Morgan has ditched the Harley Davidson-derived V-twin motor that usually powers its delightfully ridiculous 3-Wheeler with an electric motor to create the Morgan EV3.
The space at the front the exposed engine usually occupies is now filled by a 20kWh battery, topped by brass cooling fins and an aerodynamic shroud. Then there’s the single offset headlight, a deliberately idiosyncratic choice. As designer Jonathan Wells told Top Gear: “Morgans have always been synonymous with slightly unusual headlight arrangements, so why not continue that trend!”
The motor itself lives behind the seats, in the place of the gearbox. It serves up a modest 61bhp, but since the EV3 weighs less than half-a-ton, 0-60mph takes a respectable nine seconds with a top speed of 90mph. Sound sluggish? Take a look at the ultra-skimpy body and low-cut cockpit sides: 90mph in this will feel like 900mph in anything else.
That body is made from carbonfibre, but the EV3’s structure remains a traditional ash wood frame. Apart from that piratical visage, it looks exactly like a Morgan 3-Wheeler (admittedly, not a car you could mistake for anything else). Even the exhaust shrouds are still there, now serving as battery cooling.
Options are pretty much limitless and can set the price soaring. Base prices, though, should be quite reasonable for a hand-crafted car with a high-tech drivetrain. Expect a starting point of around £30,000, about the same as the V-twin machine which will remain on sale.
Meanwhile, Morgan is also celebrating the 80th anniversary of the 4/4, the longest-lived model of car in history, with a new special edition. Appropriately enough just 80 will be built featuring a brass grille, bonnet straps, mohair hood with tonneau cover, leather interior door pulls and door tops, leather upholstery, box-weave carpet and the obligatory numbered plaque.
As per usual, a 1.6-litre Ford engine provides propulsion: 108bhp and 97lb/ft of torque. It’s not exactly quick, but with just 795kg to lug around performance is brisk. 0-62mph is done in 8.0secs, with a top speed of 115mph. Brick-like aerodynamics mean it only manages 36.8mpg.
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By Only Motors