Morgan Lifecar: Geneva report
Morgan, ultimate maker of retro cars the retro way, showed its hydrogen-fuelled, fuel-cell-powered LifeCar at Geneva
The car is a take on the future done in a way only Morgan can do. Under its recognisably Morgan-shaped, hand-formed aluminium body panels are a Qinetiq fuel-cell stack ahead of the bulkhead, a bank of ultracapacitors within the central tunnel, and an electric motor for each of the four wheels with their skinny 135-section tyres. The curvy roof hinges rearwards to allow entry, achieved by leaping over the cockpit side, and the front clamshell of bonnet and wings hinges forward to reveal an aluminium frame, the fuel cells and the front motors. Inside, springy sheets of veneered plywood form the seats, the footwell and the dashboard in one complex, multi-curved piece, with padded leather to soften the body's pressure points. 'Doing it this way is lighter than carbonfibre,' said Morgan's young designer, Matthew Humphries. Does it work? Calculations by Morgan and the universities of Cranfield and Oxford which are partners in the project along with Hugo Spowers of RiverSimple (a company researching into environmentally sound transport) are promising. Light weight helps it reach 60mph in under seven seconds, top speed is 100mph in short bursts, and it will cover around 150 miles on a tank of hydrogen. Or so the LifeCar's creators hope.