Three-wheelers have been rolling around my mind recently – not because I’ve been watching Del Boy run his errands in repeats of Only Fools and Horses, but because I’m intrigued by Morgan’s latest release.
Far from Trotter’s beaten up, yellow Reliant Robin, the new Morgan Three Wheeler has been launched to bring the fun and passion back to driving. The brand started out over a hundred years ago making cars with three wheels and even though the new model is a nostalgic throw-back it also points to the future and that’s why I am intrigued.
We all know that road transport in the 21st century has big environmental and economic issues and because of this the future sees us driving smaller and lighter vehicles as a way of reducing fuel consumption and emissions. This is exactly the rationale behind the new car and Morgan’s focus is on cutting CO2 emissions and lowering fuel consumption. Just imagine if Morgan were to make an electric powered version – its small, aerodynamic and lightweight body could make the perfect shell for a green car.
The downsizing trend means that the three-wheeler has the potential to make a big come back and some of us could be driving around in much smaller, simpler vehicles like Morgan’s Three Wheeler in years to come. The configuration goes back to the earliest days of the motor car and a return to this set up sees Morgan go full circle.
Inspiration for the new model was obviously the brand’s original motorbike-engined three-wheelers that were built from 1909 to 1953. These cars have a lot of history attached to them and Stirling Moss used to own one and one even won the French Grand Prix in 1913.
The iconic design now has a modern twist and is crammed full of technology. It is based on a tubular frame wrapped in aluminium superformed bodywork and the sculpted bonnet and boot enhance the aerodynamics. The design focus was the aeroplane and Morgan say that a leather padded cockpit complete with aircraft instrumentation adds to the sense of flying on the road. Even if it doesn’t take off – it certainly sounds fun and I can’t wait to try one.
Morgan claims that the new model has a kerbweight of 500kg and that light weight means rapid performance and 0-62mph takes just 4.5 seconds. During its first year of production the car will be available with an economical 115bhp V-Twin engine provides maximum power at minimum revs, from specialist engine builder S&S.
There’s a lot of interest in the car which costs around £25k, before tax. This might sound pricey but you do have to understand that this is a unique vehicle that excites enthusiasts. If you have ever driven a Morgan then you’ll know that it will probably be just as enjoyable as it promises.
I have driven a couple of Morgans and they hold a special place in my heart because they offer such a unique, nostalgic and authentic driving experience. I remember driving the 4/4 Sports for the first time and it was like nothing I had ever driven before – it felt dragster-like with a long nose and a noisy, responsive engine.
Everything feels so mechanical and pure in a Morgan and these cars bring together driver, car and road like no other car can. I can remember how refreshing it felt to drive something so involving.
I like the fact that Morgan have brought back the past in order to move things forward. I think it’s great that the new Three Wheeler offers motorists a way to downsize without cutting back on fun and performance and it is set to prove that less can be more.
I am optimistic for the little car because one thing’s for sure if anyone can pull off good, fun, back-to-basics motoring then it is Morgan.