There are two simple ways for attracting a lot of attention while you are behind the steering wheel. The first one is driving a superfast sports car, while the other is to hop inside of a classic car. But, if you want a little bit of both, you can always order a Morgan.

Morgan has decided to reenter in the automotive industry relatively recent. Though, unlike other contemporary manufacturers who are constantly searching for futuristic shapes and modern design languages, Morgan took the opposite way and brought back among us the legendary design of classic cars. This strategy was pretty smart, as it helped Morgan to catch the interest of the automotive world in an instant.

One of the most appreciated models in Morgan’s lineup is the Plus 8, a classic looking roadster which is packed with a strong V8 engine. As Morgan was always interested to combine the classy look of its cars with the latest technologies, it shouldn’t surprise us the arrival of an electric version for the Plus 8 model, named the Plus E.

Design and interior

2012 Morgan Plus E High Resolution Exterior
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The Plus E concept shares the same exterior style with the Plus 8 model which was designed by Maurice Owen. Though, the design wasn’t a totally new creation as it’s basically a modified version of the iconic Morgan Plus 4.

Like the Plus 8 model, the Plus E concept features hand bitten aluminium bodywork that continues to keep Morgan’s design tradition alive. Every aluminium body panel received maximum attention fro Morgan’s designers being nicely integrated into the overall design. In a classical automotive style, the Plus E exterior design is represented by a series of curvy lines that flow smoothly above the wheels toward the back of the car. Moreover, the front grille gels great with the curvy wheel arches too and we also like the circular headlights that seem to pop out from the body work.

The Plus E is one of the biggest Morgans to date, as it measures 4010 mm long and 1741 mm wide. Despite its relatively big exterior dimensions, the soft top roadster sits pretty low to the ground which gives it a plus of aggressivity. The aggressive look is also enhanced by the big 16 inch rims.

The same classic theme is carried over inside, but don’t expect to a high class cockpit as you are met by a rather rudimentary environment. Though, Morgan tried to make it more appealing by wrapping everything it could in finely stitched leather. On the other hand, the poor fit and finish spoils all the fun and the cabin won’t win you any awards for refinement.

Once you’ll seat behind the steering wheel you are met by a basic dashboard which is fitted with a series of classic, circular gauges that keeps you posted on vital vehicle stats. The dash is also fitted with a few chunky buttons that control various functions of the car. Unfortunately there isn’t any button that can control the fabric roof, so if the rain starts, you’ll have to secure the fastenings on your own, which is far from being an easy task.

Engines and performance

2012 Morgan Plus E High Resolution Exterior
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The electric car was designed with the help of Zytek which provided all the electric components, including the electric motor.

Zyteck’s motor delivers a maximum output of 94 hp and 300 Nm of torque which is available at zero rpm. Though, unlike other electric cars, the Morgan Plus E comes with a five speed manual gearbox. The clutch was also retained, but because the motor provides torque from zero speed, you can choose to leave it engaged when coming to rest and pulling away, driving the car like a conventional automatic.

Zyteck’s managing director Neil Heslington declared, "A multi-speed transmission allows the motor to spend more time operating in its sweet spot, where it uses energy more efficiently, particularly at high road speeds. It also allows us to provide lower gearing for rapid acceleration and will make the car more engaging for keen drivers."

Morgan will develop two concept vehicles as part of its electric project. The firs will feature Li-ion batteries and a five speed gearbox, while the second will be closer to potential production specification, with alternative battery technologies and possibly a sequential gearbox.

On road, we can expect to similarly performance with the standard Morgan Plus 8 which features a solid chassis that rewards you with sporty performances and a pretty sharp handling. The sporty road manners will be also assured by the relatively low weight of the car and the rear wheel drive system.

Morgan Plus E Specifications

Engine 70kW Zytek E Driv
Gearbox Mazda 5 speed
Max Power 70kw (94bhp)
Max Torque 380Nm (280lb/ft)
Performance 0 – 62 mph 6.0 seconds
Top Speed 115 mph (185 kph)
Power to weight 128 bhp / tonne
Co2 0.0g / km
Dry weight 1,250 kg

Verdict

2012 Morgan Plus E Exterior
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Morgan said that if there is enough interest for its new electric vehicle it will launch it into production. If the Plus E will be launched on the market, the club of exclusive electric cars will gain a pretty exotic member which blends the classy design with one of the latest technologies available in the automotive industry.

Though, if you’ll want to drive a classic electric car on a modern road you’ll have to do a lot of compromises especially in the ergonomy and practicality departments. Not to mention about the pretty poor build quality.

There has been no official price released yet, but don’t expect to be cheap, as a standard Morgan Plus 8 is priced somewhere around $100.000.

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