Morgan XP-1 prototype unveiled as test bed for electric technology

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In 2020, we reported that England-based Morgan had canned the electric 3-Wheeler but pledged to continue developing battery technology for future models. One of these has been unveiled as a concept: called XP-1, it’s an experimental battery-powered version of the Super 3.

Presented as “the forerunner to all future electric Morgan sports cars,” the XP-1 was built as a rolling laboratory of technology. It’s shaped just like the Super 3, meaning it blurs the line separating cars and motorcycles with two front wheels and a lone rear wheel, but it features a powertrain-specific front end that’s relatively smooth in order to maximize driving range. The changes lower the drag coefficient by 33%.

Interestingly, the XP-1 receives the first drivetrain that Morgan has developed on its own. Its current and previous cars have all used engines sourced from other carmakers; the Super 3 is powered by a Ford-sourced 1.5-liter three-cylinder, for example. While official specifications haven’t been released, British magazine Autocar learned power comes from a 134-horsepower electric motor installed in the transmission tunnel. The motor draws juice from a 33-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack that stores enough electricity for about 150 miles of range.

Going electric makes the XP-1 around 130 pounds heavier than the Super 3. It tips the scale at about 1,550 pounds, according to Autocar.

There’s not much to the interior — simplicity stands out as one of the Super 3’s claims to fame — but Morgan fitted the XP-1 with a full digital instrument cluster to replace the standard car’s split, twin-gauge setup. An electric parking brake appears for the first time, too.

Morgan stresses that the XP-1 is not intended for production. Instead, its engineers will test the model for the next 18 to 24 months to gather data about electric drivetrains. It sounds like we’ll see an electric car join the British brand’s line-up in the not-too-distant future, however.

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