After building 30,000 trikes between 1909 and 1953, Morgan is bringing the automotive tripod back for 2011.
The original three-wheeler was quick, but also achieved great fuel economy numbers. Fifty miles per gallon was regularly achieved thanks to its light weight, low rolling resistance and small engine, and in 1913 a trike won the French Grand Prix while averaging over 100 miles per hour on the banked curves of Brooklands.
The new 2011 Morgan Threewheeler is powered by a Screaming Eagle 1,800cc Harley-Davidson engine, mated to the five-speed manual transmission from a Mazda5. The powertrain is good for 100 horsepower at the rear wheel, which can scoot the 1,100-pound trike from 0-60 miles per hour in 4.5 seconds and on to an estimated top speed of 115 mph.
Buyers will be able to select one of eight exterior color choices, which are all accented by black components in matte or gloss finish. The interior is available in either black or tan leather and features aircraft-style toggle switches for the various accessories. The initial run is for standard Morgan Threewheelers and then a bespoke version will be made available for customers who want a trike tailored to their liking. No word yet on pricing.
Click past the jump to read the full press release.
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.
Weight: 500kg (Est.)
Power: 100bhp (at wheel) (Est.)
Top Speed: 115mph (Est.)
0-60 : 4.5 seconds (Est.)
Engine: 1800cc 'V twin'
Gearbox: 5 speed + reverse
Super formed aluminium body
Choice of 8 sport colours
Gloss black wheel arches and lamps
Gloss black wire wheels
Matt black exhausts + gloss heat shield
Nickel colored cowl
Super formed aluminium body
Gloss black roll hoops
Black or tan leather
Leather seats, dash and side pads
Exposed tubular black chassis
Leather steering wheel + alloy centre
Black anodized dash panel
Aluminium 'aircraft' toggle switches
Body Colored trim panels
'Bomb release' style start button
'Bespoke' specifications for the Morgan Threewheeler will be available, as with any Morgan, but at increased cost and following a run of standard cars off the production line.