Morgan is going electric, and it's built a battery-powered Super 3 to prove it
As Morgan gears up for an electric future, the firm has built a Super 3-based EV prototype to explore what's possible
Specialist low-volume car firms are faced with a difficult task in the electric age. The switch to EVs threatens to remove some of the essential appeal of their products, and the feel and sound of an internal combustion engine will be hard to replace.
Morgan is exploring how to conjure the involvement and character it's customers expect with this: the all-electric XP-1 prototype. Based on the three-wheeled Super 3, the XP-1 doesn't foreshadow a production car, but it does provide a glimpse at the EV technology Morgan will apply to future models.
The Super 3’s aluminium platform forms the basis of the XP-1, but its outer skin has been redesigned for better efficiency – a smoother front apron and aerodynamic wheel covers contribute to a 33 per cent reduction in drag.
The Super 3’s Ford-derived three-cylinder engine has been swapped out for a bespoke electric motor and battery setup, and while powertrain specifications haven't been disclosed, the components have been designed to achieve a comparable overall weight figure to the petrol car (for reference, the Super 3 comes in at 635kg). Images of the XP-1's range readout indicates that 87 miles will be possible from a 78 per cent charge, so expect a maximum range of around 112 miles.
The key, though, is in how the powertrain electronics can be tuned to deliver a more interactive drive. Morgan is light on details in this respect, but notes that the XP-1 gives its engineers ‘complete control of calibrations that vary the throttle and regeneration level at different speeds, in order to create a range of driving modes featuring a mix of driving characteristics’. Fast charging with bi-directional energy delivery is also promised.
The cockpit and controls are familiar to that of the Super 3, albeit with a new digital instrument pack to display key EV driving information and an electronic handbrake – a first for a Morgan. The XP-1 project was conceived over 12 months, and it'll now embark on an extensive testing program to inform Morgan's EV development direction.