Morgan Super 3 revealed

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The Super 3 continues Morgan’s 113-year lineage of three-wheelers with a 88kW Ford engine, a revamped design and a new monocoque chassis.

Morgan is bringing its iconic 3 Wheeler into the modern age with this: the Super 3. The new car swaps the previous version’s V-twin motorcycle engine for a 1.5-litre three-cylinder Ford engine with almost 50 per cent more power, and it’s the first ever Morgan built using a monocoque chassis.

The previous 3 Wheeler was characterised by its snorting V-twin motorcycle engine, but stringent emissions regulations made it infeasible to continue with such a powerplant. As a result, Morgan has adopted a 1.5-litre three-cylinder from Ford for the Super 3, which has dictated much of the new, ground-up design.

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While the teardrop shape, spindly tyres and exposed mechanicals are familiar, the Super 3 has been modernised in certain areas with smoother, concave body surfacing and aerodynamically-optimised 20-inch wheels. Of course, the front-mounted v-twin engine is conspicuous in its absence, too, with the Super 3’s cast aluminium structure on show in its place.

The motorcycle engine was air cooled, and the new water cooled Ford unit has necessitated fitment of radiators on either side of the body. Morgan’s designers have embraced these as design features, by fitting large rectangular side blades behind the front wheels to house them. These can be used to mount luggage racks for longer road trips, and contrasting colour side blades with additional decals are available too.

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Instead of the 3 Wheeler’s large side-mounted exhaust system, the Super 3 features a neater ‘exhaust cannon’ cutting through the rear of the bodywork. A new windscreen (available with a yellow tint) has also been fitted for less buffeting at speed, although buyers can do without it and don a pair of goggles instead.

The rear end is more elegant than before with a boat-tail style design, and there’s a small storage area beneath the clamshell boot lid, along with the option of a rear-mounted luggage rack.

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As with the previous model, the Super 3’s interior is as much a part of the exterior, and IP64 certification ensures that it’s resistant to dust and water splashes. There’s a pair of gauges in the centre of the dashboard, which are fully digital for the first time in a Morgan and available in either a black or silver anodised finish. The distinctive ‘missile release’ style engine start switch remains, while the seats can be trimmed in various vinyl, fabric and leather upholstery options.

Morgan has installed a new footwell heater, too, and the Super 3 features an optional Beeline smartphone-linked navigation system with a small circular screen behind the steering wheel. The steering wheel itself is adjustable, as is the pedal box.

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Morgan claims that the new monocoque design allows for a lighter and more rigid chassis construction, along with improved safety and cabin space. Parts of the structure are made from superformed aluminium, which the brand says is a first in the industry.

At the front, pullrod suspension and a set of lengthened wishbones have been fitted for better ride and handling, and the engine has been mounted behind the front axle for improved weight balance. The rear wheel is suspended by twin trailing arms with two spring and damper units.

Morgan has collaborated with Avon to produce bespoke Speedmaster front tyres for the Super 3, while the rear wheel uses an off-the-shelf winter tyre, chosen for its approachable sliding characteristics – particularly important given the new car’s significant increase in power.

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The 1.5-litre engine sends 88kW and 150Nm to the rear wheel using a belt drive, bringing the Super 3 from 0-100km/h in around 7 seconds and onto a top speed of 210km/h. The bulkier powerplant means that the Super 3 is slightly heavier than before at 635kg (dry), but the new engine can still return an impressive 7L/100km, claims Morgan.

Morgan has tuned the acoustic and vibrational properties of the engine to make it more characterful, and promises a buzzing three-cylinder rasp higher up in the revs. The motor is paired to a five-speed gearbox borrowed from the Mazda MX-5, which is also used in the outgoing model. The car’s bevel box has been re-engineered to reduce whine at cruising speeds, while retaining the mechanical noise of a straight-cut gearbox.

The Super 3 offers more scope for personalisation than any other Morgan, with accessory rails for bespoke luggage, helmet mounts and cameras available. Painted aluminium panniers can also be specified, along with various graphics packs and liveries.

Yousuf Ashraf

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