‘I drove the loudest sports car in the world – like a tent in a hurricane’

I am conflicted about the Morgan Plus Four.

Introduced in 2020 with Morgan’s brand new, CX-Generation platform which combines an aluminium with a wooden frame, it is the company’s latest take on a design which has been around since the middle of the 20th century.

Last month, Express.co.uk was given the keys to a 2023 model with a 255bhp BMW four-cylinder engine with accompanying electronics, and a full tank of petrol.

With it, we traversed London and went on a 150-mile journey to test handling, comfort, and practicality.

What we discovered is that the Morgan is a car that forces you to compromise, but also smile too.

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To start with, it is hideously impractical.

There isn’t any luggage space unless you tuck your belongings behind the seats, no door bins for your belongings, and no cup holders for your coffee.

There is just the glove box, from inside which you can plug in your mobile phone, but no radio.

These might seem like first world problems, but they aren’t for the modern motorist who likes to grab a coffee on a long journey, ideally take things with them, and listen to the radio.

If this gives you the impression the Morgan Plus Four is a bad car, don’t worry, it isn’t.

The simplicity of the dashboard with its lack of a screen, radio dials, or volume control (which is hidden near your left knee) is in the spirit of the car.

The genius behind the Morgan is that it makes the ordinary seem extraordinary as soon as you pull away.

Most modern four-cylinder cars sound dull, but the Morgan turns the BMW B48 engine into a growling presence. Sitting at the lights you give it a little rev and people, turn, look, and smile.

Driving across London at low speed, people let you out of junctions, give you a wave, and wish you on your journey all the way to the Morgan’s spiritual home, the countryside

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There’s just one hiccup – the motorway. At 70mph, with the roof up, the engine is drowned out by a noise that makes you feel like you’re in a tent during a hurricane as the canvas cover roars in the wind.

You don’t so much as talk to your passenger as raise your voice loudly at them, one which quietens when you finally turn off and enter the hills.

Once here, in the home of small village towns linked by English B-roads, the Morgan settles in.

On the smooth sweeping bends of the South Downs, the car becomes genuinely playful as into rolls into corners with just enough slip to make you feel involved.

As a result of my drive through London and my loop around Sussex, I felt more than a little bewildered until I sat down to write and realised the Morgan is a bit like a pair of golden retrievers.

A pair of Golden Retrievers aren’t especially practical, they can’t help you with any day-to-day chores or do your shopping, and just like the Morgan, they’re not the fastest breed in the world.

However, like the Morgan, they put a smile on the faces of people in public, they create a sense of joy even on a rainy day, and deep down some part of you will always root for them even when they irritate you.

The Morgan Plus Four is not perfect, but beneath its impracticalities, it has a spirit that you just can’t resist.

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