Morgan And Pininfarina – Midsummer

Picture of By Rob Harvey
By Rob Harvey

Marketing Manager

Morgan Motor Company and Pininfarina S.p.A. have joined forces to create Midsummer, an incredible tribute to the golden age of European barchetta designs. This exclusive model, limited to just 50 units, combines the shared vision and craftsmanship of these two legendary coachbuilders.

The Genesis of Midsummer

Midsummer represents a unique collaboration between Morgan and Pininfarina, aimed at creating limited-run specials based on Morgan’s CX-Generation Bonded Aluminium Platform. This partnership was born from a chance conversation between colleagues from both companies, who quickly realised their shared passion for unique sports cars. The result is a vehicle that not only honours the rich heritage of both brands but also previews the future of Morgan’s design language infused with Pininfarina’s flair.

A Showcase of Craftsmanship

Every element of Midsummer is hand-formed, demonstrating the flexibility and artistry inherent in Morgan’s design philosophy. The car features a six-cylinder turbocharged engine paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission, all built on Morgan’s latest aluminium platform. The Barchetta design emphasises exposure to the elements, ensuring a raw and immersive driving experience.

Eccentric Elegance

Midsummer’s design is a blend of eccentric elegance and modern functionality. The rear three-quarter view highlights its delicate proportions and new surfacing, reminiscent of iconic Pininfarina designs from the late 1930s and early 1940s. The introduction of a shoulder line and exposed wooden structures adds a distinctive touch to Morgan’s recognisable silhouette.

The side profile reveals subtle aerodynamic optimisations, informed by Pininfarina’s expertise, which enhance performance while maintaining aesthetic appeal. The lightweight 19-inch forged wheels, exclusive to Midsummer, weigh just 10 kilograms and feature a more period-appropriate tyre profile, furthering the car’s unique character.

Massimo Fumarola, Chief Executive Officer of Morgan Motor Company, said: “We are incredibly proud to present Midsummer, a limited-run special project that celebrates two centuries of coachbuilding and represents the embodiment of Morgan’s core values and the pinnacle of craft skills of its talented workforce.

“Midsummer is dedicated to enthusiastic individuals who will enjoy an unconventional, sensory, and analogue driving experience. By identifying and re-interpreting Morgan’s admired ideals, Midsummer turns our legacy into a charming, sophisticated, and timeless aesthetic.

“The success of Midsummer demonstrates what is possible through collaboration with like-minded individuals, and it has been both memorable and rewarding to work with Pininfarina to help bring this special project to life. Pininfarina, underpinned by an incredible legacy of coachbuilding and design, has introduced the latest design and visualisation expertise, as well as fresh ideas at a time when Morgan is on its own exciting journey.

“It has been a pleasure to welcome new and existing customers to see Midsummer ahead of the public reveal, and we have been overwhelmed by the positive reception achieved so far. This unique example of coachbuilding, which exists between art and design, goes to the heart of what Morgan does best. With two traditions, two cultures, and two hundred years of experience united by a deeply held belief in the principles of craftsmanship, that heart beats stronger than ever.”

Giuseppe Bonollo, SVP Sales & Marketing, Pininfarina, said: “Alongside Morgan, we take great pride in spearheading the Coachbuilding movement. This remarkable collaboration blends Morgan’s 115-year coachbuilding philosophy with Pininfarina’s nearly 95-year tradition of designing and crafting bespoke vehicles. The already unique legacy of the two car makers, once combined, produces an unparalleled result in our industry. Through the seamless synergy between our teams and the shared passion of both brands, a new masterpiece emerges, blending British heritage with the timeless Pininfarina design. The forthcoming Midsummer, adorned with the ‘Pininfarina Fuoriserie’ badge, an absolute first for a production car, is destined to attain cult status.”

From the front, Morgan’s new signature headlight units and horseshoe grille with a half-moon shape improve airflow and cooling. The stainless-steel lower sills and new rear lights integrated within half-chamfered light pods reflect early Pininfarina designs.

Inside, the cockpit features handmade analogue dials finished in off-white, a re-sculpted steering wheel with a solid forged aluminium centre, and an enhanced Sennheiser audio system. These all combine to provide a luxurious yet functional driving environment.

Driving Dynamics

Midsummer delivers the visceral driving experience that Morgan is known for. Its barchetta style ensures a close connection to the surroundings, with a target dry weight of just 1,000 kg enhancing agility. Adjustable Nitron dampers, specifically tuned for Midsummer, further refine its dynamic capabilities.

Jonathan Wells, Chief Design Officer, Morgan Motor Company, said: “Midsummer demonstrates the flexibility of the Morgan silhouette, presenting a vehicle that is striking in its appearance and unmistakably a Morgan. A celebration of coachbuilding that combines the expertise, story and creativity of both Morgan and Pininfarina in delivering a seamless balance of tradition and progression.

“Morgan proudly practices the art of coachbuilding; uniting art, engineering, and craft to deliver story-rich experiences in everything we do. Midsummer has allowed us to celebrate these values through collaboration with another likeminded creator. Following a series of enjoyable conversations, visits to one another’s studios, and during time spent driving Morgan cars around the Malvern Hills together, the Pininfarina team and our own designers quickly began drafting initial concepts.

