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Car Review: the Morgan Plus Six

The retro roadster blends an iconic design with BMW engineering to turn heads yet again.

The 112-year-old Morgan Motor Company is famed for its three-wheelers, which disappeared from history for 50 years. Then the carmaker revived it in 2011 with a modern rendition. Two years ago, it released the Plus Six, an all-new model with that recognisable silhouette.

In Morgan’s time-honoured tradition of craftsmanship, each vehicle is built by hand in the factory in the town of Malvern in Worcestershire, England, which has been its home for over a century.

Every owner also gets a 52-page, hardcover coffee table book signed by the craftsman and CEO that serves as a photographic record of the car being built.

In the 1990s, the boutique carmaker’s waiting list reportedly stretched to as long as 10 years. Thankfully, prospective buyers in Singapore today face a shorter wait. Morgan now makes about 800 cars a year, or about 15 a week, and it has appointed a new Singapore agent: NB Auto.

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The official waiting time, according to its website, is between six and 12 months. The first model launched for sale here is the Plus Six. It is a two-door, soft-top roadster and is powered by a 3-litre BMW six-cylinder turbocharged engine. The powertrain propels the Plus Six from standstill to 100kph in just 4.2 seconds.

However, the Plus Six lacks electronic driving aids such as traction control. It also does not have airbags, trunk storage, motorised seats or mirrors. Its soft-top roof mechanism is manual.

The amenities in the cabin are basic. There is air-conditioning, traditional analogue displays such as a clock, speedometer and tachometer, and Bluetooth streaming of music from external devices but no phone functions.

On the move, the Plus Six’s pared- down insulation gives it an unadulterated driving sensation – the imperfections of the road and the roar of passing vehicles permeates the cabin without a filter. It is almost impossible to have a conversation with your passenger without speaking louder than normal.

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Other than the insulation, the Plus Six drives like a modern car in every other way. The steering is light and precise, the engine is responsive and the gear shifts are sharp. There are even paddle shifters for enthusiastic drivers.

The Plus Six does not have a direct rival. At nearly half a million dollars, there are other two-door sports cars like the Porsche Boxster 718 GTS and Jaguar F-type convertible, which are available on an indent basis. But they do not seize attention like the Morgan Plus Six. This is one of the two main selling points of the car.

The other appeal of the car is its ultra- exclusivity. Land Transport Authority records show that only 11 Morgans were registered in Singapore at the end of last year. This number has not changed since 2015.

Although the new Morgan Plus Six will expand the population, it will likely be bought by collectors, which means that it will remain a rare sight on the roads and is guaranteed to turn heads like no other cars.

Morgan Plus Six

Interior of the Morgan Plus Six.

Morgan Plus Six

ENGINE: 2,998cc 24-valve inline-six turbocharged

TORQUE: 500Nm at 1,600- 4,500rpm

POWER: 335bhp at 6,500rpm 0-100 KPH 4.2s

TOP SPEED: 267kph

TRANSMISSION: Eight-speed automatic with paddle shift

FUEL CONSUMPTION: 8.2 litres/100km

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