British sports car manufacturer Morgan has unveiled an off-road rally version of its Plus Four roadster. Called the CX-T, only eight are hand-built at the Malvern factory.
Morgans have been participating in trial events since 1911, and the company says the car pays homage to previous off-road competition vehicles.
Morgan worked with the engineering firm Rally Raid UK, which has a history of building vehicles for the Dakar Rally. After the cars are assembled, final prep work is done in the Rally Raid workshops in Huddersfield.
The exterior of the Plus Four CX-T was designed “to maximize the load-bearing capacity of luggage and equipment and provide the occupant protection required in extreme environments.” The changes compared to the standard vehicle include replacing the rear panel with an equipment rack and a unique side body.
With an eye on lifestyle activities, the CX-T can also be adapted to transport bicycles and surfboards.
The standard chassis of the Plus Four and the 259 hp 2.0-liter turbo engine from BMW are retained. However, the car uses modified wishbones and bushings from the larger Morgan Plus Six, larger wheels and tires, and EXE-TC coilovers. These help to increase the ground clearance from the standard 120 mm to an impressive 230 mm.
An additional underbody protection – consisting of engine protection, rear chassis protection, middle section and rear underbody – protects the chassis and important components from damage in extreme driving conditions.
Inside, a mounting rail is incorporated into the dashboard to enable devices such as telephones or cameras to be securely attached. A flexible map light, pen and notebook holder have also been added – all designed to withstand operation in harsh driving environments.
The CX-T starts at Â£ 170,000 plus local taxes (Â£ 204,000 including VAT), but potential buyers need to be quick. Only three of the eight vehicles remain unsold.
âThe Morgan design team has been designing modern trialing vehicles for many years. About 18 months ago, our investor and CEO Steve Morris was in the studio and saw how incredible it would be to bring one of these drawings to life, âsaid Jonathan Wells, Head of Design at Morgan.
âThe project was entirely and entirely born of a desire to create an exciting British adventure vehicle. The CX-T, like many newer Morgan vehicles, demonstrates the flexibility of the Morgan design. For me it’s a complete package: historical integrity, legitimate skills, and a brand new adventurous aesthetic. “
Daniel Puddicombe writes for Motoring Research