Morgan Super3 XP-1 is an electric three-wheeler
Morgan’s latest prototype previews an all-electric version of its Super3 three-wheeler
Morgan is renowned for building beautiful vintage-style cars, however, this doesn’t mean the British brand isn’t looking to the future. It’s just announced a new development project which previews its first all-electric model.
Titled ‘XP-1’, Morgan’s latest endeavour gives us our first glimpse of what will become an all-electric version of the Morgan Super3 three-wheeler. While petrol-powered versions of the Super3 utilise a Ford-sourced 1.5-litre Ecoboost three-cylinder engine, Morgan has developed its own in-house electric powertrain for the XP-1.
Utilising the same aluminium monocoque chassis as the latest Super3 – new models have now ditched the wooden architecture that Morgan is known for – the XP-1 gets a 136bhp electric motor to power the rear wheel, as well as a 33kWh battery pack.
Despite this new powertrain, Morgan says the XP-1 only weighs roughly 700g – or “around 60kg more than the petrol car, plus half a tank of fuel”. The XP-1 is also one of the first Morgan models to utilise computer software in order to sculpt the car’s body and refine aerodynamics. The result of this is a pair of side radiators that are much smaller than the petrol car’s – one cools the electric motor and the other regulates the battery temperature.
In practice, the XP-1 offers a range of around 100 miles on a single charge – even in cold British weather – with the British maker promising “brisk” performance from its first EV. Once the level of charge does run low, the XP-1’s 400v electric architecture and CCS charging port means it can rapid charge at speeds of up to 50kW. With this in mind, a standard 10-80% charge should take around half an hour.
Morgan has stated that it’s working on ways to make driving a car with an electric powertrain more fun; engineers have been experimenting with amplifying the natural sound of the electric motor, and they have also implemented four distinct drive modes. These are illustrated by chillis on the central TFT screen – just like in your local curry house – and offer different levels of throttle sensitivity and regenerative braking strength.
Of course, the XP-1 remains a prototype for now; it’s been in development over the last 12 months and Morgan says it’ll undergo another 12-18 months of testing. There appear to be no immediate plans to put an electric Super3 into production, although the existence of this project does indicate a zero-emissions variant of the iconic three-wheeler will arrive sometime in the future.
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