The niche sports car brand described the process of getting the Morgan 3 Wheeler to market as a “protracted” one that has required the unique vehicle to be “re-engineered from a 3-wheeled motorcycle to a 3-wheeled car”.
Australia’s “unique” technical requirements under the Australian Design Rules meant major changes had to be applied – both under the skin and to the more noticeable parts of the rear-drive two-seater.
The most noticeable change is the “moustache” style induction system that was adopted to meet noise regulations. The induction pipes at the front of the M3W, as it is known, give it something of a 1900s fighter pilot look (though the car already looked a bit more like a motorcycle-cross-airplane than anything else).
These images provided by Morgan show a pre-production car, and the company says the vehicles sold to consumers will have an “enhanced satin-silver appearance”.
Other changes to the M3W for Australia include repositioned front indicators, wind deflectors (rather than a windscreen), a collapsible steering column, a padded steering wheel, padding across the dashboard, a central mirror, larger side mirrors (car-size, not motorcycle-small), side reflectors and indicators, higher roll-over hoops with head restraints, a seatbelt warning light, brake failure warning light, third (middle) brake light, and a reversing lamp.
So, no small task.
Morgan says the 3 Wheeler’s classification as a car rather than a motorcycle means it attracts a 5 per cent levy on UK imports (bikes don’t), and also means the Luxury Car Tax is applicable – despite the fact this is hardly a luxo barge. As such it is priced from $90,000 plus on-road costs. The company has quoted a basic driveaway price of $97,660 for a standard car delivered to a buyer in Melbourne.
The company is offering a range of modification options for the look of the M3W, with sticker/decal packs, different paint finishes and leather trim just some of the boxes available for buyers to tick. The front wheels (19x4-inch in size) can be painted as an option, too – though the 15-inch single rear wheel remains out of sight, so remains untouched.
The Morgan 3 Wheeler is powered by a 2.0-litre V-twin engine producing 60kW (at 5250rpm) and 140Nm (at 3250rpm), but weighs just 550 kilograms thanks the extensive use of aluminium. It sends its power to the rear wheel – yep, it’s one-wheel drive – through a five-speed Mazda gearbox.
Morgan claims a 0-100km/h time of just 6.0 seconds, while fuel use is claimed at 9.3 litres per 100km.
Australian production is set to commence in April 2015, with deliveries commencing from July.