07 Sep

Triple Threat! The Morgan 3 Wheeler Is Coming Back With Three-Cylinder Ford Power (MotorTrend, 1 Sep 2021)

Our favorite anachronism is indeed returning, as we suspected. Rejoice!

Last year, we shed three tears for the iconic Morgan 3 Wheeler, an homage to its prewar cyclecars produced until 1952 and revived in 2011. Its death was due to a regulatory issue with its S&S X-Wedge V-twin engine, and it went out with a bang: The P101 limited edition, which rocked a dazzle-type wrap that looks suspiciously like the cloaking the newest 3-Wheeler you see here.

What the new 3-Wheeler won’t be is electric, at least at this juncture. One of the few details the company confirmed is that it will utilize a naturally aspirated Ford I-3 engine. There are several such three-cylinder engines in the Ford of Europe stable, ranging from 1.0-1.5 liters. Since the outgoing S&S-powered trike made around 115 hp, it’s likely going to be one of the larger-displacement “Dragon” engines.

That explains what looks like an iron gate tacked onto the grille area, to obscure that critical bit of the car that’ll be much different from the outgoing one. The V-twin was the visual focus of the old 3 Wheeler’s nose, the literal mechanical heart of the car exposed for all to see. The new I-3 will likely be in roughly the same place but faired in a bit more. Whether any or all of it will protrude into the open air remains to be seen. The nose doesn’t appear to be much longer than the old 3-Wheeler, for what it’s worth.

Some differences do appear in the bodywork. The rear deck appears to be a little sharper and sleeker than the more bulbous older car. And the front bodywork also appears to be wider and more muscular than the upright and rounded hood form on the previous car. Stalk-mounted taillamps appear to be set much further apart from the rear bodywork, but whether that’s merely set up that way for testing or whether it represents what’ll reach production is anyone’s guess.

Another prominent change that’s immediately noticeable from the older 3-Wheeler (seen in the gallery below) is the front suspension arrangement, which places the dampers and springs in a more inboard position, and puts the steering rack up front. More extensive front wheel fairings cover more of the inner part of the front wheel. The rear suspension and wheel are, of course, entirely covered up.

We’re excited to see what Morgan has cooked up for the next generation of the delightfully old-school, oddball 3-Wheeler, which remains one of the purest bits of silly fun in the automotive world. And we hope that, using the new 3 Wheeler as a basis, Morgan considers finally bringing its EV3 concept to production.

4 thoughts on “Triple Threat! The Morgan 3 Wheeler Is Coming Back With Three-Cylinder Ford Power (MotorTrend, 1 Sep 2021)

  1. In response to Elliot’s comment.
    Yes, seems so. But perhaps the gremlins of the M3W have been fixed in this new version and this motor will allow us in the US to find local repair capabilities. I do wonder when we will see cars coming in?? Cheers, Mark

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