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by Tim Beissmann

Morgan Cars Australia is hopeful of overcoming government-imposed vehicle design regulations and introducing the Morgan Threewheeler next year.

 

The Threewheeler is a unique trike from the UK that is a nod to designs of the manufacturer’s past.

The Morgan Motor Company was founded in 1910 and built only three-wheel creations until 1936, when the more conventional four-wheel Morgan 4/4 was introduced. Even so, it continued making three-wheelers until 1952.

Morgan took the wraps off its blast-from-the-past Threewheeler late last year, before unveiling it officially at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show and launching it to the automotive press in the UK last week.

Morgan Cars Australia is desperate to add the Threewheeler to its local line-up, which was bolstered by the reintroduction of the Classic model line in October 2010. Morgan also sells the Aero SuperSports model in Australia, and plans to introduce the EvaGT coupe when it goes into production around 2013.

With a price tag of £25,000 before taxes, the bullet-shaped trike is priced similarly to sports cars like the Nissan 370Z in the UK. In Australia, it would likely undercut the Classic 4/4 Bespoke, which starts at $68,200 before government and dealer charges.

But Morgan Cars Australia’s Chris van Wyk said there were some hurdles to be cleared before the Morgan Threewheeler could be sold in Australia.

“We still have a number of ADR (Australian Design Rule) issues to overcome, but we are hopeful to obtain Australian compliance in 2012,” Mr van Wyk said from the company’s Malvern Link factory in Worcestershire, UK.

One of these is that the car weighs about 500kg, which exceeds the ADR’s 450kg maximum weight for three-wheeled vehicles.

Mr van Wyk said the company was hopeful of working with the factory and the Department of Infrastructure to overcome the issues.

“Fingers crossed, as I have over 80 expressions of interest,” he said.

“The factory has over 500 orders with deposits and the ability to build about 200 this year.”

The first production cars will be at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, which kicks off on July 1. The video above is an official teaser from Morgan for the Threewheeler’s Goodwood appearance.

The Morgan Threewheeler is powered by a 1.8-litre S&S motorcycle engine with 75kW of power and teamed with a five-speed manual transmission from Mazda that sends power to the rear wheel. It accelerates from 0-60mph (0-96.6km/h) in 4.5 seconds and has a top speed of 185km/h.




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