Morgan says goodbye to steel
In this article: Sports car manufacturer Morgan is finishing its relationship with steel – a staple of the brand’s DNA for over 80 years – as it completes its move to an all-aluminium architecture
Morgan Motor Company has finally brought the curtain down on its steel chassis-based sports cars. The technology that’s been used for the past 84 years – and only stopped for closures during World War II and the COVID-19 pandemic – has underpinned vehicles including the 1936 Morgan 4-4, the Plus 4, first-generation Plus 8, and V6 Roadster.
In total, 35,000 four-wheeled Morgan cars with a steel chassis have been made, exported to 65 countries around the world. Many of these models, adored by their owners, are still in active use today.
The chassis’ famous design elements include its combination of sliding pillar front and leaf spring rear suspension. The arrangement meant the hub and wheel assembly moved vertically, on a kingpin fixed rigidly at its top and bottom, ensuring there was no wheel camber change during compression or rebound, maximising lateral cornering grip.
Steve Morris, CEO and Chairman of Morgan Motor Company, said: “The steel chassis has been fundamental to Morgan’s production for more than eight decades, found beneath the skin of some of the most important and successful models in the company’s history. Its unique driving charm is loved by many.”
But times change and more firms are looking to aluminium to add a different dimension to their vehicles. Morgan’s replacement for its steel chassis, the bonded aluminium CX-Generation platform, was introduced in the Morgan Plus Six. It came after four years of development, and built on lessons learnt from its previous aluminium platform, used in the Aero range and second-generation Plus 8.
The CX-Generation platform has since gone on to underpin the all-new Morgan Plus Four, which saw its debut in March 2020.
“Demand for steel chassis cars is still strong. However, with the introduction of our CX-Generation platform, which underpins our new range of four-wheeled products, the time has come to bid farewell to the steel chassis,” said Morris.
Morgan has always been a brand for the enthusiast, and the final steel chassis car, a Morgan Plus 4 70th Edition, has been purchased by a loyal Morgan customer who will keep and treasure it, but also enjoy driving it on the road for years to come. It will sit alongside his collection of cars from Morgan’s history, including the famous Le Mans-winning Plus 4 – TOK 258.