Morgan To Produce A High Powered Electric Sportscar Concept
The Morgan prototype will feature a new derivative of the 300Nm 94bhp 70kW electric powertrain, as used by US vehicle manufacturers.Published 17 August 2011
The Morgan Motor Company and a group of British technology specialists are developing a new, high performance electric sportscar prototype.
The Morgan +E programme will provide two engineering concept vehicles in early 2012, both of which will be based on the Aero Supersport's aluminium chassis, and a new Zytek high power-density electric powertrain mated to a manual gearbox, replacing the 4.8 litre BMW V8 engine.
£100,000 part funding for the research and development comes from the Niche Vehicle Network CR&D Programme, managed by CENEX, providing support and grant funding to groups of companies active in the niche vehicle sector.
"This is an exciting investigation into the potential for a zero-emissions Morgan with near supercar performance," says Morgan’s Operations Director, Steve Morris. "By working closely with Zytek and Radshape, who already have considerable expertise in this field, we aim to make this a realistic concept that could lead to further developments if demand and other factors prove favourable."
The Morgan prototype will feature a new derivative of the 300Nm 94bhp 70kW electric powertrain, as used by US vehicle manufacturers. The unit will be installed in to the transmission tunnel and requires three connections to cooling water, high voltage electrics and low voltage electrics.
A Li-Ion battery pack will provide power and will be integrated into the aluminium structure of the vehicle. Both the powertrain and batteries will be mounted in an aluminium chassis by Radshape which is based on an evolved version of the the design manufactured by the company for the Morgan Supersport.
Zytek’s sales and marketing director Steve Tremble says "With maximum torque from zero rpm, electric power can deliver an immediate, thrilling driving experience," he says. "Our intention is to demonstrate drivability, performance and refinement that comfortably meets the expectations of Morgan’s most discerning customers."
Unusually, the vehicle will be combine an electric motor with a conventional manual gearbox. "Keeping the motor in its sweet spot will help it use energy more efficiently, which will increase the vehicle’s range," explains Zytek's engineering programme manager Neil Cheeseman. "It also allows us to provide lower gearing for rapid acceleration from pull-away and higher gearing for top speed. It should also make the car more engaging for keen drivers."
"Access to Cenex funding, who support the Niche Vehicle Network, will allow British companies to demonstrate their world-class expertise," concludes Radshapes managing director, Keith Chadwick. "The UK has many of the world’s most capable specialists in low-carbon vehicle technologies and projects such as the Morgan +E are an outstanding way for us to bring our considerable expertise to life."