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Car and Driver: Electric Shocker: Morgan Shows Production 3-Wheeler EV


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Morgan isn’t like other automakers, but you probably knew that already. This tiny British sports-car maker continues to do many things in much the same way it has throughout its century-plus of existence, regarding timber as an appropriate structural material for use in a car and producing some models that could be sent through a time machine to 1935 without exciting undue comment.


But it’s always had the capacity to surprise as well, with recent examples including some of the gorgeous aluminum-bodied sports cars it has crafted around BMW V-8 engines, and the relaunch of the 3-Wheeler motorized tricycle. Now here’s the biggest shock of all: an EV version of the 3-Wheeler, set to go into full production later this year.


The company released images of a concept version last year, although it refused to let us see what the front might look like. That, we presumed, was because a 3-Wheeler without its V-twin motorbike engine would look utterly ridiculous. On that, we were wrong. The production EV3—which we’re seeing in near-finished form at the Geneva auto show—now wears a battery pack where you’d expect to find its silvery engine, and it’s wrapped in “brass conductive cooling fins” that give it a distinct steampunk vibe. The headlights have been moved lower and joined by a third that sits on one side of the half-empty engine slot; this gives the EV3 the distinct impression that it’s wearing a monocle and about to inquire whether anybody feels like a game of tennis.




It’s a smart little thing, in terms of construction as well as styling, with carbon fiber used for its hood, tonneau cover, and side panels (underneath still sits an ash wood frame). Performance is comparable to the gasoline-fired 3-Wheeler, with a water-cooled 62-hp electric motor driving the rear wheel. It’s fed by a 20-kWh lithium-ion battery. The company says that 0 to 62 mph takes less than nine seconds and that the EV3 has a top speed of “more than 90 mph.” Total weight is quoted as being under 1100 pounds, and the maximum range at 150 miles.


Inside, there’s a new dashboard layout featuring old-fashioned aero-style toggle switches, and—in lieu of a gearshift—a direction switch in the middle of the dashboard that gives the simple choice of forward and reverse. This is flanked by a speedometer and a display that shows how much power the motor is using or regenerating as well as the remaining range.




Morgan is also showing a special edition of its more traditional 4/4 sports car at Geneva, built to celebrate the 80th anniversary of what the company claims is the longest-running production car in the world. Sadly, though, that one won’t be coming to the States, although the EV3 will be sold in the same markets as the conventional 3-Wheeler, including this one.


Morgan recently announced that it has received funding from the British government as part of a £6-million ($8.3-million) consortium project that will help develop new hybrid and EV Morgan models, of which the EV3 is the first. It will go on sale in the fourth quarter of this year and we’ll bring you pricing, additional specification details, and—most important—driving impressions just as soon as we can.






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