Classic, not plastic: Morgan says the time is right for another three-wheeler.
Morgan reveals born-again three-wheeler as classic models return Down Under
11 November 2010
By MARTON PETTENDY
BRITISH classic car-maker Morgan has revealed a modern-day interpretation of the model upon which the company was founded in 1909, the Three Wheeler, which is set to make a global comeback next year.
Provided the final kerb weight figure of the production model meets the local standard for three-wheeled vehicles, the born-again three-wheeler will also become available here, where Morgan Cars Australia this week also announced the recommencement of Classic model production.
As well as recalling the British retro-brand’s original model, Morgan’s modern Three Wheeler is similar in concept to the more contemporary looking, Canadian-built Can-Am Spyder, which became available here in mid-2009 for $26,990 and employs a 990cc Rotax V-twin to shift its 316kg kerb weight.
Billed as a “weekend fun car”, the Morgan Three Wheeler is powered by a circa-75kW 1800cc ‘Screaming Eagle’ V-twin from Harley-Davidson, which is claimed to propel the classically styled trike to 60pmh (97km/h) in an estimated 4.5 seconds and on to a top speed of 115mph (185km/h) via five-speed Mazda manual transmission.
Left: Morgan Three Wheeler. Below: Classic Morgan Aero 8, Morgan Aero SuperSports, Morgan EvaGT.
“The success of the Morgan Motor Company was founded on the manufacture of an icon, the Morgan Three Wheeler,” said Morgan when it announced the intriguing new model last week.
“This brilliant but simple design by engineer Harry Morgan (HFS) became one of the most successful lightweight cars of the early days of motoring.
“Whilst the world is a very different place in 2011 the time is right to relaunch this exceptional design.”
To be available in eight exterior colours and with a padded leather aircraft-style cockpit in either black or tan, the new Three Wheeler is said to reignite the joy of 1920s motoring “without the fragility or temperament”.
It features a superformed aluminium bullet hull, black anodised dashboard with aircraft-style toggle switches, gloss-black wheel-arches and lamps, gloss-black rollover hoops and wire wheels, twin ‘flyscreens’, an exposed tubular black chassis and a ‘bomb-release’ starter button.
GoAuto understands the current Australian design Rule’s maximum weight for three-wheeled vehicles is 450kg and, although another manufacturer has applied to have that limit increased to 570kg, Morgan has so far stated only that its new-generation Three Wheeler will weigh less than 500kg.
Morgan is yet to reveal pricing, but says the first cars will be delivered in the UK in 2011 at a price of around £25,000 ($A40,400) plus VAT. Morgan is also planning a wide range of accessories, including weatherproof clothing and unique luggage.
Meantime, Morgan Cars Australia (MCA) this week announced a revised price list – including savings of around $20,000 due to the healthy Australian dollar – for its Classic model range, which was withdrawn from sale in Australia in 2007 due to ADR technical issues.
The latter have now been solved and Morgan says it has fast-tracked the production of seven cars this year for Australian customers, some of whom paid deposits more than three years ago.
The Ford-powered 2011 Classic Morgan line-up will include the Morgan Roadster Sport (powered by a 165kW 3.0-litre V6 for $132 910), the Morgan Roadster (powered by the same engine for $122 900), the Morgan Plus 4 (powered by a 106kW 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine for $89,910) and the entry-level Morgan 4/4 Sport, powered by an 82kW 1.6-litre inline four for $78,500.
Standard specifications of the two Sport models include a number of “high value” options, such as leather trim and reclining seatbacks, but colour choice and other options are limited.
MCA says the other models continue the Morgan tradition of bespoke options, allowing customers to choose from a range of cosmetic alternatives, including an unlimited range of exterior colours.
The family-owned Morgan Motor Company will produce a record number of cars in its 101st year, with around 800 vehicles set to leave the factory at Malvern Link in rural Worcestershire, England in 2010. The first four-wheeled Morgan was designed in 1935 and the 4/4 model entered production in 1936, leading Morgan to claim the 4/4 badge is the most enduring model nameplate in the world.
The Morgan Aero SuperSports continues as the flagship of the Morgan range in Australia, priced at $375 000. Only 175 examples of the limited-edition car - powered by a 4.8-litre BMW V8 - will be produced, with four cars to be delivered here this year. Morgan has sold three examples of the Aero 8 in Australia this year.
