in a number of international GT championships in the 2000s. It was during the car’s 2015 revival that the Aero GT was initially conceived, but it hasn’t seen the light of day until now.
The bodywork on the Aero GT is carefully handcrafted and the styling of the special edition runout model clearly descends from the original Aero 8 and the long line of Morgan sports cars that came before it.
That said, the Aero GT is something of a departure for Morgan, with dramatic vents, louvres, and diffusers defining the car – even the optional carbonfibre hardtop has a backwards-facing air vent on the top that echoes racing cars of the 1960s. The latest Morgan will cost £120,000 plus local taxes in whichever country the driver lives in – but sad times if you didn’t get in there quickly, they’ve all been snapped up.