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V-8-powered Morgan Plus 8 to be revived for GTR special series

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Teaser for Morgan Plus 8 GTR debuting in 2021

Niche British sports car manufacturer Morgan on Thursday announced revival plans for its V-8-powered Plus 8 sports car.

Morgan discontinued the model in 2018 and has stuck to cars with 4- and 6-cylinder engines since then. However, the company recently came into ownership of nine Plus 8 chassis and now plans to use them for a special run of Plus 8 GTR models. The leftover chassis were repurchased from another company that had canceled its own plans to use them.

According to Morgan’s head of design, Jonathan Wells, the Plus 8 GTR project allows the company’s designers to experiment with ideas envisaged for the Plus 8 but never put into production. It also allows them to add new features that weren’t available when the Plus 8 was still in production.

“This project has allowed Morgan’s design and engineering teams to revisit some of their favourite elements of past Morgan models, as well as experiment with some features that we hope will appear on future Morgan cars,” Wells said in a statement.

Teaser for Morgan Plus 8 GTR debuting in 2021

The Plus 8 GTR will follow a track theme, in part as recognition of the Plus 8 race car of the 1990s. Teaser sketches hint at some of the new elements like motorsport-derived aerodynamics, widened wheel arches, and a high shoulder line.

Powering the Plus 8 GTR will be the old 4.8-liter V-8 sourced from BMW that was used in the last run of Plus 8s. The engine delivered 362 hp in the Plus 8 but Morgan may dial things up for the GTR special.

Buyers will be able to choose between a 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic, the company has confirmed.

Production of the Plus 8 GTR starts this summer at the Morgan Design and Engineering Center in Malvern, United Kingdom. The car is the latest in Morgan’s series of “special project” models such as the previous Aero GT and SP1.

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Autos

Gunther Werks Speedster, Gordon Murray T.50s, 2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class: This Week’s Top Photos

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2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5

California’s Gunther Werks returned this week with another carbon-bodied stunner based on the 993-generation 911. This time the company delivered a wide-body speedster to complement its coupe from a few years back.

2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5

The first model based on Hyundai Motor Group’s E-GMP dedicated electric-vehicle platform was revealed this week in the form of the 2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5. The vehicle is a handsome crossover coming to dealerships this fall as a challenger to the Tesla Model Y and Volkswagen ID.4.

Gordon Murray Automotive T.50s

Gordon Murray Automotive T.50s

Last year Gordon Murray showed off the T.50 supercar as a spiritual successor to the McLaren F1 he designed in the early 1990s. This week he revealed an even more extreme version of the T.50 designed for track use.

2022 Land Rover Defender

2022 Land Rover Defender

Land Rover announced some tweaks being made to the Defender for 2022. Among them is the long-awaited availability of a V-8 powertrain, specifically a 516-hp version of Jaguar Land Rover’s familiar 5.0-liter supercharged mill.

2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class

2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class

The redesigned 2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class was revealed. It’s an impressive sedan (and wagon if you live outside the United States), though sadly there aren’t any 6- or 8-cylinder engine options planned—not even in the high-performance variants from AMG.

Ferrari LaFerrari once owned by Sebastian Vettel - Photo credit: Which Car/Tom Hartley Jnr

Ferrari LaFerrari once owned by Sebastian Vettel – Photo credit: Which Car/Tom Hartley Jnr

Formula One driver Sebastien Vettel accumulated an enviable collection of Ferraris during his career driving for the Italian supercar maker. Now he’s off to Aston Martin, so he’s selling off those fabulous cars. Luckily, Aston Martin makes some desirable cars, too.

Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus 007 Le Mans Hypercar race car

Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus 007 Le Mans Hypercar race car

Another hypercar in the headlines this week was the new 007 Le Mans Hypercar racer from Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus. The new season of the World Endurance Championship is nearly upon us, and the 007 has just made its initial shakedown test ahead of April’s season opener in Portugal.

2023 BMW M2 spy shots - Photo credit: S. Baldauf/SB-Medien

2023 BMW M2 spy shots – Photo credit: S. Baldauf/SB-Medien

And finally, BMW was spotted testing a prototype for its next M2. We currently expect the car to debut in 2022 with a detuned version of the 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged inline-6 borrowed from the M3 and M4.