Production will then shift to Morgan’s recently announced four-seater EvaGT coupe, which is expected to open up an entirely new customer base for the company after it enters production in mid-2012, powered by BMW’s 3.0-litre twin-scroll turbocharged six-cylinder engine.
MCA has also taken five orders for the Morgan SuperSport Junior pedal car, of which 500 will be made. The two-metre-long pedal car, designed for children up to about 13 years of age, costs $7260.
Morgan EvaGT Press Release, June 11, 2010
At a time of global conservation with a drive towards improved fuel economy the Morgan Motor Company introduces a new concept for a sporting family, the Morgan EvaGT. The four seater Coupe takes its inspiration from the British sports saloons of the early 1950’s. Among these were the Bristol 400 series and the Frazer Nash BMW 328. After the Second World War rationing forced designers to conserve and make the most of the materials at their disposal. However the pressure cooker of war had also led to an abundance of innovative engineering ideas. Steel was scarce so lightweight aluminium was used for bodywork. Smooth “in-line” straight six cylinder engines were fitted to give long distance comfort and reliability. Because the engineers had often worked on aircraft development during the war aerodynamics contributed to high but economical cruising speeds.
The Morgan Motor Company is the last survivor of these British sports car manufacturers. Of course the company is lucky enough to have 100 years of continuous success behind it and like Bristol and Frazer Nash; Morgan has a history of successful collaborations with German suppliers BMW, Siemens and Bosch. But Morgan also works with a number of young engineering companies in the United Kingdom and with world class British university research departments.
The new challenge is to make cars that are more efficient than any we have seen so far. The Morgan Motor Company is in a good position to respond to this challenge because the company is small and flexible with a proven track record of fast development cycles. It currently manufactures one of the greenest sports cars in the world, the Morgan Four Four Sport. Morgan achieves this result with the use of the new Ford 1.6 Sigma engine coupled with a light chassis. Morgan currently has a young well qualified technical team working towards a potential 5 engineering PHD’s, who will make full use of research departments at the University of Oxford, Cranfield and Birmingham City to tap into a technical knowledge network to make more efficient cars. This team is helping to develop a high torque electric motor twice as powerful as others of the same weight and size and a powerful lithium phosphate battery with a higher charge density to achieve the most efficient performance for weight so far.
The dynamic team at Morgan has made a commitment from 2010 that they will bring out a new model every two years. The legendary sports car manufacturer will target new niches…..electric sports cars, a fun weekend vehicle and the first of the new cars will be the Morgan EvaGT, a four seater Coupe aimed at young families, with a bit of drama or automotive theatre as we like to call it. This is a revolution for a car company famous for making the same car for 50 years!
The Morgan EvaGT
Brief provisional specification
The Morgan EvaGT makes full use of clever technologies that the Morgan Motor Company has developed to manufacture a lightweight car. Morgan was one of the first car companies to see the advantage of a bonded aluminium chassis to give rigidity but also to save weight. The EvaGT uses a further developed version of the bonded aluminium chassis of the Morgan Aero SuperSports, a chassis that successfully competes in International GT3 Sports Car Racing. Compliant with European and US safety approvals.
Morgan was the first car company in 1995 to see the benefit of superformed aluminium, an aircraft technology, to manufacture smooth accurate body parts. Morgan Design have sculpted a new shape for the Morgan EvaGT that focuses on natural materials and understands their unique technical properties. Using computer technology in design and in manufacture to ensure accuracy, the parts are then hand finished to make sure they feel as good as they look. A perfect “A” class surface, minimal shut lines, hidden wipers, flush door handles and sharp creases deflect air over the surface of the car. The new Morgan EvaGT represents a philosophy of lightweight luxury that embraces authenticity, sustainability and innovation achieving its final result through the process of skilled craftsmanship.
Technical Specification (subject to change):
BMW 3 litre straight six mono twin turbo with direct petrol injection 306bhp and 400nm torque
Euro 5 and 6 compliant at 200 gms Co2/km, US FMVSS, CARB and EPA approved.
40 mpg / 7.06 litres/100kms
6 speed sport automatic or 6 speed manual gearbox.
