October 30, 2018
Electric-ready aluminium architecture and 150mph-plus performance set to characterise new era for Morgan.
Morgan may have recently announced that development of its electric three-wheel EV3, has been indefinitely halted, but the manufacturer does have more up its sleeve than special editions and bicycles. That’s if reports in Autocar are to be believed, at any rate, the publication claiming that a 30 strong design and engineering team is currently working on an all-new model.
Touted to be released in the mid-2020s, the hand-made two-door, two-seater is predicted to initially be powered by a turbocharged six-cylinder motor producing 350hp-plus. Additional body styles – including a convertible – and powertrains – including electrified variants – are expected to follow, though all will be based on the same new front-engined, rear-wheel drive platform currently being developed.
We won’t have to wait quite as long to see that platform as we will to get a glimpse of the rest of the car, though; the chassis is set for its debut in a more recognisable Morgan next year as part of the marque’s 110th anniversary celebrations.
Despite its historic grounding and traditional techniques Morgan, like any manufacturer, will need to take steps to future-proof itself in the face of a rapidly changing industry. The incredible success of the Aero GT and 50th Anniversary V8 has seen revenue has rise by 19 per cent to £36 million in the past year, leaving the company in as strong a position as ever to take the significant step of creating a brand-new base upon which future models can be constructed.
The lightweight aluminium architecture in question will be comparable to the Aero’s in terms of weight and dimensions, but is said to be twice as stiff. This will not only provide additional flexibility in terms of accommodating occupants more comfortably within the vehicle, but also when it comes to housing the hybrid gubbins associated with the expected electrified iterations of the car.
Obviously, the chassis and powertrain aren’t the only considerations for the Malvern-based manufacturer, with styling also vital to the success of the brand. To that end, Head of Design Jon Wells states that his task is, “to take the charm of classic motoring and make it relevant, so that it can be respected and desired as a good piece of modern design.” To do so he’ll draw on elements of the Plus 4 Plus, Aero and Aeromax, as well as the 3 Wheeler, stating that a short front overhang, round headlights and a driver located behind the car’s centre line are among his priorities.
Despite Managing Director Steve Morris’s claim that the new flagship shouldn’t be seen as a replacement for the recently discontinued Aero, its retirement from the range undoubtedly leaves room for a successor. With a 4.5-second 0-60 time and a top speed in excess of 150mph projected, and pricing expected to be similar to that of Aston Martin’s latest Vantage, we’re certainly excited to see what form that car takes.