Morgan‘s tricky balance between past and present continues. Having switched the old-school ladder chassis for its four-wheeled cars to a new aluminium frame while keeping a wooden structure to prop up the body, the British company has gone a step further for the 3 Wheeler’s replacement. The ‘Super 3’ uses, wait for it, a monocoque.
Now, that’s nothing special these days, but it’s Morgan’s first-ever vehicle not to use body-on-frame construction. Morgan says the Super 3’s bonded ‘Superform’ aluminium monocoque makes for a lighter and more rigid three-wheeler with better packaging for the cabin.
You’ll have no doubt noticed there’s no longer a big S&S V-Twin bike engine seemingly hanging off the front as seen on the outgoing model. Instead, mounted further back and behind the front axle is a 1.5-litre inline-three supplied by Ford. This nicely mirrors the F-Type three-wheeler of 1933, which switched from a V-twin to a Ford side-valve inline-four.
The new naturally-aspirated unit sends power to the rear wheel via a five-speed manual gearbox. It’s good for 118bhp at 6500rpm, and 110lb ft of torque at 4500. The 0-62mph time is pending final certification, but we can expect a figure of around seven seconds. The top speed meanwhile is 130mph.
At the front, the Super 3 uses pull-rod suspension with double wishbones, packaged with the headlight structure in a shape intended to help airflow to the side-mounted radiators. The really neat part? The headlight stalks are structural, giving extra bracing between the upper and lower wishbones.
The new wheel design isn’t of the wire variety as used on the old car, but the 20-inch rims are still pleasingly retro. They’re shod in tyres developed in partnership with Avon, intended to look like a classic motorcycle tyre with “ballooned” sideways. Despite the aesthetics, it’s described as “closer to a car tyre in its design.”
The Super 3 might have an open cockpit, but there are plenty of ways in which it keeps occupants protected from the elements. It has an “IP64” ingress protection level, meaning it’s dust-tight and able to resist water splashes.
The instrument cluster features two digital gauges, but that’s the only modern-looking thing in the cabin. The dials have metal surrounds available with either anodised black or silver finishes, and just below is a bank of toggle switches. The start/stop button from the outgoing 3 Wheeler, said to be inspired by a military plane’s missile release switch, is still present.
There’s a dramatic increase in creature comforts, including a footwell heater, an adjustable steering column and even USB sockets. Morgan has also added a fixing under the dash to which you can attach either a cup holder or a Quad Lock phone mount. For your luggage, there are bungee cords on the outside (you might want to buy some dry bags if you’re going to use those) and a small under-seat locker. The seats, by the way, can be trimmed in a variety of materials including vinyl and water-resistant leather.
Want one? Prices start at £41,995 in the UK. The first Super 3s will be in the hands of customers by June 2022.