Rear wheel drive with fully independent intelligent suspension
Aluminium body panels with a laminated internal safety structure.
Predicted weight of 2755 lbs/1250 kg
Predicted 0-60 mph 4.5 seconds/ 0-100km/h 4.5 seconds
Predicted top speed 170mph / 273 km/h
The first public view of the Morgan EvaGT will be at the 60th Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, Carmel, California, USA on the 15th August 2010.
The Morgan Motor Company will be taking orders worldwide with a request for a deposit of £5000 from prospective clients for an allocated build slot. The first 100 cars of a limited run are planned to begin production mid 2012 and the “on-road” price will be competitive for a car of this class.
A Review, September 17, 2009
Morgan Exploration – A Review
I have just finished reading over this new book by Neil A. Miller for the second time in as many weeks, and delighted in it as much as the first time! Neil's book, which is the official book for the Morgan Centenary, is the best Morgan book to be published in many years. It is a compilation of fantastic shots of Morgans taken by Neil over the past 40 years interspersed with comments from workers and owners who have been involved with Morgans over the years.
A tour through the factory from 1969 brought back many memories, as I first toured it in 1972. His pictures capture the true feeling of the factory and its workers, and their stories are shared with us.
Neil approaches Morgans with a passion, and it shows in every page. This book is not the usual history or technical aspects of a car, but of a car that glistens from the pupil of a lovestruck fan! It is a true work of art - 240 pages of pure joy. Buy it – you'll love it!
Neil A. Miller
Pebble Beach Concours, September 1, 2009
Morgan celebrates the Centenary with American Morgan owners at the Pebble Beach Concours in Carmel California
The Morgan Aero SuperSports celebrates 100 years of car manufacturing. The US launch was held at Pebble Beach, California.
The car is a fusion of new technology and classic motoring elegance and is a fitting model to announce during Morgan's Centenary year.
For ten days each August, connoisseurs and enthusiasts from around the world converge on the Monterey Peninsula
to celebrate the ultimate in automotive design, engineering and camaraderie among fellow aficionados.
The Aero SuperSports featured at 3 exclusive events during this major motoring festival surrounding the Concours d'Elegance at Pebble Beach.
A fantastic week, putting Morgan firmly on the map in the US.
Mc Call Party Monterey Jet Centre
Chris Booth's 1909 3 wheeler replica and Aero SuperSports 2009 were displayed to a party of 2000 key opinion formers from across the USA.
The Aero SuperSports stood alongside some of the greatest cars in the world and some of the most expensive jets.
The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering
The finest examples of Sports and Racing Cars you will ever see, diplayed at the lush setting of a golf course nestled against the Santa Lucia
The 1909 3 wheeler replica caught the eye of Jay Leno America's most famous motoring enthusiast who was facinated by it's design
and how different it was from his own 3 wheeler.
Pebble Beach Concours d'elegance
Morgan was one of the featured marques alongside Bentley and Bugatti.
A 9 car line up of Morgan's on the 18th tee created a huge amount of interest whilst in the Morgan suite a party carried on all day.
The Aero SuperSports took pride of place on the concept car lawn alongside the new Rolls Royce, Jaguar and concept Infinity,
most passers by confirmed that the Aero SuperSports was indeed the best car there!
Cocktail party for Morgan owners to celebrate Morgan's Centenary. Stars and Hollywood celebrities were among the guests.
August 25, 2009
The Morgan Festival Weekend
During the weekend 1st and 2nd August, a gathering like no other took place in Cheltenham. Over 3200 Morgan cars, from 18 different countries assembled to celebrate 100 years of Morgan. That equates to more than 5 years worth of production.
Following a week of events and activities, the weekend was the climax, including a grand Gala Dinner for 1000, an outdoor rock concert, autotests, entertainments and the concours – the prize for the car in the best condition. The Grande Finale to the weekend was a party in the park style prom concert on Sunday evening with the English Symphony Orchestra, soloists Natasha Marsh and John Hudson, conducted by the charismatic Jae Alexander. Large crowds enjoyed the rousing music and firework display.
