Morgan’s Sending the V-Twin 3-Wheeler off in Style
On the outside, Morgan’s cars may look like classics. But as models like the Aero 8 demonstrate, they’re really a blend of old-school craftsmanship with modern material standards. However, even this British institution eventually has to wave good-bye to some of its models. Such is the case with the Morgan 3-Wheeler, a V-twin-powered vehicle that bridges the world of cars and motorcycles. But before it drives off into the sunset, it gets one last salute with the P101 Edition.
The 2021 Morgan 3-Wheeler P101 Edition is the V-twin engine’s final hurrah
Besides its 3-wheeled design, one of the most striking parts of the Morgan 3-Wheeler’s design is its engine. It’s an externally-mounted 2.0-liter V-twin from S&S, which also supplies parts for Harley-Davidson and Indian. Unfortunately, said engine’s emissions approval certification is about to expire, leaving the 3-Wheeler without propulsion, Automobile explains.
But before that happens, Morgan’s producing a limited number of P101 Edition 3-Wheelers. The name refers to the 3-Wheeler’s original project name: Project 101, Autoblog reports. While the P101 Edition doesn’t grant the 3-Wheeler extra power, it does add some striking visual elements.
Each Morgan 3-Wheeler P101 Edition comes with body-painted aero disc wheels, low-mounted Hella spotlights, and black-and-white ceramic-coated exhaust pipes, The Drive reports. The P101 models also get additional louvers, exposed rivets, ‘P101’ decals, and a lightweight gold-colored removable tonneau cover, Road & Track reports.
Plus, buyers will be able to choose between four different ‘art packs,’ The Drive reports. The Belly Tank’s distressed vinyl graphics reference the ‘belly tankers’ which shoot for high speeds at places like Bonneville. The Aviator is similar to the Morgan 3-Wheeler’s current RAF-inspired decals and references WII-plane nose art. The Dazzleship has a black-and-white livery based on ‘dazzle painting’ military camouflage. And the Race Car pack draws from Morgan’s own racing heritage.
If you want one of these Morgan 3-Wheeler P101 Editions, you’ll have to act fast. Morgan is only making 33 for the whole world, with only a fraction designated for the US. Each one costs roughly the equivalent of $59,950—roughly $13,300 more than a ‘base’ Morgan 3-Wheeler.
Is the Morgan 3-Wheeler being replaced?
However, while the V-twin-powered Morgan 3-Wheeler is going away, the British automaker isn’t necessarily done with it. Hagerty reports Morgan’s CEO, Steve Morris, has referred to this as “’ the opportunity for an exciting new chapter for three-wheeled Morgan vehicles.’”
It wouldn’t be the first time in recent months and years that Morgan has substantially reworked its anachronistic-looking vehicles. It recently replaced the steel chassis it’s been using and improving on since 1936 with an all-new aluminum-intensive one, R&T reports. The new chassis also comes with new 4-wheel independent suspension, as well as new BMW-sourced powertrains, Autoblog reports.
The Plus Six and Plus Four were the first Morgans to benefit from these updates, Car and Driver reports. And while the 3-Wheeler has its own platform, that doesn’t mean Morgan couldn’t draw from the Plus Six and Plus Four to redesign it.
So, in short, the Morgan 3-Wheeler isn’t going away forever. But there’s still the issue of what kind of powertrain it could use. However, the answer to that question may have already been shown.
Will it go electric?
Several years ago, Morgan showed off an electric 3-Wheeler, dubbed ‘EV3.’ The public’s and press’s reactions were positive, and the British automaker was set to put it into production. However, back in March 2020, Morgan announced it was canceling the project due to supplier-related issues, Roadshow reports.
But, while the EV3 project didn’t yield a drivable car, Morgan’s lead designer, Jonathan Wells, called it a great learning opportunity for the automaker, Autoblog reports. And Motor1 reports that “Wells maintains that [Morgan] remains committed to battery-powered vehicles.” Also, both Autoblog and Motor1 report that Morgan’s new platform may have been developed with EV powertrains in mind.
Morgan also has some external pressure to develop an electric 3-Wheeler. The UK plans to ban the sale of all gasoline and diesel cars in 2030, up from 2040, Reuters reports. That would include Morgan’s entire lineup. Hence, the need for the British marque to develop an EV-friendly platform.
We’ll just have to see, though, how the next few years shape the Morgan 3-Wheeler.
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