The UK’s Morgan Motor Company is best known for making new cars that look like old cars. Not only that, but barring a false start with an electric take on the Three Wheeler, the EV3, it’s all gas, all the time. Perhaps that won’t be the case forever, as it’s revealed its latest development vehicle, XP-1: a Super 3 with an electric heart.
Where the production Super 3 has a 1.5 L Ford three-cylinder engine under the hood, XP-1 gets a 33 kWh battery pack hooked up to a 136 hp (100 kW) 251lb-ft (340 Nm) electric motor that sits in the transmission tunnel. It weighs 132 lbs (60 kg) more than the gas car and comes with a lot more torque.
A happy side effect of that weight is a real-world economy of about 4 miles/kWh (15.5 kWh/100 km), giving a non-homologated range of roughly 132 miles/212 km). Oh, and Morgan’s thrown in fast charging—up to 50kW—so it can get itself a full charge in less than an hour.
It’s been developed using the sort of tech you wouldn’t expect from a company that most people wrongly assume makes cars out of wood.
“We use a MATLAB Simulink, which is a kind of programming software that’s used by all the big OEMs. They use it for creating control software for vehicles. We’re using it to simulate how an EV will work. When we built this, we had it in the simulation platform, so we knew roughly how far it was gonna go. It allows us to kind of drill down and kind of optimize how the system works,” Matt Hole, Morgan’s chief technical officer, said. “I think for a small manufacturer, it’s generally unheard of to have that kind of level of simulation technology.”
The motor and batteries aren’t in-house developments, but thanks to work done in the virtual space, they’ve been specced to suit the Super 3’s rather odd chassis dimensions. Its less-than-conventional shape was thoroughly tested for drag, and aero tweaks were made to help it cut through the air a little better.