First off, let’s all just be happy that a new Morgan 3 Wheeler is coming, insuring that people cross-shopping Honda CR-Vs and Toyota RAV4s will always have a reasonable alternative. The new 3 Wheeler appears to retain the crucial elements of its predecessors, namely a bathtub-like body with a pair of wheels in front framing an engine, and one at the rear. There’s a new engine this time, and some styling changes, but it looks like it’ll still be the wonderful, charming oddity it always was.
The new engine will be one of Ford’s three-cylinder powerplants, which range in size from 1L to 1.5L and, at least in European economy car applications, makes around 85 horsepower.
Unlike most cars, when Morgan changes the engine in the 3 Wheeler, they’re also changing the styling, because previous models have used V-twin engines that also defined the look of the front of the car. An inline-3 just doesn’t have the same dramatic, symmetrical look as the big chrome V of the V-twin, so the 3 Wheeler may end up with an enclosed engine for the first time in its development.
The development mule seen in the pictures provided by Morgan has some big, weird face mask thing on the front end that is not likely part of the actual design, so how that face ends up looking is still only known to those gleeful kooks over at Morgan.
Morgan’s press release does hint about a
“New design language inspired by the early jet age”
...which makes me wonder if we may see some sort of sleek, ovoid air-intake cowl, like that seen on another British transportation icon, the De Havilland Comet, the first passenger jet aircraft:
That could be a pretty cool look, if something like that is the inspiration.
Other styling changes seem to include some slightly more crisp character lines and larger fenders with more wheel coverage, but this is still very heavily disguised so I’m hesitant to say any of these styling changes are what they seem.
Also interesting regarding the engine choice is this statement from the press release:
The all-new model will be powered by an internal combustion engine at launch, specifically an inline three-cylinder naturally aspirated engine from Ford
The notation that the 3 Wheeler will “be powered by an internal combustion engine at launch” is interesting in that it hints that maybe an EV variant is possible, as we’ve seen before in Morgan concepts.
The front suspension setup looks pretty different as well, which was likely something that had to change when the switch from a very short V-twin to a longer inline-3 was made.