Morgan SP1

Morgan has been around for 105 years, and still builds its cars largely the way it has from the beginning. So seeing a new Morgan debut is a bit of a rarity, but that's what we have in front of us here.

Called the SP1, this coupe is the first product of Morgan's new Special Projects division. It started its life with a steel chassis and egg-crate wooden frame made of ash and African Bubinga red hardwood. Atop that, Morgan's elite craftsmen overlaid handcrafted aluminum bodywork inspired by the LifeCar concept of 2009, painted in a multi-coat finish with a black base layer that adds depth to the red top coats.

Power comes from the same 3.7-liter Ford V6 as the Morgan V6 Roadster, but fitted with a custom ECU and handled by a new suspension setup. It's even got a series of aircraft-style toggle switches on the inside of the roof to start the ignition sequence. The infotainment system is controlled by an iPad fixed to the dashboard with hand-stitched leather straps, all designed and crafted to meet the client's demands.

The finished product debuts today at the Salon Privé show in London, but if your plans aren't taking you to England, you can scope it out in the high-res image gallery above and the video and press release below.
Related GalleryMorgan SP1
Morgan SP1Morgan SP1Morgan SP1Morgan SP1Morgan SP1Morgan SP1Morgan SP1Morgan SP1

Show full PR text
PRESS RELEASE – 3rd SEPTEMBER 2014
MORGAN SPECIAL PROJECTS INTRODUCES THE MORGAN SP1

- SP1 is a Morgan commissioned vehicle to be launched at Salon Prive
- SP1 is the first creation of the newly formed Morgan Special Projects Division
- SP1 showcases every aspect of the skilled craftsmanship utilised at Morgan; harnessed over 105 years of bespoke, coach-built, manufacturing

The Morgan SP1

The Morgan SP1 (Special Project 1) is a one off, bespoke creation that has been commissioned through the Morgan Special Projects Division. The SP1 represents the true capabilities of Britain's last privately owned car manufacturer and like every Morgan is as individual as its owner.

The SP1 was commissioned as a showcase vehicle to exemplify the impressive craftsmanship and flexibility exhibited in every Morgan car built. Taking inspiration from the 2009 LifeCar concept vehicle, the body has been entirely redesigned with improved proportions and a greatly enhanced on-road presence.

The Design

At the heart of the rigid steel chassis is a naturally aspirated 3.7 litre Ford V6 engine, as used in the Morgan V6 Roadster. A new suspension setup, a bespoke Engine Management System and custom sports exhaust enhance the driving dynamics of the SP1. The wooden frame of the coach-built body is constructed using Ash Wood, combined with African Bubinga Red Hardwood chosen by the client to represent his business life spent on that continent.

The tonal contrast between these woods is most apparent in the joints that hold each part of the frame together, purposefully left exposed as a reminder of the inherent knowledge accumulated by Morgan craftsmen over 105 years of working with wood.

The aluminium body has been hand formed over a wooden 'egg box' construction, using an English wheel. To ensure structural and aerodynamic excellence, cutting-edge digital design and simulation tools were used to prove surface styling prior to lengthy fabrication.

The sculptural form of the SP1 has been highlighted using a striking multi-coat paint finish. Natural aniline leather is found at each point of contact and will wear and distress with use, maturing with each journey the client undertakes.

The component details interact with the driver in a most engaging way - for example, after the car has been armed electronically, a sequence of roof mounted toggle switches are flicked to 'prepare for flight' before a final toggle switch starts the engine.

The SP1 features an infotainment system, driven through an iPad that has been installed in the fascia and secured by dual hand-stitched leather straps. A reflection of both Morgan's willingness to embrace the future, whilst remaining constant to its coach-built craft roots. The SP1 truly celebrates the blend of craftsmanship and technology that Morgan is so famous for, and is the perfect way to launch Morgan Special Projects, encompassing everything that this unique and highly skilled division of Morgan represents.