Morgan Aero SuperSports review
It’s not an affront to insinuate that Morgans have long been the oddballs of the automotive world. The world’s oldest privately owned automaker, this British company dates back to 1910 when it produced three-wheeled vehicles known as “cycle cars.” Morgan builds costly limited-production hand-assembled sports cars for auto aficionados who possess a highly developed desire for the unusual and are willing to wait as long as a year after ordering to obtain one.
Like the Morgan Aero 8 before it, the Aero SuperSports is a wildly flamboyant roadster that blends classic styling elements with a futuristic overall look. A tall waterfall front grille is flanked by oval headlamps which are set on outrageously bulbous front fenders that sweep downward to and up over the rear wheels, with an angular rear end treatment that mirrors the fender curve. Mere descriptions cannot possibly do the Aero SuperSports justice.
Making its debut at the 2009 Villa d’Este concours on Lake Como outside of Milan, the car was completely designed and engineered in house by Morgan Design. With production limited to 200 units, owners are guaranteed ultimate exclusivity and are assured to be the center of attention whenever they’re behind the wheel.
As Morgan tradition dictates, its body substructure is fabricated from wood, although its underpinnings and exterior are constructed from lightweight, yet rigid, aircraft-style bonded aluminum. Rather than utilize a cloth top, the Aero SuperSports features two removable aluminum roof panels that can be stored in the trunk when weather permits.
A BMW-built 4.8-liter V8 generates 367 horsepower and 370 pound-feet of torque and drives the rear wheels via either a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic transmission with manual-shift capability. While that may not sound tremendously powerful in an era of 500- and 600-horsepower sports cars, the Aero SuperSports’ lightweight design – it tips the scales at just around 2,600 pounds – helps the car sprint to 60 mph in around 4.5 seconds.
Its two-seat interior is snug, yet well trimmed with assorted leather and wood trim choices available. All gauges, buttons and switches are well placed and straightforward, though most have a certain parts-bin appearance to them. The Aero 8 is an eccentric car, to be sure, and as such it appeals to those whose automotive tastes reside on the outer fringe, and are wealthy enough to indulge them and secure enough to drive something that – again, no insult intended – looks like it came out of a Dr. Seuss book.
Morgan Aero SuperSports Quick Facts
Engine: 4.8 Liter V8
Horsepower: 367 @ 5,750 rpm
Torque: 370 @ 3,250 rpm
City/Highway: MPG 14/24-15/25
Transmission: 6-Spd Manual, 6-Spd Automatic
Wheelbase: 100.4 in
Overall Length: 167.3 in
Width: 68.9 in
Height: 53.1 in
Curb Weight: 2,600 lbs
Did You Know?
Morgans are hand-built at the company’s factory in the small town of Malvern Link, in Worcestershire, England. H.F.S. Morgan established the company in 1910, and it remains privately held by the Morgan family. The automaker is also appealing to younger Morgan aficionados with the SuperSports Junior, which is essentially a 2/3-scale three-wheeled pedal car version of the Aero SuperSports. It features three forward speeds and a cranked pedal arrangement similar to a recumbent bicycle. The SuperSports Junior is built alongside the real thing at the Morgan factory and likewise is hand-made from aluminum with working lights and hand stitched adjustable seating, with leather upholstery optional. Designed for drivers aged 6 to 13, production is limited to 500 units.