Morgan Goes Electric: The Plug-In Three-Wheeler is Here
If there’s any automaker on the planet that knows tradition, it’s Morgan. The small British automaker has been building its signature car since 1936, and while the Chevy Suburban has been around since ’35, the Corvette has been around since ’53, and the Mustang since ’64, Morgan’s wood-framed model (available as the Plus 4, 4/4, Roadster, and Plus 8) has been in production — and barely changed — for 80 years. So far, World War II has been the only thing that’s stopped Morgan production, and barring some cataclysmic event, it’s likely that the 2036 4/4 won’t look all that different from a car that left the production line 100 years before.
But the company is by no means a dinosaur. It’s subtle and clever modifications have kept the car relevant, and its Aero 8 model is a thoroughly modern, 367-horsepower steampunk interpretation of classic Morgan style. Unfortunately, safety and emissions regulations keep the Classic and Aero 8s from reaching our shores, but Morgan’s third model, the Harley-Davidson V-Twin powered 3-Wheeler is 100% street legal. It’s a relatively new model, introduced in 2012, but true to form, it’s nearly identical to a model Morgan sold from 1911 to 1952. The 3-Wheeler offers one of the purest driving experiences on the road, straddling past and present unlike anything else out there. And now, it’s also looking to the future.
The automaker stunned the crowd at this year’s Geneva Motor Show with the EV3, an all-electric version of the 3-Wheeler. It was quirky, beautiful, and looked as unobtainable as any concept car. Just months later, it’s entered production, and looks just as outrageous as it did on the show stand. The first 19 trikes are called the UK 1909 Edition, and they’re now available exclusively through U.K.-based department store Selfridge & Co. If we won the lottery today, we’d be on our way to Selfridge’s tomorrow.
Despite being sold with a package containing high-end driving shoes, gloves, waterproof overalls, scarf, goggles, and jacket from British companies, the UK 1909 edition is far more than a product tie-in. While the standard gas-powered trike is built in traditional Morgan fashion — ash wood frame with aluminum stretched over it — the UK 1909 has carbon fiber covering its timber, marking the first time the company has ever used the material, and a slightly lifted rear tail to set it apart from other trikes. The standard wire wheels have been replaced by beautiful pressed-steel disc wheels, which are painted a deep gray to match the rest of the car. Chrome accents have been replaced with rose-colored brass to match the car’s unique battery cooling fins, looking beautiful against the dark body, and giving it a beautiful Machine Age look.
Performance-wise, the UK 1909 is right where Morgan claimed EV3 performance would be. Range is a respectable 150 miles, top speed is 90 miles per hour, and zero to 62 comes in around nine seconds, though without a full windshield, doors, or roof, it’ll feel a lot quicker. There’s no word on price (buyers need to contact Selfridge’s directly), but as the old saying goes, if you have to ask, you probably can’t afford it. Besides, we’d be shocked if any of the 19 haven’t been accounted for yet.
So now Morgan does past, present, and future better than just about anyone else in the industry. The EV3 will reach full production later this year, and will probably be priced just above the gas-powered 3-Wheeler, which runs about $45K to $50K. The market may be slim for an aluminum-bodied, wood framed tub with a Harley engine for a bumper, and even slimmer for a battery-powered version, but we wager that it’ll be the purest electric driver’s car in the world. You just can’t put a price tag on that.