2011 Morgan Threewheeler -- First look at a neo-retro classic
The Morgan Motor Company is hardly the only automaker to have built three-wheeled automotive conveyances. But it surely stands as the most fundamentally successful producer of these iconic trikes. From 1909 to 1953, the British firm turned out around 30,000, and more were built in France under license. Winner of the 1913 French Grand Prix and revered by true believers, the originals remain huge crowd favorites when they compete in vintage car races around the world. Now, Morgan plans to start writing a new chapter in this saga with a modern-day followup that's set to make its first formal public appearance next March at the 2011 Geneva Auto Salon.
Although complete tech details have not been released, the new-gen Threewheeler will wrap superformed aluminum body panels around a tubular steel frame and be powered by a 1.8-liter/100-horsepower Harley-Davidson V-twin engine mated to a five-speed manual transmission culled from a Mazda5. Morgan estimates that the Threewheeler will weigh about 500kg (1,100 lb), streak from 0-60 mph in about 4.5 seconds and touch 115 mph. To be homologated as a motorcycle, the first of these new Morgan Threewheelers is set to go on sale in Europe and in the U.S. sometime next summer. It will be offered in eight standard "sport" colors with black or tan leather trim; and like other Morgan vehicles, provide buyers with a variety of personalization possibilities. Final pricing will be announced when the car appears in Geneva, but is expected to start around $50,000.