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Another one bites the dust #667038
13/10/20 09:52 PM
13/10/20 09:52 PM
Joined: Sep 2014
Posts: 2,203
London
MOG 615 Offline OP
Talk Morgan Expert
MOG 615  Offline OP
Talk Morgan Expert

Joined: Sep 2014
Posts: 2,203
London
Under the auspices of the MMC test drive weekend two of arranged to do a back to back test drive of the Plus Four auto and manual at Krazy Horse today.

Things did not go to plan at all. The weather wet and cold , the traffic from SE London was horrific but to cap it all on the previous weekend two of their demo cars had been crashed during test drives, including the new Plus Four manual car (the other was a Roadster)

Unfortunately no-one phoned to warn us, and to make matters worse we arrived Dan was going to be busy for quite a some time, while he talked with a couple picking up their brand new car. KH tried to make amends with a free lunch, and the rest of the staff tried to keep us happy , but they were obviously still smarting from the loss of two cars in quick succession and it did put a dampener on the proceedings.

We were both able to try the auto boxed Plus Four , but this was obviously no day for heroics, they had lost enough metal for one week. One of us hated the autobox and found it sluggish, I could see the advantages but overall would prefer the manual I had previously tried (but I must admit I am not very familiar with fly-by-wire autos so perhaps it was not a totally fair comparison). I found the box would only respond when the throttle was really prodded, and not a progressive movement, but then it would drop a couple of ratios and as the turbo spooled up the horizon started to get much closer very quickly. I could see how this might be disconcerting for an inexperienced driver. The brakes on this car were not as good as the manual I tried , more travel and very squeaky/squealy coming to rest. The lack of a clutch pedal did give good space for my left leg, but I still found myself trying to use it when coming to a halt. Changing gears with paddles was also a new experience, but felt a trifle strange, I could only change down one gear at a time, when the autobox would drop a couple when left to its own devices. As I came back over a couple of roundabouts I noticed that the digital speedo readout had been replaced with a CS inside a cogged wheel. Dan told me he was impressed that I had been driving enthusiastically as this was a warning of excessive sideways movement (yaw) , in a fully kitted out Beamer this sensor would trigger the cars dynamic stability system, but of course this is not fitted to the Morgan, so the warning light has to be extinguished by cycling the ignition.

Whatever our opinions were , KH say they are selling the auto over the manual by about 10:1, I assume this means that it is appealing to a new breed of Morgan drivers? For me it still have to be the manual, yes I would miss the 50NM extra torque, but I feel I would get a more rewarding drive.

Just to keep me busy while John was testing the Plus Four they let me loose in a Caterham 420R on track day rubber. Now if you think keeping the Plus Four on the black stuff was difficult enough just try this machine. With 400 bhp/tonne , super sensitive very direct steering, a competition spec clutch, it was challenging just to keep it pointing straight as the throttle is applied. Suffice it to say, I was very glad to bring it back in one piece.

Thanks to the folk at KH for their time, and I hope that they don't suffer too many weekends like the last one.


Andy G
1999 +8 , Indigo Blue.
Ex-John McKecknie/Mike Duncan 1955 +4 racer.
Re: Another one bites the dust [Re: MOG 615] #667066
14/10/20 07:32 AM
14/10/20 07:32 AM
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 23,916
Suffolk, England
John V6 Offline
Brooklands Register contact
John V6  Offline
Brooklands Register contact
Member of the Inner Circle

Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 23,916
Suffolk, England
Andy in the dry the autobox is far superior to the manual. But thr spate of crashes does suggest the safest route is the manual.


JohnV6
2014 Brooklands Edition Roadster "Brookland's Belle" #5 of 50
Re: Another one bites the dust [Re: MOG 615] #667074
14/10/20 08:07 AM
14/10/20 08:07 AM
Joined: Feb 2016
Posts: 6,103
East Harling, Norfolk UK
RichardV6 Offline
Talk Morgan Sage
RichardV6  Offline
Talk Morgan Sage

Joined: Feb 2016
Posts: 6,103
East Harling, Norfolk UK
Interesting and honest report Andy. My own interpretation having driven the Plus Six with same ZF 8HP auto box twice, is that it can provide extremely fast changes but the PCM or whatever controls it in Drive holds on to the higher gears too long then, as you suggest drops several in a dramatic manner reminiscent of early three speed autos on kickdown. Given the far greater torque available from the turbo engines this seems to have got more than a few in trouble. Sounds like the mapping on the Plus Four is similar. Using the paddles in Sport mode gives you far more control.


