Ever constricting safety and emission regulations, along with shortages of vital components, ultimately hastened the demise of the Plus 8. Its replacement was greeted with jaw-slackened wonderment at the 2001 Geneva Motor Show.
The brainchild of third-generation company principal Charles Morgan, the new Aero 8 was unlike anything else in the marque’s back catalogue. With its Chris Lawrence-developed aluminium chassis, trick suspension and Superformed aluminium body panels, it marked a radical departure from the firm’s nostalgia-tinged fare.
The styling, for want of a better word, was the work of Charles Morgan – replaced as managing director in 2013 – himself. Jaguar XJ220 stylist Keith Helfet had submitted a bid but his prettier design wasn’t adopted.
Though criticised initially for its unconventional looks, road testers were united in their praise for the Aero 8’s performance and handling plus the refinement of its BMW-sourced V8. Under the styling direction of Matt Humphries, the Aero 8 spawned the much happier-looking Aeromax and SuperSports models.