Brutally fast and classically styled, with production strictly limited to 100 examples, the radical Aeromax Coupe honors the past yet perfectly ushers Morgan into its second century.
Under the leadership of Peter Morgan, the Aero 8 replaced the long-running Plus 8 and debuted at the 2000 Geneva Salon, where it stunned all onlookers. With an aluminum Chris Lawrence-designed chassis, high-performance underpinnings and BMW V-8 power, the Aero 8 required only 4.2 seconds to accelerate from rest to 62 mph, en route to a top speed of 170 mph. The Aero 8 was one of the most successful Morgans ever, with some 1,000 built before production ended in 2008.
If the Aero 8 roadster shocked the Morgan purists, the following Aeromax Coupe was a knockout punch. Prince Eric Sturdza, president of Banque Barings Brothers Suisse, spearheaded development. The resulting one-off coupe was based on the Aero 8, blending traditional Morgan design cues and teardrop styling with 1963 Corvette Sting Ray and Bugatti Type 57 Atlantic influences. Styling was by Matt Humphries, then a design student at the University of Coventry. Introduced at Geneva in 2005, Sturdza’s coupe generated rave reviews.
The production version, dubbed Aeromax, was priced from $165,000. The entire planned production run of 100 cars sold out within just a couple of months, with buyers waiting three years for delivery.
Like its Aero 8 predecessor, the Aeromax features a high-performance chassis and front-mounted BMW V-8 power. The 4.8-liter V-8 cranks out 369 bhp, and transmission choices include a six-speed ZF automatic or a six-speed manual unit. Power is handled by a Hydrotrac limited-slip rear differential, supplemented by a DTC stability system. The Aeromax provides impressive braking and handling to match, with ventilated AP Racing disc brakes at all four corners and a fully independent suspension. Electro-hydraulic steering provides driver control. A raucous dual side-exit exhaust system, thin-spoke alloy wheels and low-profile performance tires add to the sensory overload that defines the Aeromax. Acceleration and top-speed potential of the Aeromax closely matches that of the Aero 8.
This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in January of 2011 at the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa, Phoenix, Arizona.
69 bhp, 4.8-liter DOHC 32-valve BMW V-8 engine with electronic fuel injection, six-speed ZF automatic gearbox, four-wheel independent suspension with coil springs, equal-length wishbones and Bilstein adjustable shock absorbers, and four-wheel AP Racing ventilated hydraulic disc brakes. Wheelbase: 100"
Source: RM Auctions
Photo Credit: Copyright Hugh Hamilton