The difference between Morgan and other car manufacturers is – simply – tradition. To put it another way, everything is different and it is different because of the nature and history of this wonderfully quirky automaker. From its inception, the company has been managed by the Morgan family. Since 1968, the Morgan Roadster has always been supported by a wooden structure, remaining faithfully unchanged for the past 50 years. The Rover V8 engine of Buick gave birth to the Plus 8 Speedster in 1968. And the V6 Roadster, which began manufacturing and sales in 2004, is the successor of this wonderful car. Our friends at YachtStyle bring us this story.
Beyond the Plus 8 Design Concept
Even if you have experienced the Plus 8, which now stands next to the V6 Roadster, it will be almost impossible to tell that within the two-piece, blind-like hood lies a brand new ‘heart’ powering the roaring sound of its engine. In fact, there is little difference in the outlook of the Plus 8 and V6 Roadster. If one does not look closely it is hard to differentiate the two. The same experience can also be felt within the cockpit. Morgan is also able to customize the center console design to meet the needs and taste of clients.
The driver seat is securely positioned in the car’s cockpit and covered by a layer of beige-colored leather but, what intrigues most people is that the passenger seat seems to be a bit higher. Right in front of the seat is a well-crafted console with wood grain pattern. Of course, Morgan can customise the design of the center console to client’s preferences. The console comes from well-known maker Smith, while the original aluminum alloy steering wheel is a Moto-Lita creation.
In order to preserve the interior’s retro design, the air-conditioner controls are placed unobtrusively; the sound system is also discreetly hidden underneath the console control panel. While some might find it inconvenient, this is a Morgan tradition.
There is no single, convenient button that electronically opens up the roof of the convertible. You will have to use your own hands – more often than not, you’ll have to depend on the help of others – to open the waterproof convertible roof, but at least it can be stored neatly on top of the boot so it does not distract from the beauty of the car.
The windows are effective in blocking the howling winds; however, once you roll them down, you will experience the pure joy of open-air driving that is difficult to find in many car models. The door’s design enables the driver to rest his arm on it for the entire journey, a pleasurable experience that only comes with antique cars.
Even if you’re six feet tall, you can sit comfortably in the V6 Roadster cockpit. Its all-new Ford gear box is very compact, thus giving way to more leg space. However, as there is no foot rest, your left leg has to rest lightly on the clutch. The only storage space in the car is at the back of the passenger seat, so you might want to purchase a luggage rack that can be fitted at the back of the car – a road trip necessity in an antique car.
Not A Mode of Transport
Driving the Morgan V6 Roadster should be a luxury, a form of pleasure derived from pure mechanical action devoid of an electronic support system. It is an acquired taste obtained from an antique sports car with a rather heavy clutch not everyone is accustomed to. However, other than this, the V6 Roadster is very easy to tame and drive.
The Morgan V6 Roadster, however, is not for the daily commute and it definitely is not meant to be one. Imagine a car like this, a wide road before you, a beautiful village scene and a picnic in the wilderness. This is the scenario that fits the V6 Roadster. Do bear in mind that Morgan is also going electric, as reported here.
To accelerate a V6 Roadster, which weighs less than a tonne, with a horsepower of 226, on a smooth road is as simple as stepping lightly on the accelerator. A stationary V6 Roadster only needs 4.9 seconds to reach a speed of 100km per hour. Although this cannot be compared with super sports cars, at least it is comparable with normal sports cars. Being lighter, shorter and with fittings set to the back, the V6 Roadster has better stability than its predecessors. Its handling is also more dexterous compared with the traditional Morgan sports car.
Although there is enough power in the V6 Roadster to push the car to overdrive, it is clearly not all about performance. Despite not being able to provide the comfort of a sedan, the V6 Roadster is a huge improvement on its predecessor, the Plus 8. As long as you are a sports car fanatic, you will not find fault with the overall ride experience in the V6 Roadster.
Lastly, let’s talk about the V6 Roadster braking system, which may take some getting used to. The time between hitting the brakes to the actual braking action is a period of blurred moment. This kind of braking system is akin to that of a racing car – similar to a Porche 911 GT3 Cup – which requires gradual force to be applied to the brake pedal. If you love the V6 Roadster, and if you have the determination, you will want to own it. Antique sports cars are such a rarity, particulaury in Asia, and Morgan is one of the few brands that can satisfy the nostalgia of sports car fans. It is that unique.
This article first appeared in YachtStyle.
Text by Jackie Wang
Images by Andy Wee