Sick of Electric Cars? Morgan Green-lights Production of One You Might Not Hate
To some, the only thing that beats electric vehicles for soullessness is those pesky autonomous vehicle people who can’t drive adore so much. Morgan, the quirky British automaker best known for giving wood construction and wire-spoke wheels an automotive toehold in the 21st century, doesn’t do soulless.
Surely the company’s EV3, now confirmed for production next year, warrants a look. This isn’t your average Leaf, Bolt, or Model S.
Morgan first unveiled the EV3 in the spring of 2016. Since the debut of that prototype, Morgan found a technology partner in Frazer-Nash Energy Systems, allowing the storied automaker to deliver performance specs above and beyond its early estimates. With everything now in place, this fully electric version of the company’s gas-powered 3-Wheeler model is a go for third-quarter 2018 production.
From the outside, the design appears little different from the earlier prototype, harkening back to the company’s Super Sports offerings from the 1920s and 30s (though minus the external V-twin engine). Morgan assures us there’s plenty of changes afoot. New architecture and a stiffer tubular chassis hide a 21 kWh battery pack slung below the floor. Power comes by way of a liquid-cooled 34.8 kW electric motor driving a single rear wheel, just as those early British tax dodgers intended.
Thanks to Frazer-Nash, itself a former automotive nameplate, the Morgan EV3 is fast-charge capable, with a top speed of 115 miles per hour and a range of 120 miles. It should make the sprint to 60 mph in six seconds.
The company promises the EV3’s select buyers a “hands-on, exhilarating driving experience that has not previously been associated with electric vehicles.”
Despite its decidedly retro (archaic? Antiquated? Steampunk?) exterior, Morgan claims the EV3 is the first car in its history to use composite panels. Don’t worry, it’s still built by hand in the automaker’s Pickersleigh Road, UK, factory. Meaning, of course, very limited volume. This is the type of vehicle purchase that requires an order form, which buyers, including those in the U.S., can find on the company’s website.
Never mind Tesla’s promise of a new Roadster (arriving eventually, but pony up that quarter mil first). Exposed wheels, suspension, and linkages, wire spokes, a single seat, no roof or pillars, and not much car between you and the road makes this futuristic throwback the true driver’s machine. Even if it is electric.
Pricing has not yet been announced.
[Images: Morgan Cars USA]
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