Fantastic day at Goodwood yesterday! Huge thanks to Brands Hatch Morgans for a superbly organised day.
Don't know how many cars there exactly but must have been more than 100 Morgans, and at least 5 Aeros. Couple of S1s, both in lovely condition and going round the track fast, my S3 (only did the parade laps but managed to sneak up to 120mph on the back straight), a lovely Supersports etc. Plus 2 BHM Aeros - a GTN and a modifed S1 doing demo laps. Very impressive.
I drove both the new Aero Coupe (Auto), and the new Plus 8 (Auto). Aero Coupe on the twin side exhausts, and the Plus 8 on rear exits. (And the M3W). Both are still Aeros at heart, but with differences and both have great integrity in their own differing ways.
The Aero Coupe rumbled beautifully all the time, felt tight and together, rode well on all but the biggest bumps, and had an air of sophistication. A great GT, with sports car overtones. Good boot too, of course. Very quick and easy to drive. Steering seemed slightly lower geared than my Aero S3, is heavier but probably more consistent and less 'stiction' on turning the wheel. I really liked it, but think I'd miss not being able to take the roof off, even though with windows down it felt nicely open. Looks really good and well proportioned. A great derivative and excellent alternative to some Astons, Porsches and Ferraris etc. for those with taste and a sense of adventure.
Plus 8 is airey and spacious (feels a bit wider than an Aero S2/3/4 inside and with the cutaway doors and different screen it does feel much more like a trad. Looks really good in the metal, wider, but otherwise easily mistaken for an older Plus 8 by other than Morgan experts. Rear end looks more aggressive with slightly different light treatment that suits the extra width well. The bonnet looks a bit shorter from some angles than on the old Plus 8, but overall it works well. With the rear pipes it woofles more than rumbles but totally suits the character and looks and I would think very carefully before going for the sidepipes on this car. It's still an aggressive sounding exhaust and as a side-pipe man I really liked it. Same steering comments as the Coupe, and again the car felt good and tight, and drives pretty much like an Aero which is obviously what you'd expect, and a good thing to boot! For me, it would be better with the manual box, but there's no doubting the Auto box works well and it does make the car easier to drive (but that's why I like the manual box!!)
Had fun in the M3W too, and drove the same roads round Goodwood as in the Aero/Plus 8. Noisy, frenetic and a bit bouncy after the others, and fast but gears much shorter, and in a drag race an Aero is substantially faster. I would guess about 6 secs or so to 60 and by 70mph you need to be brave on bouncy country lanes. Definitely not an alternative to an Aero unless you only drive very rarely for short blasts. (And that's just what I want to do when I get my M3W later this year.)
Excellent standard of driving, great to see trads being pushed, lovely differing engine sounds, a real 'bonhomie' of a day. BHM well done!