Morgan is returning to the start of its 113-year history to inspire an all-new £40,000 three-wheeler model, the Super 3, which it believes will lift vehicle production at Malvern to unprecedented levels and give the marque a bigger global presence than ever when it hits the market in August.
The new model, Morgan’s first “clean sheet” design since the Aero 8 in 2000, is a new take on the traditional 3 Wheeler that company founder HFS Morgan first started selling in 1909. It ditches the motorcycle-derived V-twin engine that has been a recurring theme in Morgan 3 wheeler history in favour of a front-mounted 1.5-litre Ford in-line triple, a normally aspirated 118bhp version of the engine that powers the Ford Fiesta ST.
Unlike any previous 3 wheeler, the Super 3’s engine is carried on an extremely rigid but lightweight frontal casting that joins a new, CAD-designed, monocoque chassis, most of whose lightweight aluminium panels are Superformed in nearby Worcester. There is a similar but smaller joining casting at the rear of the body: both elements are described as “unashamedly functional” pieces that also contribute to the car’s visual character.
When Super 3 production reaches planned levels late this year at Morgan’s Malvern Link factory output should amount to around 15 units a week, more than double the outgoing model’s best total. Combined with similar production numbers for the recently revised, BMW-engined Plus Four and Plus Six models, Morgan’s total annual output should reach or even exceed 1500 cars a year, a production leap compared with the totals of 800-900 cars in recent years.
Morgan MD Steve Morris has especially high hopes for Super 3 sales in the US where compliance regulations for motorcycles and tricycles are easier to negotiate than for cars, though he is at pains to point out that the Super 3’s crash test regime and safety engineering goes far beyond minimum requirements. Morris believes Super 3 sales of around 400 units a year are possible in the US alone, but predicts that like the outgoing model it will have global appeal to buyers with “an adventurous spirit”.