“It was energising to witness the way in which our creative teams worked together. Collaboration throughout all stages of the development was complemented initially by Pininfarina’s incredible immersive digital design technology and later by Morgan’s inherent understanding of coach-building lightweight sports cars.  This extended design resource, healthy creative collaboration and seamless digital-to-physical evaluation enabled us to go from ‘conversation to concept’ in less than one year.

“Midsummer – whilst also being Morgan’s first exterior-form collaboration – represents a significant milestone in our product design history. Our product portfolio offers an intriguing diversity; from the elegance of Plus Four and Six to the adventurous Super 3 and CX-T. As we look towards broader visual experimentation across our model range – it has been an enriching experience to collaborate with Pininfarina, who’s teams have challenged our thinking and introduced new ideas in line with our design journey.”

“I am most pleased with the rear three-quarter proportions and how the car sits thanks to obsessive attention-to-detail to refine the wheel-to-body relationship. The introduction of the elegant dropping shoulder line is accentuated by an eccentric swept tail, fuller bodied aesthetic is complemented by intelligent surfacing detail, and carefully defined creases control highlights as they move across the gently crowned surfaces. Midsummer establishes design foundations to build upon for future Morgan models.”

Felix Kilbertus, Chief Creative Officer, Pininfarina, said: “The design of the Midsummer is the product of an immersive journey between two brands, building on the essence of Morgan’s DNA, encompassing its centenary heritage, company culture and a remarkable community of passionate devotees. This endeavour was also a rare and unique opportunity to investigate our own past with the fresh eyes of a new generation of designers, and to rediscover our company’s very origins in coachbuilding. While Pininfarina’s spirit of constantly looking forward is most manifest in the aerodynamic solutions directing airflow over the cabin or in the functional ventilation elements, the innate sculptural sensitivity of the Italian tradition shapes the low and essential silhouette, producing a beautifully surfaced and sensationally proportioned roadster, celebrating the ideal of light-hearted motoring.

“Complementing and learning from each other, the two teams engaged collaboratively across all stages, from an inspirational “what if..?” in an English ‘Pub’ to colour and material discussions over Italian coffee – and many more encounters in between. Refining all aspects of design, a fully digital development phase based on Pininfarina’s extensive expertise in VR/AR modelling and visualisation blended seamlessly with the art and craft of truly hand-built automobiles.” 

Visible Wood: A Nod to Tradition and Innovation

Midsummer’s barchetta style allows for an innovative use of wood. Inspired by marine applications, sculpted teak structures surround the cabin. Each section is hand-formed from high-quality, durable teak, with hundreds of individual layers laminated together, each no more than 0.6mm thick.

Each Midsummer car features nine individually crafted teak sections, requiring over 30 hours of crafting and utilising 83 square metres of sustainably sourced teak. The dashboard tops alone have 126 layers of teak, while the door tops feature 120 layers!

21st Century Coachbuilding

Midsummer demonstrates Morgan’s blend of traditional craftsmanship and modern technology. The engineering and production of this limited edition, with just 50 units to be made, required creative solutions to overcome design challenges.

The hand-formed aluminium body panels, taking over 250 hours to produce, reflect the complexity involved. Production of these exclusive vehicles is set to begin in the third quarter of 2024 at Morgan’s Pickersleigh Road factory.

Matt Hole, Chief Technical Officer, Morgan Motor Company, said: “Midsummer embodies Morgan’s 21st century coachbuilding philosophy and showcases the talent and capability of our engineering and production teams. To achieve such a striking design has required immense craft skill, blended with industry leading technology, that surpasses that of any previous Morgan.

“Achieving a balance between craft and technology, ensuring both are enhancing the other and not detracting, is what has helped to make Midsummer so special. We have witnessed first-hand during the development process, instances where the skill of the artisan is informing the latest Computer Aided Design software, and vice versa. There is an honesty to this process which we believe is reflected in the finished product.

“Morgan is continuing to elevate the quality, perception, and integrity of its vehicles, Midsummer is a testament to this evolution. I believe this project has raised the bar for Morgan, and in doing so will help to elevate the integrity of all future Morgan models.”

The Inspiration Behind Midsummer

The name Midsummer is a celebration of the season and the perfect weather for enjoying an open-top barchetta. It also references Midsummer Hill in the Malvern Hills, a place permanently linked with Morgan’s history. From these hills, you can view significant locations related to Morgan’s origins, including the birthplace of HFS Morgan and the site where the first Morgan car was invented.

The Pininfarina Fuoriserie Emblem

Midsummer features the Pininfarina Fuoriserie emblem, a mark of its unique status. Positioned just behind the front wheels, this emblem indicates the extremely special nature of Midsummer. Typically, Pininfarina uses the ‘Design by Pininfarina’ emblem, but the ‘Fuoriserie’ brand mark, meaning ‘out of series,’ has been selected for Midsummer, marking its first application to a production car in Pininfarina’s history.

Limited Run and Exclusive Customization

Only 50 Midsummer cars will be produced, all of which have already been sold during exclusive preview sessions. Each customer will work closely with Morgan’s designers to tailor their Midsummer, ensuring every vehicle is a unique reflection of its owner’s vision. Production begins later this year, Morgan’s 115th anniversary year, and will conclude in 2025. The first public showing of Midsummer is anticipated to be at the 2024 Goodwood Festival of Speed in July.

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