Performance
& Fuel Consumption
From Thoroughbred and Classic Cars NOVEMBER 1980

In a survey like this, we think it is important that full and impartially obtained performance details should be assembled in tabular form. Normally we have no difficulty in being able to choose, and to provide the facts about almost every derivative of a design or family of cars, which qualify for inclusion.

With Morgan, however, we have a problem. The company was usually so confident of selling all its cars that it sometimes did not bother to provide a test car of one particular type. This certainly explains why our weekly contemporary, Autocar, only managed to lay its hands on seven Morgan test cars in 44 years!

Even that very limited opportunity to test the product would have been acceptable if the seven cars had been a representative selection. However, although there are two different pre-war 4/4 tests of Climax- engined cars,  two different Plus 4s and two Plus 8s, there are no figures available for a Standard engined 4/4, nor has any late model 4/4 with the overhead- valve Ford engine ever been tested (at least to the knowledge of this article writer, Webmaster comment).

So what can we say? Firstly, with regard to the Standard engined 4/4 the claimed engine power was 40bbp instead of 34bbp, on identical gearing, from which it might be assumed that the maximum speed was at least a true 80 mph, and that acceleration would be significantly, but not dramatically, improved.

4/4s, which have been built since 1968 have all had 1599 cc engines, for which 86 bhp (D1N) is claimed, and for which the unladen weight is about 1650lb. This is probably means that the car should be slightly more lively than a TR2-cngined Plus 4 (??!! Webmaster comment) (for which the 90hp was by no means a net figure), and that it should have a maximum speed of at least 100 mph. Let's guess (and it can be no more than that) at a 0-60mph time of around 11 seconds, a standing ¼ mile in about 17.5 seconds, and typical fuel consumption of better than 30 mpg.

Finally, a word about the difference between the two Plus 8ís. The first test car of 1968 still had the centrally mounted Moss gearbox, in which top gear was direct drive. The 1978 car had the Rover "SD1" type of five speed gearbox, in which the top gear 'was effectively an overdrive. In fourth gear, in fact, the new car was almost equally as outstanding as the original.  No Morgan, incidentally, has ever been sold with an electrically controlled overdrive, or with an automatic transmission. (one was factory built for Mrs. Morgan though! Webmaster comment).
 

Model 
4/4 
2 -seater 
Climax 
i.o.e.v. 
engine 
1122cc
4/4 
4-seater 
Climax 
i.o.e.v. 
engine 
1122cc
4/4 Series II 
2-seater 
Ford 
s.v. 
engine 
1172
+4 
2-seater 
Vanguard 
ohv 
engine 
2088cc
+4 
2-seaterDHC 
TR2 
ohv 
engine 
1991cc
+8 
2-seater 
Rover 
ohv 
engine 
3528cc
+8 
2-seater 
Rover 
ohv 
engine 
3528cc
cost (in L) 
originally
194
 225
714
880
830
1478
5961
Test Date 11DEC'36 12AUG'38 14SEPT'56 27APR'51 7MAY'54 12SEPT'68 15JULY'78
Top Speed 
(mph)
78
76
70
86
96
124
123
Acceleration
0-30mph
6.1
7.0
6.9
4.6
3.5
2.3
2.2
0-40mph
3.5
3.5
0-50mph
15.9
17.3
18.0
11.3
9.0
5.2
4.6
0-60mph
28.4
28.3
29.4
17.9
13.3
6.7
6.5
0-70mph
28.0
17.5
8.6
9.0
0-80mph
24.5
11.8
11.4
0-90mph
35.9
14.5
15.4
0-100mph
18.4
20.2
0-110mph
25.7
31.0
0-120mph
42.9
Standing 1/4 mile
 
23.5
18.5
15.1
15.1
10-30mph
10.9
12.9
9.9
5.8
8.8
20-40mph
11.6
13.8
15.1
9.0
8.4
5.0
7.7
30-50mph
12.0
15.7
15.5
9.5
8.4
4.8
6.8
40-60mph
19.2
8.6
4.6
6.7
50-70mph 9.6 4.5 7.2
60-80mph
5.2
7.9
70-90mph
6.0
9.2
80-100mph
7.4
11.8
90-110mph
10.9
20.3
100-120mph
13.8
 
fuel m.p.g.
35
35
36
24
30
18
20
Axle ratio
5:00
5:00
4:44
4:1
3:72
3:58
3:31
Weight
1582
1642
1568
1904
1876
1979
2128
N.B. This table is excellent for the models indicated.. Models from later years changed significantly and their performance data  changed as well.  Webmaster comment.

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