It’s been 57 years since Morgan Motor Company last built its iconic Threewheeler. Now the Malvern-based company is bringing it back.
These days Morgan is known for its classically styled four-wheeled roadsters. But plans are afoot to reintroduce a three-wheeled vehicle in 2011, modelled after the original that founded the company.
Morgan Threewheeler – an eco alternative?
The thinking is simple – with its compact size, low-weight and aerodynamic design, Morgan feels a resurrected Threewheeler represents an eco-friendly alternative choice for those looking for a sporting drive.
The new version will retain the classic Morgan Threewheeler name, but has been thoroughly updated. Power will come from a 1.8-litre ‘Screaming Eagle’ Harley Davidson motorcycle engine, hooked up to a five-speed Mazda gearbox and driving the single rear wheel.
The bodywork will be formed of aluminium, and the whole thing is expected to weigh just 500kg. With an estimated 100bhp, this should mean 0-60mph in around 4.5 seconds and a top speed of 115mph.
Motorbike or car?
There won’t be much in the way of occupant protection – just a tubular chassis, twin flyscreens and a pair of rollover hoops.
But the Threewheeler will technically count as a motorbike by law, meaning that, like the original, you won’t need a car licence to drive one. Certainly, the safety levels are no worse than your average superbike.
The interior is finished with leather upholstery for the seats, dashboard and sidepads, with black anodized aluminium, aircraft-style toggle switches and a ‘bomb-release’ starter button all adding to its retro charm. The classic wire wheels are the finishing touch.
On sale 2011 – but at what price?
When it goes on sale in 2011, the Morgan Threewheeler will offer a driving experience more akin to something from the 1920s or 1930s – the original was actually built from 1909 to 1953 – combined with the reliability of modern drivetrain components.
It’s an intriguing proposition. But Morgan hasn’t yet said how much it will cost. We suspect the answer is ‘quite a lot’, although the company is claiming ‘unrivalled powered to weight for its on the road price.’
It’s also not alone, both Grinnall and Triking currently build three-wheelers following the same basic layout, while the alternative Can-Am Spyder may tempt the more adventurous.