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Battle with the Boxter

posted Nov 15, 2010, 3:38 PM by L.D. McLaughlin Jr.
Chris Russon, January 25, 2003
"A British-built two-seater pitched directly at the Porsche Boxster is on the cards from legendary car maker Morgan. The family-run Worcestershire firm is considering a six cylinder version of its latest Aero high performance sports car priced at around £35,000.

Managing director Charles Morgan said that the plan is to broaden the appeal of the marque and particularly the V8 powered Aero which currently sells at £55,500. 'The Aero is proving to be most popular and we are now considering the possibility of six cylinder version,' said Mr. Morgan. 'Technically it would be quite straightforward to produce.'

He said no firm decisions had been made about the new car, or what engine would be used, but such a roadster would prove to be particularly attractive to the growing number of drivers who are placing orders for the famous hand-built sports cars. Last year the company enjoyed record sales in excess of 650 vehicles with the Aero 8 accounting for almost a third of production.

The Aero 8 is powered by a 4.4 litre BMW engine which develops 286bhp giving the car blistering performance. With a lightweight all aluminium body it can rocket from standstill to 60mph in less than five seconds and has a reported top speed of 160mph.

Morgan's move to offer more choice comes as the company launches a new entry level model priced at £22,000. The Morgan Runabout, named after the original Morgan three-wheeler of 1909 which went on to victory at the French Grand Prix in 1913, is based on the two seat Morgan 4/4. Powered by a 1.8 litre four cylinder Ford Zetec engine, the Runabout is £2,000 cheaper than the 4/4 and will be available only in a limited number of colours and without optional extras.

Morgan is also pressing ahead with its plans to race again at this year's Le Mans 24 hour race with the Aero 8 in advance of launching the car in the US.

The traditional Morgan Plus 8 already sells well in America and the firm has recently strengthened its US dealer network. New outlets in New York, Chicago, Detroit and Los Angeles have been opened in addition to existing dealerships in Virginia and San Francisco."