Autozine – News: Morgan introduces Plus models

The name ‘Plus’ is an important pillar of Morgan’s production and stands alongside the recently introduced ‘Super’ pillar. The nameplate was first seen on the Plus 4, introduced in 1950. The Plus represents more than 70 years of heritage, but also looks to the future, embracing relevant new technology and bringing the experience of a modern, handcrafted sports car to be recreated in 21st Century.


The design of the Plus models is built on the company’s lightweight CX-Generation aluminum platform. The Plus Four, with its slightly narrower body and wire wheels, is more aesthetically pleasing to the original vehicles. Plus Six, wider and with a more confident look, represents a more modern aesthetic. Both vehicles will benefit from the changes and their list of options and configurations will be closely aligned, ensuring a seamless customization experience for customers.

Interior

The improvements to the latest Plus models are characterized by significant changes to the interior, with more refinement, additional customization options and greater ease of use compared to previous generations. The introduction of a new series of inlays that run through the vehicle via the center console is tangible proof of the brand’s craftsmanship and customization, where natural materials, design and form are synonymous with the brand.

‘Spokes In Flight’ and ‘Kinetic Diamond’ are abstract motifs of moving spokes, inspired by the spoke wheels that have featured on Morgans for decades. ‘Engineered’ – the third veneer option – has aluminum strips between wood, indicating the company is using the two core materials.

A newly shaped aluminum dashboard and instrument panel can be specified in matt silver, matt black or matched to the body colour. A model designation on the passenger side of the dashboard is now available. The dashboard is home to new instruments with new designations. The gauges’ artwork is simplified and inspired by watches, which are minimalist and clear. In addition to the new gauges, a new LCD information screen has been built into the dashboard. Located directly in front of the driver, the screen is larger than the previous screen and has a higher resolution. Custom screens with enhanced animation and the introduction of driving mode-dependent backgrounds help improve user experience for drivers.

A solid wooden rail is placed under the aluminum dashboard. Each wooden section can be configured in a variety of finishes and colors and is handcrafted. Underneath the wooden base rail is a new glove box, a feature first introduced on a Plus model. The glove compartment is finished with matching leather and includes a USB connection. The handlebar is now available with a satin center section. When specified, this finish will match other interior trim, including the speaker grille, door handles, parking brake and shifter surrounds.

Two-tone fabric, which contrasts on the seats and door panels, consists of a mixture of materials and has been specially designed for the latest Plus models. Black leather and black fabric are standard, six other colors are optional. A new ‘bolt-action’ door handle, located on the lower part of the door, is the most notable change on the inside of the door. It is made of lacquered stainless steel and high-quality saddle leather.

Both the standard and Comfort Plus seating options benefit from improvements. The headrests on both seat variants are completely new and slimmer. The Comfort Plus seat now has an adjustable thigh support and an adjustment handle for the metal backrest. Another first for Morgan’s four-wheel models, the new Plus models are now available at extra cost with an integrated cup holder which is removable and fits into the passenger seat.

Driving characteristics

Above all, a Morgan must be light, exciting to drive and provide a connection between operator and machine. Morgan’s engineering teams have worked with external partners to ensure the dynamic development of the Plus models. Throughout this process, the key principles of the Morgan driving experience have continued to guide us, along with requirements for future technology, safety and regulatory requirements.

Dynamic improvements for Plus models include the introduction of Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and an all-new braking system developed in collaboration with Continental and AP Racing. ESC will be introduced on all Plus Four and Plus Six models. Depending on the condition, ESC is tailored to each model and gearbox variant, with a choice of assist levels depending on the driving condition.

The AP Racing braking system is completely new and has been developed alongside the ESC program to deliver a powerful braking system. Bespoke gearbox calibrations have been developed in collaboration with BMW for the automatic gearbox on the Plus Four and Plus Six models. The gearbox calibrations are smarter, get more information from the vehicle and adapt. In ‘normal’ driving mode, four calibrations will adjust shifts based on brake pressure and steering angle. In ‘Sport’ and ‘Sport+’ modes, a further four calibrations, aimed at more dynamics, will adjust the shift, again based on brake pressure and steering angle.

New is hill detection, which uses an accelerometer to adjust torque demand and automatically downshift for steep hills. In addition to improving handling and performance, the new calibrations also increase efficiency.

New suspension dampers and bushings complete the dynamic improvements of the Plus models. The new bushings further refine low-frequency road movement, while the new dampers are said to improve handling, progressive speed and high-speed performance.

The addition of airbags is now standard. The airbags, located behind the new aluminum dashboard and in the steering wheel, are an important technical addition and exceed the homologation requirements for the vehicle.

Sennheiser sound

Continuing its philosophy of combining traditional coachbuilding methods with technology, Morgan has partnered with Sennheiser to offer a sound system in its new Plus models. ‘Aria’ is the sound system that Sennheiser developed for the Plus Four and Plus Six. According to Morgan, the Aria sound system delivers an enveloping sound with a unique soundscape.

According to the manufacturers, tuning by Sennheiser, in combination with invisible speakers or actuators, creates the illusion of a sound image for the passengers. Thanks to the AMBEO Contrabass algorithm, the sound system delivers a bass response optimized for definition, punch and depth, while keeping the system as efficient and compact as possible.

The cabin design is unchanged and the use of actuators keeps the extra weight to a minimum, a must for any sports car. Even under the demanding conditions of an open-top sports car, this system claims first-class sound quality.

Inside, the subtle Sennheiser branding is visible on the speaker grill on each door. The design of the speaker grills is inspired by the Morgan louvres stamped into each hood on Plus models. Each speaker grille is finished in polished satin, in line with other embellishments visible in the interior.

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