Quirky British car could come Down Under, but would cost about $60,000.
British classic car-maker Morgan has revealed it will sell the radical Three-Wheeler “somewhere in the $60,000 range” in Australia next year – if it passes a UK crash test this month.
The niche brand’s local arm says it has received an overwhelming response, with more than 200 expressions of interest in the unique trike, which features an exposed motorcycle engine ahead of its grille.
“This Morgan Three-Wheeler has stirred up unbelievable interest in my experience with the Morgan world,” Morgan Cars Australia spokesman Chris van Wyk says. “This is a vehicle that you can still have some fun in at the speed limit.”
As per special-interest vehicle regulations, the Three-Wheeler will not require the fitment of conventional, potentially life-saving safety equipment such as airbags, stability control and anti-locking brakes.
“The Morgan Motor Company has built us a car because Australia is unique in the world to require a crash test for this particular vehicle,” van Wyk says. It already has the approval of US and European road transport authorities for crash safety and emissions.
“It’s about to be tested imminently, and if it passes then we will embark upon the rest of the long list of Australian Design Rule requirements, which we think we can meet.”
The crash test will be conducted in the UK this month by an independent test authority recognised in Australia with full results expected in a few weeks’ time.
Mr van Wyk says the Three-Wheeler is attracting new customers to the classic British brand as well as enthusiasts looking for a unique driving experience.
“I personally know 17 of the first 20 people who’ve put their hand up, but I don’t know the other 180-odd. They’re all new faces, looking for something different.”
The Three-Wheeler maintains the trike layout of its predecessor from the early 1900’s with an aeroplane-inspired profile and an exposed V-twin engine mounted in front of the grille.
The US-built 2.0-litre V-twin engine sends 85kW of power to the rear wheel via a Mazda-sourced five-speed manual transmission. Weighing just 550 kilograms, the Three-Wheeler can sprint to 100km/h in a claimed 4.5 seconds from standstill while providing “effortless hill-climbing ability”.
Each example will be built to customer order, with highlights such as classic Royal Air Force-inspired decals and even optional bullet holes