Parkers overall rating: 4 out of 5 4.0

The original engine choice in the Morgan Aero 8 was a 4.4-litre V8 that's borrowed from BMW. With 286bhp it offers storming acceleration and a great accompanying sound. If you opt for the side-exit exhaust pipes it's even more immense with a deep roar that's unlike anything else on the road. In 2005 it was uprated to 325bhp which brings the 0-60mph time down from 4.8 seconds to 4.4 seconds.

Despite being a big V8, it feels urgent low down while at higher speeds it's wonderfully intoxicating with great pick-up in any gear and a loud burble from the engine. In February 2009 a new 4.8-litre V8 (also from BMW) replaced the 4.4-litre and with 367bhp it can cover the 0-60mph benchmark in just 4.2 seconds - that's as quick as an Aston Martin DBS.

It may look like an old-fashioned sports car, but the Aero 8 is not intimidating to drive with predictable handling and plenty of grip. The heavy clutch and awkward seating position mean it's tricky to drive in traffic and requires a delicate touch to keep things smooth, but at higher speeds it comes into its own and the short-shifting BMW gearbox allows you to make snappy changes.

There's no traction control on earlier models (it was made standard when the model was revised in 2006) and the Morgan is rear-wheel drive, so you do have to be mindful, especially in the wet. If it does lose traction at the rear, it tends to be predictable and easy to correct, rather than sudden and violent.