Charles Morgan said “I thought the Saturday night Gala Dinner was going to be the climax of the weekend, but the concert and fireworks on the Sunday was just amazing too”
Morgan has been invited to many prestigious events this year to celebrate its Centenary, including Villa D’Este, Europe’s most exclusive concours d’elegance, Goodwood Festival of Speed and will shortly be displaying at Pebble Beach, Americas premier concours event as one of the 3 featured marques – alongside Bugatti and Bentley.
Tony McLaughlin, August 7, 2009
The third book on the history of Morgans encompasses most of the production of the Plus 8 model, from its introduction in 1968 and having a post article in 2004 when production ended. This book has 216 pages, many in full color, and also includes road tests from many car magazines from all over the world. There are 58 different articles, each with a different flavor!
There are several comparison road tests, comparing Morgans with an MGBGT V8, a Panther Kallista, and even an M3 BMW! I highly recommend this book, which sells for $35.00, to be a wealth of information for this era of Morgans.
Tony McLaughlin, July 30, 2009
This new Brooklands book is the second in the Morgan Centennial series, covering the introduction of the 4-wheeler in 1936 through the last of the "non-regulated" models in 1967. It has 216 pages, many in full color, and retails for $39.95.
The book is an excellent read, with most of the 83 different articles taken from Automotive magazines all over the world. It has several pearls included, with a test of the transition Morgan of 1953, a test of the +4+, a DHC test, a test of a new Super Sport, and would you believe a road test of TOK 258 before it raced at Le Mans?
Buy it! It's great fun!
Tony McLaughlin, July 29, 2009
This is the first of four books on the Morgan Centennial recently published by Brooklands. It has the complete Three-Wheeler story from the very first one sold by HFS to an article on the last ones sold in 1952. There are 103 separate articles available, and a wealth of information is published by the actual testers of the time, not a rose-colored lens.
Each engine matchup is included in these 216 pages, and several very humorous and real-life stories are there too. Articles are gleaned from all over the world, including New Zealand and South Africa, as well as those of England.The book is listed as $39.95, and has many colored pictures as well as hundreds of b/w ones.
Summary: An excellent book for those who love early automotive history as well as the Morgan Trike!
Tony McLaughlin, June 27, 2009
I have just finished Morgan: 1991 - 2009, the Ultimate Portfolio, and found it to be a wealth of 45 informative articles gleaned from the automotive magazines of the period. It enables one to peruse an honest opinion of the Morgan at the time the particular model was new.
The book has 188 pages and well over 300 pictures, almost all of which are in color. It retails for $39.95 US.
It covers the Plus 8 with 3.9L and 4.6L engines, the 4/4 and 4 seater, the V6 Roadster introduction, the Lightweight, the GTN, the Aero 8 introduction and tests, the AeroMax and Aero America, along with the futuristic LIFECar. This is a fantastic spectrum in one book!
Interestingly, the first 4 road tests of the 1991 Plus 8 are done with the same car and different magazines, so you can get a feel for the different techniques involved. While we may have read some of the magazines before, this book provides a concise compilation of all the articles which I was never able to access before.
All in all, I think this is a very worthwhile purchase, and look forward to the earlier books in the series.
Morgan Motor Company, May 17, 2009
This just announced by MMC. ----------------------------------------------------------
Morgan will introduce a special model of Roadster for 2009 – the Roadster 100 – designed for the UK market and hence only available in RHD.
Production is to be limited to just 100 of these special numbered models and the specification will be:
Metallic Amazon Green (a Mercedes colour of dark green that looks superb on Morgan's)
Leather interior – either black piped green or else biscuit
Reclining sports seats
Elasticated door pockets
Moto-lita steering wheel
‘Centenary’ stainless steel cross members
Stainless steel wire wheels
Green Mohair hood and sidescreens
Old style bonnet louvres
Numbered plaques on bulkhead
Roadster 100 badges
Round door mirrors
The price for this car will be £41,950 including VAT. To normally order a Roadster with this amount of specification would cost around £45,750 – so Morgan have put together an attractive package for this limited edition car.
If required, other optional extras normally available on ‘standard’ Morgans can be added at extra cost (prices as per current Morgan price list).
Morgan will be holding a Roadster 100 ‘open day’ in early June in their new visitor centre at the Morgan Factory – more details of this event to be announced in the next couple of weeks. __._,_.___
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