Morgan’s Super 3 launched just about two years ago and remains one of the most exciting cars on the market today. It’s a lightweight little thing that doesn’t have a ton of grip, making the driver push for every little bit of speed. Now imagine that platform, but instead of the Ford-cribbed turbocharged 3-cylinder, it has an in-house developed electric motor and a rack of batteries good for 150 miles of range. How great would that be?
That’s exactly what Morgan has built with its new Experimental Prototype 1, or XP1 for short.
You may remember that Morgan teased the world with an electric three-wheeler way back in 2016. The EV3, as it was called, was barely capable of 100 miles of range and delivered just 60 horsepower. I still loved it then, and I would have absolutely bought one. Unfortunately Morgan contracted with an outside EV consultancy, which promised to deliver a batch of these electric three-wheelers at a 30,000 pound price tag, but went belly up before they could make production. Womp womp.
The XP1 features a surprisingly compact 134-horsepower electric motor mounted in what would traditionally be the car’s transmission tunnel. That’s a big step up from the EV3’s power level, and with a promised 150 miles of range, the XP1 roundly trounces that statistic as well. Amazingly the car can manage 150 miles with a comparatively tiny 33 kWh battery, which is around the same size as early first-gen Nissan Leaf battery. The XP1’s battery sits under the bonnet, where the standard model’s engine would be, while the inverter is slotted under the passenger seat. All told, this car weighs just about 120 pounds heavier than its petrol-powered siblings.
“We are immensely proud to be sharing XP-1 with the world and showcasing some of the first class engineering that takes place behind the scenes at Morgan. As we embark on our electric journey, this prototype will become a focal point of the engineering and design process, providing a wealth of insight and helping to build up our in-house EV capability. We are in no doubt that we can ensure future electric Morgan sports cars retain the core appeal of our current range, meaning they are fun to drive, lightweight, handcrafted and bespoke. We will be relentless in our pursuit of preserving these characteristics for our customers for generations to come. Because it is not tied to a product, XP-1 provides the unique ability for our audience to join us throughout this exciting learning phase, and we look forward to sharing future updates over the coming months.”
Matt Hole, Chief Technical Officer, Morgan Motor Company
While the car is purely experimental for now, this kind of advancement from Morgan is exactly what I like to see from them. Considering they were so close to releasing a production run of electric three-wheelers in 2016, I hope that 2024 finally brings that dream to fruition. And Morgan says it is working to ensure this technology is scalable to its larger four-wheeled machines as well. A Plus Six with an EV drivetrain would be a hoot, and look properly vintage cool, to boot.
The best part of this whole thing is the charging indicator light on the outside of the car. Just look how great that is. I’m sold, Morgan. Make these lightweight electric machines happen. I’ll buy twelve.
Want more Aussie car news? Here’s every EV we’ve reviewed in the last two years, all the EVs we can expect down under soon, and our guide to finding EV chargers across the country. Check out our dedicated Cars tab for more.
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