20 Nov

The Morgan 3 Wheeler Is Dead, Long Live the Limited-Edition P101 (Automobile, 11/18/2020)

[What I find interesting (and somewhat scary) is that the MMC Factory Web Site shows only 3 models currently available – the M3W, the CX Plus 6 and the CX Plus 4. The announced CX Roadster and the CX 4/4 are not on the web site (I don’t know what the situation is with them) so with the M3W going away, the only cars left are the Plus 6 and Plus 4. Neither of which are likely to be coming to the US anytime soon. It makes one wonder what the dealers will sell and what’s in our future? Mark]

After a decade, the delightfully anachronistic Morgan 3 Wheeler will say its goodbyes. Morgan revived this classic form factor in 2011, which was last produced in 1952 and superseded by the long-lived 4/4 Roadster (and its derivatives). That project was known internally as P101, and so to celebrate the end of the current 3 Wheeler’s production run, the company’s whipped up a P101 limited edition model.

First, why is the 3 Wheeler ending production? For one, its V-twin engine, an X-Wedge unit produced by S&S, will have its type approval expire and it appears that it won’t be renewed. Without an engine supplier, Morgan will opt to cease production of the current iteration of the 3 Wheeler – a hint, perhaps, that a new 3 Wheeler with a different power plant might be in the future.

[The previously posted Drive article states an electric vehicle is coming?  Mark]

Now, let’s take a closer look at the limited-edition P101 model, which Morgan will limit to just 33 models. Its most prominent detail is a translucent tonneau over the passenger seat, giving the P101 a striking asymmetrical look. It has a slightly yellow hue, looking aged or perhaps like something fitted to a Golden Era race car. Adding to the asymmetry, one exhaust pipe features a white ceramic coating, the other black.

Other details are heritage-inspired, like the solid “Aero-disc” wheels and large Hella spotlights.  

[I concur, the disc wheels do look superb! Mark]

Several paint schemes are available, each celebrating a different retro theme: Belly Tank, Dazzleship, Aviator, and Race Car. It’s apparent what most are an homage to, but if you’re not familiar with World War I naval warfare, the “Dazzleship” graphics are a reference to “dazzle painting,” an early form of camouflage intended to make it difficult for enemy ships to accurately target the vessel. The treatment looked incredible—and so does the Dazzleship 3 Wheeler—although the camo’s effectiveness is debatable.

This special edition will be available in the U.S., as well as Europe, and pricing starts at £45,000 (roughly $59,500 at today’s exchange rates)in the U.K. Morgan says that “bespoke” 3 Wheelers will continue to be produced alongside the P101 editions until production ends. 

[I suspect all the dealers will have some allocation. Contact your favorite dealer if interested.  Mark]

19 Nov

MORGAN LAUNCHES NEW LIMITED-EDITION 3 WHEELER P101 TO CELEBRATE END OF MODEL’S PRODUCTION (Morgan-Motors.CO.UK, Nov 19, 2020)

The Morgan Motor Company is marking the end of production of one of its most well-loved models, the 3 Wheeler, with the announcement of the P101 edition. The 3 Wheeler — which was introduced in its current form in 2011 — will cease production in 2021, once type approval on its S&S V-twin engine finishes.

P101 stands for Project 101, the internal name given to the project to revive the 3 Wheeler when development began more than a decade ago. Limited to just 33 examples, the P101 was conceived by Morgan’s in-house Design and Engineering departments to celebrate their original project, and its resulting model success throughout its production run.

The current 3 Wheeler has been one of the company’s most popular models of all time, more than 2,500  examples having been made since its launch in 2011. The 3 Wheeler is exported to all corners of the globe, and has received countless motoring accolades from across the industry. This recognition, the popularity of the car, and the numerous ‘stand out’ road trips undertaken by owners confirms that the spirit of adventure and individuality is alive and well, both at Morgan and within the wider automotive industry.

Characterised by a purposeful and utilitarian aesthetic, the P101 features a range of unique components and bespoke detailing, many of which have been inspired by the prominent design features of Morgan’s three wheeled models.

A striking single-leaf tonneau cover – first seen on Morgan’s EV3 concept in 2016 – has been deployed to exaggerate the asymmetrical theme, and is intended for single occupant use. The composite resin cover exhibits a natural translucent golden colour, not dissimilar to materials witnessed on engine shrouds for 1970s race cars.  The tonneau is lightweight, streamlined, and honest in both its design and manufacture.

The Aero-disc wheels – painted to match the main body colour –– provide a further streamlined visual and define the look of the P101, making it instantly recognisable as a unique model. The low-drag aero-disc wheels work together with low-slung Hella 9-inch spot lamps, positioned to reduce turbulence around the suspension and wishbones, whilst also giving the car a more forward-leaning aesthetic.

Adding to the asymmetry and split identity of the P101, alternated black and white ceramic coated exhausts contrast left to right of the model. Further detailed additions include torque markers on each front tyre, straight-cut exhausts, a fly screen, additional louvres, exposed rivet details, and unique P101 markings. Together, they evoke the sense of excitement felt around the company when the original prototypes were being developed.   

Each 3 Wheeler P101 is available in Deep Black or Satin White Silver paint, with appropriate decals to suit. Further to this, four P101 art packs will be available for customers to choose from, each with their own unique identifiers and vivid graphics:

The Belly Tank – Referencing liveries found on belly tank racers and ‘lakesters’ that were inspirations for the 3 Wheeler initially, The Belly Tank graphic pack features a distressed effect in the vinyl. 

The Belly Tank

The Dazzleship – The Dazzleship – featured in the launch film and images – is the boldest of the art packs. Its striking black and white design is inspired by the graphic camouflage of period military vehicles.  

The Dazzleship

The Aviator – Evoking a sense of aviation spirit, The Aviator graphic pack is an extension of similar theme graphics offered on 3 wheelers.  Inspired by nose art found on RAF planes in WWII.

The Aviator

The Race Car – Three wheeled Morgan vehicles were competing in motorsport almost as soon as the first example was created. The Race Car graphic pack features stripes and roundels, and pays homage to the liveries which have adorned by early Morgan race cars.

The Race Car

The limited-edition P101 is priced from £45,000 plus local market taxes and on-the-road costs, and all 33 production slots have already been allocated to Morgan dealerships. Production of the model will begin immediately and continue alongside ‘bespoke’ 3 Wheelers during 2021.  

The importance of three wheelers in Morgan’s history cannot be underestimated. From the original Runabout built by HFS Morgan in 1909, through to the latest version in production today, thousands have been built in Morgan’s factory in Malvern, Worcestershire. Through various iterations, the original three wheelers were made until 1952, when the factory began exclusive production of four-wheeled cars until the launch of the 3 Wheeler in 2011. Details of a potential successor to the 3 Wheeler are yet to be announced, and while Morgan can confirm that the Morgan 3 Wheeler will return, there will be a break in production.

[More Images on MMC Web Site http://www.morgan-motors.co.uk ]

Steve Morris, Chairman & CEO, Morgan Motor Company, said: “Production of the most recent 3 Wheeler has been a thrilling and exciting chapter in Morgan’s history. The significance of the original Three Wheeler is undoubted, however the introduction of the ‘current’ 3 Wheeler in 2011 proved to Morgan, and the world, that fun cars still have a place and that the ‘why not’ attitude is sometimes best.

The P101 celebrates the raw and stripped back nature of the 3 Wheeler, and provides us with the perfect opportunity to draw an incredible chapter of Morgan’s history to a close. Once the 33 examples have been created, the opportunity for an exciting new chapter for three-wheeled Morgan vehicles begins.”