Richard

2018 Roadster - Red/Magnolia - Morton
1966 Land Rover S2a 88 - Lenny
1945 Moto Guzzi Airone
Re: Another one bites the dust [Re: MOG 615] #667080
14/10/20 08:25 AM
14/10/20 08:25 AM
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 10,279
Hampshire
Alistair Offline
Smile, it confuses them
Alistair  Offline
Smile, it confuses them
Member of the Inner Circle

Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 10,279
Hampshire
In most modern autos the things you describe can be driven around to a good degree.

1 Using the paddles to change down. one flip will do one gear. Pull or push and hold will go directly to the lowest gear quickly as they can be 2-3 gears up for the WLTP program map.
2. The accelerator-change down is usually deliberate in the normal engine map for emissions/mpg. Usually the pedal has a button sensor which is triggered when you hit the pedal fully. This forces a message to the engine and gearbox for full power, and maybe a ditch if you are not ready.
3. The default maps are usually lazy and high gear hunting leading to a delay in response from light loads. It also learns your style apparently. So calm to rabid may take a moment to wake it. Just use the sport map all the time and use the throttle more lightly.
4. It takes quite a long time to learn to drive on the paddles so I usually flip the auto stick to the left into sport mode and then push pull this as it feels a lot more natural for me. It is more involving and also tells the car to go to sport mode which avoids the needless ultra high gears.

Sorry to hear about the bad result. Don’t let it put you off. Clearly the team were having a bad time, I would not like their forthcoming insurance renewal. I suspect all test drives will end up accompanied.

As a matter of interest (if you do want to share on a public forum) do you believe that you were giving it a little push when you got the stability light up on the dash or do you think it triggered quite early?


Everyone loves a Morgan. Even me, unless it's broken again.
Re: Another one bites the dust [Re: MOG 615] #667081
14/10/20 08:26 AM
14/10/20 08:26 AM
Joined: Apr 2019
Posts: 895
Lancashire
RobCol Offline
Talk Morgan Regular
RobCol  Offline
Talk Morgan Regular

Joined: Apr 2019
Posts: 895
Lancashire

Hi Andy

You did say it was the manual Plus Four that had been pranged not the Auto didn't you? I have read about the Auto Plus Six being pranged/written off on more than one occasion on test drives but both the KH prangs were in manual cars and one was a Trad.

To have 2 cars crashed in one weekend is terrible. I'm sure in view of these crashes Morgan dealers will be rethinking their test drive policies and insurance excesses.

I wonder if the drivers involved in the crashes were existing Morgan owners or used to not having traction control etc, or whether the Covid related unaccompanied test drives is bringing out the worst in people?


Rob

4/4 Sport Grey

Re: Another one bites the dust [Re: Alistair] #667092
14/10/20 09:14 AM
14/10/20 09:14 AM
Joined: Sep 2014
Posts: 2,203
London
MOG 615 Offline OP
Talk Morgan Expert
MOG 615  Offline OP
Talk Morgan Expert

Joined: Sep 2014
Posts: 2,203
London
Originally Posted by Alistair
In most modern autos the things you describe can be driven around to a good degree.



As a matter of interest (if you do want to share on a public forum) do you believe that you were giving it a little push when you got the stability light up on the dash or do you think it triggered quite early?


Thanks Alistair , I am sure that someone more familiar with modern autoboxes and that ZF 8-speed in particular would have had a better comparison. I was learning as I went along.

I must admit that I am not sure where I triggered the warning light, but I suspect it was on a roundabout , and if so I am sure I was not too far out of shape , so in my view it would be a a very early warning indeed!


Andy G
1999 +8 , Indigo Blue.
Ex-John McKecknie/Mike Duncan 1955 +4 racer.
Re: Another one bites the dust [Re: RobCol] #667093
14/10/20 09:21 AM
14/10/20 09:21 AM
Joined: Sep 2014
Posts: 2,203
London
MOG 615 Offline OP
Talk Morgan Expert
MOG 615  Offline OP
Talk Morgan Expert

Joined: Sep 2014
Posts: 2,203
London
Originally Posted by RobCol

Hi Andy

You did say it was the manual Plus Four that had been pranged not the Auto didn't you? I have read about the Auto Plus Six being pranged/written off on more than one occasion on test drives but both the KH prangs were in manual cars and one was a Trad.

To have 2 cars crashed in one weekend is terrible. I'm sure in view of these crashes Morgan dealers will be rethinking their test drive policies and insurance excesses.

I wonder if the drivers involved in the crashes were existing Morgan owners or used to not having traction control etc, or whether the Covid related unaccompanied test drives is bringing out the worst in people?


