2015 Morgan Three Wheeler Review

Ten Reasons Why You Must Buy A Morgan Three Wheeler
Imthishan Giado

Morgan Three Wheeler

What you’re looking at is the most batshit-insane, flat-out bonkers car on sale today.

And yes, I include the likes of Ferrari, Lamborghin and all the other hypercar-erati in that statement. Thing is, those cars are deceptive; they look insane from the outside but a Ferrari 458 or a Lamborghini Huracan is no more difficult to drive than your average Corolla.

But a Morgan Three Wheeler – ah, it’s a special kind of nut who would willingly buy this car (if it can even be called a car with just three wheels) and subject themselves to the masochism of driving a new car that harks all the way back to the 1930s, and with all the safety of crossing the Atlantic in a wicker basket.

Fortunately, I am such a nut, and I’m here to tell you why buying a Three Wheeler makes perfect sense, even at a eye-watering price of AED201,292.

Morgan Three Wheeler

1) The engine sits outside the car. Don’t be fooled by the cigar-shaped fuselage, it only holds the battery and some other electrical gubbins. The entire engine precedes the front axle where it will be handily destroyed if you have the misfortune of rear-ending anything larger than a pencil.

2) It’s a motorcycle engine…. Basically a Harley Davidson V-Twin but ‘improved’ by American builders S&S, the 2.0-litre motor puts out a healthy 80bhp that redlines at….5000rpm? 6000rpm? I don’t have a clue, there isn’t a redline on the tach. Best guess is somewhere around 5500rpm.

3) …so it basically drives like a motorcycle. Just like a bike, you’re got to keep the V-Twin on the boil. Below 2500rpm, the engine lugs badly but above that it’s all torque baby torque! Best use the gearbox to keep it in its narrow powerband and surf along on the meaty midrange. With a mere 525kg to shift, the Morgan feels plenty quick for squirting around town.

Morgan Three Wheeler

4) It has the heart of a Mazda MX-5. The notchy, positive-change gearbox comes from Mazda’s venerable roadster because it’s the only one that could package into the provided space. What an inspired choice; it’s an absolute joy to use, even if the clutch is a little on the heavy side. Your legs will soon become stronger, don’t worry. You might need a chiropractor, though; accommodation inside the retro cabin with its beautiful aircraft-inspired instrumentation is tight and room in the footwell is non existent, though the pedal box is adjustable.

5) It sounds utterly brilliant. I’ve never ridden a bike, never wanted a Harley because of how obnoxious they sound – yet somehow the Morgan sounds perfect. From the lazy, slow revolutions of the aircraft-style starter, to the deep baritone blats at idle, to the full-throated roar of the side-mounted exhausts, driving the Morgan is nothing less than an event. It’s not at loud as you think on the outside, but within the cockpit, it sounds like you’re invading Vietnam.

Morgan Three Wheeler

6) You are the crash protection. Not since the fairground have I driven a ‘car’ with this little safety protection. There’s seatbelts – weirdly, which bolt in from the middle – and nothing else. No ABS. No ESP. No side impact beams. Remember, a portion of this car is made from wood. It matters little.

As soon you travel fifty yards and realise you can skin your palms raw by accidentally leaning out and touching the tarmac, you’ll drive a lot more slowly and sensibly. Not to mention, most other drivers can’t even see you.

7) It gets more attention than a Ferrari. I’ve been privileged in this job to drive a lot of expensive motors, yet nothing draws the eye of other drivers like this little Morgan. Prepare to withstand a barrage of camera flashes as you drive down Sheikh Zayed road. Ensure you have an extra ten minutes at your destination to answer a horde of questions.

Basically, everyone wants to be your friend, and everyone wants to take a picture. If this is what being a celebrity is like, Hollywood, here I come.

Morgan Three Wheeler

8) It’s not a sportscar. Those of you trying to compare it to anything else like a Caterham, forget it. With its non-power assisted steering, the Morgan has to be wrestled through corners and some stubborn understeer, too much throttle will spin the rear wheel in gears one through three – you get the idea.

This isn’t a driver’s car to attack corners, it’s a happy cruiser that puts you back in touch with the idea of motoring. It’s an experience to be savoured, a car that permits no distractions from the crucial act of driving. It’s like nothing else you can buy today.

9) It’s a handbuilt car, with all the foibles that entails. Expect less than perfect stitching, the stripes aren’t laser straight and reliability is not, shall we say, Japanese. But though my test car had a few foibles (chalked up to a errant battery, I would later find) it never failed to get me home. Think of it as a brand new vintage car, learn to leave your perfectionism at home, and you’ll get on just fine with the Moggie.

Morgan Three Wheeler

10) It will cure you of your addiction to speed. Don’t read that like it’s a bad thing. Modern cars are so powerful now that they need massive brakes and rock hard suspension to rein it all in, with the upshot that they don’t come alive until well into illegal speeds. The Three Wheeler isn’t slow but it isn’t especially fast either.

No matter; because you’re so low to the ground the sensation of visceral speed is unrivalled at the price. Just getting to 80kph is an event; at speeds of 120kph and beyond the wind noise is eardrum-shattering. I should know, I drove this car all the way to Ras Al Khaimah! Ear plugs are essential. Apart from that, the ride at speed is surprisingly excellent.

Morgan Three Wheeler

Verdict

A car I love very nearly more than life itself. In no way is this car sensible; in no way can you justify the mad price. But you can spend ten times as much on an Italian thoroughbred and not have a tenth as much fun, or you could own a lifetime’s succession of Corollas and Altimas and not remember a single journey.

Owning a Three Wheeler is pure madness. But to that I say, sanity is overrated.

Special thanks to Ras Al Khaimah Kart Track for the use of their fabulous track – why don’t you give them a try? More details on their website www.ggikarting.com/raktrack

2015 Morgan Three Wheeler Review – The Specs

Price: AED201,292 ($54,803)
Engine: 1.9-litre V-Twin, 80bhp @ 5500rpm, 103lb ft @ 3250rpm (all est)
Transmission: 5-speed manual, rear-wheel drive (and we mean just the one wheel)
Performance: 0-100kph NA, top speed 185kph (if you dare), fuel economy NA (but don’t have high hopes
Weight: 525kg

 

 

One response to “2015 Morgan Three Wheeler Review”

  1. Grockle says:

    Made me laugh out loud. Enjoyed it so much I quoted you in my blog about the Morgan Three Wheeler.
    http://www.westmog.wordpress.com

    Sanity is overrated. !

    Robert

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