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GTO Engineering’s Moderna is like a classic Ferrari built new, and you can now order one

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GTO Engineering's Project Moderna

GTO Engineering, an expert restorer of classic Ferraris based in the United Kingdom, recently tested the waters with its own sports car matching the styling and mechanicals of Ferrari’s 250 GT SWB.

Despite costing about a $1 million, still a bargain compared to the real thing, GTO Engineering’s own 250 GT SWB Revival was successful enough to spawn a successor. That successor is another sports car inspired by a 1960s-era Ferrari, and judging by the teaser sketches the Ferrari in question is none other than the legendary 250 GTO.

However, unlike the 250 GT SWB Revival, which was based on a genuine Ferrari chassis, either from a donor 330 or 365, GTO Engineering’s latest car, code-named Moderna, is being built from the ground up using a custom tubular steel chassis, aluminum sub-frames, and carbon-fiber body panels. It will also feature modern suspension, brakes and electronics to reflect modern touches and reliability.

GTO Engineering’s Project Moderna

GTO Engineering’s targeted weight for the car is less than 2,200 pounds, which should make it extremely quickly considering the company plans to drop a quad-cam V-12 under the hood. The modern engine is being developed in-house by GTO Engineering and will be paired to a manual transmission.

The V-12 used in the 250 GT SWB Revival came in 3.0-, 3.5- and 4.0-liter flavors, all developing over 300 hp.

“We’ve learnt from building the 250 SWB Revival, and working on a range of Ferraris, that a car’s weight and engine are two of the key ingredients to make a good sports car,” Mark Lyon, managing director at GTO Engineering, said in a statement.

GTO Engineering's 250 GT SWB Revival

GTO Engineering’s 250 GT SWB Revival

GTO Engineering is currently building the first prototype chassis and finalizing the design of the body which, like the mechanicals, will feature a mix of modern and classic elements. One of the challenges is ensuring the classic proportions remain, while accommodating modern weight distribution and ergonomic requirements. People today are a little taller than back in the ’60s.

GTO Engineering plans to offer a number of personalization options, including paint and trim, as well as the option to adjust major components like the suspension and transmission. Anyone interested in purchasing one can now place an order.

Interestingly, some of the 250 SWB Revivals that GTO Engineering built went to owners of the original car. With prices now exceeding the $15 million mark, taking an original and driving the heck out of it won’t exactly be stress free.

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Ring Brothers 1968 Mercury Cougar combines old school style with modern running gear

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Ring Brothers 1968 Mercury Cougar

Wisconsin-based hot rod builders Ring Brothers are known for their resto mods. Mike and Jim Ring specialize in taking old cars and revitalizing them with modern components. Their latest project is a 1968 Mercury Cougar.

The badge may say “Cougar,” but there’s a Coyote under the hood, as in Ford’s 5.0-liter V-8. It produces 460 hp, and drives the rear wheels through a 10-speed automatic transmission from a Ford F-150 Raptor.

The car got a frame-off restoration, with new floor pans and a new transmission tunnel, as well as a new front bumper, grille, and badging. A performance suspension by DSE was installed, as were modern brakes. The Cougar rides on HRE Series C1 C103 forged three-piece alloy wheels and Michelin Pilot Sport tires.

 

Ring Brothers 1968 Mercury Cougar

While some of Ring Brother’s past builds have had flashy paintwork and heavily modified sheetmetal, the Cougar looks largely stock. The main giveaways are the aforementioned forged wheels on the outside, the F-150 shifter on the inside.

Launched in 1967 as a companion to the Ford Mustang, the Cougar never escaped the Ford’s shadow. The Cougar eventually shifted to a platform shared with the Ford Thunderbird, becoming larger and more luxurious in the process, and was then reimagined again as a compact front-wheel-drive coupe. That final generation ended production in 2002, and the Mercury brand followed it into oblivion a few years later.

“We had never done a Cougar before, so this was a fun build,” Mike Ring said in a statement. “I love working with new shapes and coming up with new ideas. Ring Brothers would normally unveil a newly completed car at the annual SEMA aftermarket show in Las Vegas, but that wasn’t possible due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Mike Ring said he hopes the car can be shown to the public soon.

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