Morgan’s new Plus Four CX-T, a model built for overland adventure

Morgan Plus Four CX-T. Photo: courtesy Morgan.

The Morgan car manufacturer has unveiled its Plus Four CX-T, a model that is inspired by Morgan’s well documented history of competing in all-terrain endurance trials.

Following the launch of the Plus Four in 2020, Morgan partnered with Rally Raid UK, renowned creator of Dakar race cars, to jointly design and engineer the Plus Four CX-T. One of the aims of the project is to demonstrate the capability and durability of Morgan’s new CX-Generation platform, along with the Plus Four upon which the CX-T is based.

Just eight vehicles will be built, priced at £170,000 (approximately CAD$295,000) plus local taxes and supplied in full overland specification, with each customer having the opportunity to work alongside Morgan’s design team to specify their own CX-T.

Technical details

Most prominently, the rear panel of the vehicle has been replaced with an equipment rack, with unique side body panels designed to be reminiscent of the classic four-seater Morgan.

The rack houses two ruggedized and waterproof Pelican luggage cases, a Zarges aluminium tool/storage box, two Rotopax 11-litre containers and two spare wheel/tire assemblies. Additionally, for those who venture further off the beaten track, recovery equipment is mounted on the exterior of the car within easy reach when required. All exterior mounting systems for all storage and equipment have been engineered to be tough and easy to access when needed.

The external protective exoskeleton can also be adapted to carry leisure equipment such as bikes and surf boards, to compliment the lifestyle activities of the owner, while the removable side screens can be mounted onto the roof of the vehicle, allowing them to be carried unobtrusively in case of a change in weather conditions.

The suspension has been designed to be expedition ready: tough and fit for purpose. Durability, and a drive-over obstacle clearance of 230mm, has been achieved using modified Plus Six wishbones. These widen the track and allow for the extra arc of movement required to achieve the desired suspension performance. The wheel arch apertures have also been modified, allowing the suspension to compress deep into the wheel well, providing maximum traction and stability.

EXE-TC coilover assemblies with internal bump stops are used, these have been developed by EXE-TC specifically for the vehicle. These assemblies are born from off-road competition and are calibrated to provide the ideal balance of compliance and durability.

In addition to the main suspension hardware, the lower suspension arms contain bespoke bushes to further increase durability.

A five-piece underbody protection system—comprising an engine guard, rear chassis guard, mid-section shield and rear undertray—helps to protect the chassis and important components from damage when driving in extreme conditions. A full bespoke exhaust system with rear side-exit is designed to improve the departure angle and contributes to 230mm of ground clearance.

The Plus Four CX-T uses a BMW X-Drive electronic differential with bespoke software, calibrated and tested specifically for the application. Switches inside the cabin allow a choice of three modes to be selected depending upon the driving conditions; each mode varies the degree of differential lock that is applied. ‘Road’ mode fully opens the differential, while ‘All-Terrain’ mode applies approximately 45 per cent lock to the rear differential, allowing some variation torque distribution between the rear wheels. ‘All-Terrain – Extreme’ mode fully locks the rear differential, providing equal torque to both rear wheels. The two All-Terrain modes are designed to be used when tackling rough surfaces and low-traction conditions. The final drive ratio has also been shortened to account for the larger diameter tires and suit all-terrain usage.

Inside the cabin, features have been added to improve occupant comfort and usability in remote environments. A RAM mount track is built into to the dashboard to allow the secure fixing of a variety of devices such as phones or cameras. A flexible map light, pencil and notebook holder have also been integrated, all designed to withstand operation in harsh driving environments.

Cabin stowage has also been optimized with the addition of a removable map/document holder and insulated cool bag, both located in the passenger footwell. A custom-made first aid kit is mounted to the internal roll cage behind the seats. The cabin is enclosed within a composite hard top and has been engineered to fit between the internal and external roll cages.

The Morgan Plus Four CX-T is the second of two special projects being produced by Morgan in 2021, with the first being the Plus 8 GTR.

All Plus Four CX-T vehicles are due to be built before the end of 2021.