Fifty-eight years after Morgan rode off into the sunset with what was then their last three-wheeler, the iconic model is going to be brought back from the ashes to celebrate Morgan’s 100th birthday.
The news was first brought to our attention after Jill Price, the sister of Mogan managing director Charles Morgan, confirmed to the Morgan Three Wheeler Club that the company is currently developing the new three-wheeler.
Understandably so, a lot of us never got a chance to see an old-school Morgan three-wheeler in action because the company decided to stop production of the iconic vehicle back in 1953. But for those who got a taste of what it feels like to drive around the block with one of these bad boys, news of the car’s impending return is being met by gleeful excitement.
It’s no stretch to think that the three-wheeler’s return could open doors for Morgan to a new market of enthusiasts, those that will experience the thrill of a Morgan Three-Wheeler for the first time in their lives.
UPDATE 06/25/11: Who said that three-wheelers can’t do burnouts? Even if they can technically smoke only one tire, it doesn’t mean that smoke’s not coming out of it. And as proof, Morgan released this cool video of the new Three-Wheeler smoking its tires like the best of ’em! Check it out!
UPDATE 06/28/11: The new Morgan Three-Wheeler is powered by a fuel-injected, 115-horsepower V-Twin engine mated to a Mazda five-speed gearbox and is being built on the same platform as the upcoming EvaGT set to be launched in 2013. The company is now accepting orders for their new model and 480 buyers have already showed interest. The car is priced at £25,000 or about $40,000 at the current exchange rates.
UPDATE 07/19/11: Jay Leno has earned himself the right to test out some of the world’s most unique vehicles, having established a reputation as one of the foremost automotive collectors this side of the galaxy. So when he was given the keys to the new Morgan Three-Wheeler, it didn’t surprise us that he had a ball with it. Check out the video after the jump to hear Leno’s thoughts on the reborn classic three-wheelie.
Details and Press Release after the jump
Exterior and Interior
The exterior will feature an extremely sturdy, tough, and lightweight – the overall weight is less than 500 kg - tubular frame and two rollover bars will surround the vehicle’s two-seater compartment. There will also be an aerodynamic super formed ’bullet’ hull that will add more safety and protection to occupants from the weather.
The interior will have a black or tan leather-padded plane-style cockpit that gives off the feeling that the driver is flying one of those old "tora-tora" planes of the past. The whole aircraft feel continues with aluminum plane-style toggle switches, leather steering wheel, and black anodized dash panel.
Prospective customers will also have the option of picking the exterior color of their three-wheeler, which will then be complemented by gloss black wheel arches, wire wheels, and lamps, as well as a matte black exhaust plus gloss heat shield.
Morgan has announced that the first release of the vehicle will be of the standard model with a bespoke version set to follow shortly thereafter.
You won’t mistake the Three-Wheeler for a supercar, there’s no question about that. That’s not the company’s meal ticket. What they offer is a chance for the new market to experience the wind-blowing enjoyment of racing in an old-school three-wheeler with modern specs, including a Screaming Eagle 1,800cc Harley-Davidson engine that’s mated to a five-speed manual transmission, which is the same one found on a Mazda5. That power contributes in producing 100 horsepower at the vehicle’s lone rear wheel while hitting 0-60 mph in just 4.5 seconds and boasting of an estimated top speed of 115 mph.
Despite the surprising amount of speed, the three-wheeler, at least those old versions, was also known for being fuel-efficient – thanks in large part to its lightweight, low rolling resistance, and small engine – while boasting of lasting 50 miles per gallon.
Morgan has yet to announce pricing for the new three-wheeler, although there are rumors that the vehicle will come with a price tag of £46,000.
Despite the fact that it would look extremely cool if the car was made for mass production, the Morgan Three Wheeler caters to a specific market, meaning that it’s going to be a collector’s car. Competitors for these type of cars come few and far between.
Jay Leno Drives the Morgan Three-Wheeler
The Morgan Threewheeler
The success of the Morgan Motor Company was founded on the manufacture of an icon, the Morgan Threewheeler. This brilliant but simple design by engineer Harry Morgan (HFS) became one of the most successful lightweight cars of the early days of motoring. From 1909 to 1953 around 30,000 Morgan Threewheelers were manufactured in Malvern and
many more were made under license by Darmont Morgan in France. For many lucky owners it was their first experience of the freedom that car ownership could bring. Fast acceleration combined with a cruising range of over 50 miles to a gallon of petrol was an unbeatable combination in the day. On the race track the car became very successful, famously winning the French Grand Prix in 1913 and regularly lapping the banked Brooklands track at an average speed of over 100 mph. Stirling Moss who owned one is on record as saying "My Morgan was a great babe magnet".
Whilst the world is a very different place in 2011 the time is right to relaunch this exceptional design. Young people may not have experienced the same thrill as the early Threewheeler pilots and perhaps cult status is assured for a car with such an emphasis on simple honest functionality. The future of road transport in the 21st Century has two big issues, the conservation of precious resources and the protection of our beautiful natural environment. Downsizing and a philosophy of simplicity are ways of dealing with these problems.The Morgan Threewheeler is a proven answer to these problems. In 2011 the Morgan Motor Company is to expand its range and go back to its roots.
The 2011 Morgan Threewheeler is a fusion of modern technology into a classic design. By fitting the latest "Screaming Eagle" 1800 cc engine from Harley Davidson and a Mazda 5 speed gearbox the car provides ’get in and drive’ simplicity and reliability. A sturdy tubular frame and two rollover bars surround the passenger compartment. An aerodynamic super formed ’bullet’ hull protects the occupants from the weather. However the feeling of freedom and contact with the road through the front wheels will bring to mind the joy of driving cars from the 20’s and 30’s but with none of their fragility or temperament. A leather padded aircraft style cockpit indulges the feeling of ’flying through the air’. Refining the original design has produced a unique 21st century vehicle. A sub 500kgs overall weight and a slippery hull provides the ultimate in performance and fuel economy. The Morgan Three wheeler has unrivalled power to weight for its on the road price.
The specification ensures the driver and passenger have exactly what they need whilst encapsulating the original Morgan Threewheeler’s DNA. The attractive themes apparent in the successful Sport range of traditional Morgans forms the basis of the specification of the cars. Eight Sport colours with black detailing and a choice of black or tan leather are offered.