What is it?
Forget your McLarens or Bugattis, the Morgan 3 Wheeler is here and it’s by some margin the most exciting car of this or, pretty much, any other decade. It’s a successor to the trike Morgan made between 1909 and 1953, which lapped Brooklands at 100mph and won the French Grand Prix in 1913.
The modern recreation, like the earlier car, is a front V-twin engined, rear-driver. This time it gets a bespoke 1.8-litre motor, built by S&S in the States (S&S started tuning Harley engines, but this is its own unit which is lighter and, well, we’re told better).
It drives through a Mazda MX-5 five-speed gearbox, then through a Harley-style belt to a single rear wheel (no differential, obviously). That rear gets a nice grippy Toyo Proxes tyre while, at the front, there are skinny Avon motorbike tyres.
Given the air-cooled engine hangs out the front too, you might think that would make it rather understeery, but 115bhp through the back wheel promises to provide some balance. It costs £30,000 and Morgan has already taken 480 orders.
What’s it like?
Bonkers, obviously. There’s a removable steering wheel, then you slide down into the seat – a bit wider than a Caterham’s, but still very snug – and push your feet down into the tight footwell. Think Caterham for width down there; narrow shoes are an advantage.
The pedal layout leaves the brake pedal (for the unassisted drum at the rear, small discs at the front) a touch low for heel and toeing, but the pedal weights are all consistent. There’s no assistance for the steering either, but that doesn’t matter – empty of fuel but otherwise complete, the 3 Wheeler weighs around 490kg.
The big engine takes a while to fire. The temptation is to give it some throttle to help it along, but it’s best to just leave the starter turning over until it settles to a lumpy – very lumpy, but endearingly, wonderfully lumpy – burble. Ease out the clutch and there’s a bundle of torque to pull away smoothly and cleanly; throttle response is lovely, very clean, linear. And because the cylinders are nearly a litre each in size, not hyperactive. Just nice.