Morgan 3 Wheeler review - fewer wheels but extra thrills - Engine and Gearbox

Drives just like how it looks, hilariously good fun

Evo rating
Price
from £25,950
  • Looks fantastic, simple clean driving experience, burnouts
  • Understeer and plenty of it, lacks grip, less fun in the wet

Engine and gearbox

The engine and gearbox are two of the 3 Wheeler’s strongest points. American motorcycle engine manufacturer S&S produces the 2-litre V-Twin 'X-Wedge', which is then mated to a sturdy five-speed gearbox from the third-generation Mazda MX-5.

An at-the-rear-wheel power output of 82bhp at 5250rpm might not sound like much (it's measured at the wheel, rather than the crank), but the 3 Wheeler weighs just 525kg, which gives it a power to weight ratio of 159bhp per tonne.

Subscribe to evo magazine

evo is 21 and to celebrate, we're returning to 1998 prices! Subscribe now to SAVE 39% on the shop price and get evo for its original cover price of £3.00 an issue, plus get a FREE gift worth £25!

The engine itself is actually quite high tech given the retro looks of the Morgan. It uses a dry-sump, is fuel injected and is air cooled - thanks largely to the fact that it's sat right out open to the elements on the front of the stubby nose section.

We’ve driven multiple 3 Wheelers now and the V-Twin has never disappointed. Driven slowly the thumping pistons puttering and pop at low revs, while the engine note hardens towards the top end. With the optional fishtal exhausts, the sound is part-Spitfire, part Hell's Angels.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

You do need to be quite handy with rev-matching in order to enact smooth downchanges, as engine revolutions die quite quickly, but other than that the 3 Wheeler is easier to drive than it looks. The throttle is responsive, the engine torquey, the gearbox snappy and while the clutch is initially heavy, you quickly adapt.

It's worth mentioning that Morgan is also working on developing an electric 3 Wheeler. Currently in pre-production concept form, the car is set to make its debut proper come the end of 2016.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/seat/leon-cupra/202143/seat-leon-cupra-r-st-abt-review-spicy-spanish-dish-gets-even-more-sizzle
SEAT Leon Cupra

SEAT Leon Cupra R ST Abt review

50 horsepower boost puts extra pep in the Leon Cupra’s already athletic step
23 Jan 2020
Visit/dodge/202135/police-spec-dodge-charger-given-1500bhp-widebody-kit-and-awd
Dodge

Dodge Charger given 1500bhp, widebody kit and AWD 

US-based Speedkore Performance works its magic for one-off creation
22 Jan 2020
Visit/volkswagen/golf-gti/22866/new-volkswagen-golf-gti-to-be-revealed-at-geneva-motor-show-plus-new
Volkswagen Golf GTI hatchback

New Volkswagen Golf GTI to be revealed at Geneva motor show – plus new insight on the next Golf R

2020 VW Golf GTI returns in eighth-generation form at this year’s Geneva motor show
20 Jan 2020
Visit/features/22907/hyundai-i30-fastback-n-versus-the-col-de-turini
Hyundai i30 N hatchback

Hyundai i30 Fastback N versus the Col de Turini

We take the Hyundai i30 Fastback N up the Col de Turini, a 31km stage of the Monte Carlo World Rally Championship
19 Jul 2019