Rob

Yes it was the manual new Plus Four that was pranged badly, apparently by a random customer who was swept up in the MMC publicity for a test drive weekend! As you say I wonder if this is really the best way to gather new potential customers. Apparently Dan hopes this one might be repairable, but what view will the insurance company take?

The other prang was a Roadster, and that is feared to be a total write-off. However the driver decided to buy a Roadster from KH, and will tasing delivery of it shortly , so the experience has not put them off.


Andy G
1999 +8 , Indigo Blue.
Ex-John McKecknie/Mike Duncan 1955 +4 racer.
Re: Another one bites the dust [Re: Alistair] #667094
14/10/20 09:25 AM
14/10/20 09:25 AM
Joined: Feb 2016
Posts: 1,882
Buckinghamshire
NickCW Offline
Talk Morgan Enthusiast
NickCW  Offline
Talk Morgan Enthusiast

Joined: Feb 2016
Posts: 1,882
Buckinghamshire
Originally Posted by Alistair
In most modern autos the things you describe can be driven around to a good degree.

1 Using the paddles to change down. one flip will do one gear. Pull or push and hold will go directly to the lowest gear quickly as they can be 2-3 gears up for the WLTP program map.
2. The accelerator-change down is usually deliberate in the normal engine map for emissions/mpg. Usually the pedal has a button sensor which is triggered when you hit the pedal fully. This forces a message to the engine and gearbox for full power, and maybe a ditch if you are not ready.
3. The default maps are usually lazy and high gear hunting leading to a delay in response from light loads. It also learns your style apparently. So calm to rabid may take a moment to wake it. Just use the sport map all the time and use the throttle more lightly.
4. It takes quite a long time to learn to drive on the paddles so I usually flip the auto stick to the left into sport mode and then push pull this as it feels a lot more natural for me. It is more involving and also tells the car to go to sport mode which avoids the needless ultra high gears.

Sorry to hear about the bad result. Don’t let it put you off. Clearly the team were having a bad time, I would not like their forthcoming insurance renewal. I suspect all test drives will end up accompanied.

As a matter of interest (if you do want to share on a public forum) do you believe that you were giving it a little push when you got the stability light up on the dash or do you think it triggered quite early?


Would have to agree with Alistair, I own a few BMW's which probably helps with familiarity to the system and workings of the auto box.
I test drove the Auto Plus-4 at KH and found it very impressive, nothing disconcerning with its behaviour and the box worked well in my experience, but that is most likely due to my experience with that BMW setup and my driving having already adapted to its workings and behaviour automatically, such as knowing when to nudge it into different modes, how to modulate the throttle to alter the shift behaviour and so on.


Aero 8 S1

"What we do in life.. echoes in eternity."
Re: Another one bites the dust [Re: MOG 615] #667183
14/10/20 06:05 PM
14/10/20 06:05 PM
Joined: Dec 2014
Posts: 216
South Germany
beltempo Offline
L - Learner Plates On
beltempo  Offline
L - Learner Plates On

Joined: Dec 2014
Posts: 216
South Germany
Andy,

was that Icon possibly "OS" inside a cogged wheel ? I had that indicated a few times now and the handbook gives no understandable description of the icon. It is called "Overseer fault". Your explanation sounds reasonable to me. There is no "CS" that I'm aware of.

Regards,
Markus


Ex-Roadster 3.7, now P6
Re: Another one bites the dust [Re: MOG 615] #667281
15/10/20 12:33 PM
15/10/20 12:33 PM
Joined: May 2010
Posts: 8,669
Llanelli
sospan Offline
Needs to Get Out More!
sospan  Offline
Needs to Get Out More!

Joined: May 2010
Posts: 8,669
Llanelli
Interesting comments. I have tended to think a manual would be better than an auto. The last auto I drove was a Volvo a few years ago.
Alistair’s experiences are excellent. Whatever car you get into you have a learning curve for how it responds and feels.
When I changed from a 4/4 to my Plus8 there was a learning curve there! Initially lighter footed and tending to stay in higher gears due to plenty of torque. Almost like an auto but without gear changes.
Familiarity with how the auto box behaves is a must, especially with modern auto boxes. A Morgan is lighter than a BMW so the power surge would be greater. I do like the paddle alternative though. Sounds like a good option to mute any surge effect.
Food for thought.
Test drive......how does the car feel for comfort compared to a trad.? How does the car feel and respond to right foot movement? An accompanied test with someone who knows the auto and how it reacts is a must. Maybe they could put together a series of steps to go through to help the learning? Rev limit initially then when happy go to higher revs with auto option/paddle demo?


Red Plus8
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