They say that imitation is the greatest form of flattery and for Morgan, ever since they stopped producing 3-wheelers in 1952, numerous 3-wheeler manufacturers have taken inspiration from their design and created their own versions in the Morgan style. Perhaps it’s the blend of vintage charm combined with an open topped 3-wheeler and sporty performance that just cannot be captured in modern vehicles that makes Morgan clones so popular.
Morgan themselves have been manufacturing exotic sports cars of the 4-wheeled flavour for many years though they have now announced a new 3-wheeler - the Morgan Super Sports. The new 3-wheeler will be based on the traditional 3-wheeled models but fully updated with the latest technology to offer “get in and drive” simplicity and reliability. This is compared with vintage Morgans that, I am told by their owners, require a few tweaks and checks before you can set off on your journey.
The 2011 Morgan 3-wheeler is derived from the Liberty Ace for which Morgan has purchased the rights. The design however has has been heavily redesigned and re-engineered by Morgan’s engineers to create the new Morgan 3-wheeler. It is to be powered by a “Screaming Eagle” 1800 cc V-twin engine from a Harley Davidson that is attached to a Maxda MX5 five speed gear box. The engine is expected to deliver around 100 bhp with an estimated top speed of 115 mph and a 0 - 60 mph of around 4.5 seconds.
The vehicle has a strong tubular frame and two rollover bars that surround the passenger compartment. An aluminium aerodynamically formed super formed “bullet” hull protects the occupants from the weather whilst the interior has a black anodised dashboard with aircraft-style toggle switches and leather seats with padded side panels.
The vehicle is to be unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2011 and is expected to sell at around £25,000 - £30,000. Morgan plan to produce around 200 vehicles a year at their factory in Malvern (UK) and as of December 2010 already have 200 orders. The first vehicles are expected to be on the road by May 2011.