British sports car manufacturer Morgan has revealed an off-road rally version of its Plus Four roadster. Called the CX-T, just eight examples will be hand-built at the Malvern factory.
Morgans have competed in trials events since 1911, and the company says the car pays homage to previous off-road competition vehicles.
Morgan has worked with engineering firm Rally Raid UK, which has a history of building vehicles for the Dakar Rally. Once the cars are assembled, they will undergo final preparation work at Rally Raid’s Huddersfield workshops.
The exterior of the Plus Four CX-T has been ‘designed to maximise luggage and equipment carrying capacity and provide the occupant protection necessary for extreme environments’. Changes from the standard car include the rear panel being replaced with an equipment rack, plus unique side bodywork.
With one eye on ‘lifestyle’ pursuits, the CX-T can also be adapted to carry bikes and surfboards.
The Plus Four’s standard chassis and 259hp 2.0-litre turbocharged BMW engine are retained. However, the car uses modified suspension arms and bushes from the larger Morgan Plus Six, bigger wheels and tyres, and EXE-TC coilover suspension units. These help increase ground clearance from the standard 120mm to a lofty 230mm.
Underbody protection – comprising an engine guard, rear chassis guard, mid-section shield and rear undertray – has also been installed to protect the chassis and vital components from damage when driving in extreme conditions.
Inside, a mount track is incorporated into the dashboard to allow the secure fixing of devices such as phones or cameras. A flexible map light, pencil and notebook holder have also been added – all designed ‘to withstand operation in harsh driving environments’.
The CX-T is priced from £170,000 plus local taxes (£204,000 including VAT), but prospective buyers will need to be quick. Just three of the eight vehicles remain unsold.
“The Morgan design team has been conceptualising modern day trialling vehicles for many years. Around 18 months ago, our investors and CEO, Steve Morris, were in the studio and remarked how incredible it would be to bring one of these drawings to life,” said Jonathan Wells, head of design at Morgan.
“The project was unrestrained and born entirely from a desire to create an exciting British adventure vehicle. The CX-T, like many recent Morgan vehicles, demonstrates the flexibility of the Morgan design. For me, it’s a complete package: historical integrity, legitimate capability, and a brand-new adventure-led aesthetic.”
Daniel Puddicombe writes for Motoring Research