Morgan Motor Company, makers of the traditional British sports cars like the Morgan Aero Supersport, has announced it is developing electric versions of its sports cars.
The project, which has been called Morgan +E, will use Aero Supersport platforms with a similar setup. The standard 4.8-litre BMW V8 engine will be replaced by an electric motor designed by British electric specialist Zytek.
What stands out as an interesting feature with the concept is Morgan has said it is looking to hook the electric powertrain up to a conventional five-speed manual transmission. However, gears two and four may be taken out to suit the wide torque band of the electric setup.
This will be the first ever electric vehicle offered with a manual gearbox if and when it goes into production. Morgan is promising the new electric vehicle will be just as sporty as the current petrol-powered crop.
With a manual transmission, acceleration times are likely to be very low thanks to power being distributed across various ratios, instead of adopting a straight-through drive system currently in place for every other EV on the market today.
Specific power figures are yet to be confirmed, but Zytek currently makes motors for a range of EVs on the market, such as the smart ED, which uses a single 70kW/300Nm motor. Two of these units could be incorporated into the lightweight Morgan chassis.
According to international reports, EV Morgans could hit the market as early as 2012. We'll be sure to provide more concrete details in the near future, including a possible inclusion into Morgan Australia's showroom lineup.