Morgan Super 3 (2022) review: the 3-wheeler returns

Published:17 June 2022

Morgan Super 3 (2022) review: the 3-wheeler returns
  • At a glance
  • 3 out of 5
  • 4 out of 5
  • 2 out of 5
  • 5 out of 5
  • 4 out of 5

By CAR’s road test team

Our reviewers: fresh perspectives for inquisitive minds

By CAR’s road test team

Our reviewers: fresh perspectives for inquisitive minds

  • Morgan’s new Super 3 driven!
  • Gone is the V-twin from the 3-Wheeler
  • Is it still just as mad as before?

The new Morgan Super 3 (née 3-Wheeler) replaces a bike engine for a car one, but there’s so much more to this brilliant feel good sports-, er, trike than a simple powertrain swap

It’s like seeing Nigel Mansell without a ’tache for the first time…

Yes, the old S&S motorbike-derived V-twin found in the 3-Wheeler launched in 2011 has gone, a victim of tightening emissions regs. The new Super 3 gets a 1.5-liter inline three built in India for the local market. Woah, stay with me, it’s not as bad as it sounds. And in fact, it sounds great, particularly with its offbeat three-pot burble exiting through our test car’s optional sports exhaust.

Surely it’s lost a load of character…?

Not that you’d notice after even a few hundred yards of driving. The new engine is naturally aspirated so the throttle response is sharper than a school violin concert, and it’s geared like a 1980s hot hatch, so it feels pretty gutsy low down. But, at the same time it likes to rev out, too, thanks to variable valve timing. Plus, you get the same lovely five-speed manual gearbox from a Mazda MX-5.

What about performance? Better or worse?

The old bike engine made about 90bhp at the flywheel and just over 100lb ft of torque. The Ford motor, which Morgan likes to remind people, mirrors a similar bike-to-Blue Oval switch in the 1930s, is rated at 117bhp and 110lb ft of torque. That’s a healthy increase, but the kerb weight has grown by around 100kg to 635 kg.

Morgan says zero to 62mph takes around 7sec, though it feels much quicker, and based on our crude timing attempts, is quicker, meaning it should be broadly as rapid as the old car against the clock, not that that matters. The top speed 130mph, but we’ll take Morgan’s word for it: by 80 mph things are more than exciting enough, and handily, given its the speed limit on most UK country roads, 50-60 mph is actually its optimum cruising speed.

So, what else has changed besides the engine?

How many years have you got? Almost everything about it is new. Most obviously Morgan has updated the styling by around 20 years, this Super 3 taking its cues from the early jet age rather the late bi-plane one. The cold-war-themed digital instrument binnacle is pure styling genius.

There’s also a hint of the stillborn EV3 – the electric 3 Wheeler Morgan showed in concept form in 2016, but canned the development of two years later. That idea will make a return around the middle of this decade though: the latest car’s all-new aluminium chassis has been designed with multiple energy sources in mind.

No more crack-prone steel tube chassis, then?

Not here, Mog fans. The new chassis is an aluminium monocoque, the first in the company’s 113-year history, but is clothed using the same kind of super formed aluminium panels Morgan uses on its Plus 4 and Plus 6, which are both now built around aluminium structures.

You also get double wishbone suspension instead of the ancient sliding pillar setup, plus wider (relatively, we’re taking 130/90 R20s) boots up front wrapped around stylish disc-style wheels, rather than wire rims. That means the suspension copes much better with bumps than before, and there’s significantly more grip from the front end, which you get to feel through the beautifully direct steering.

I feel stupid for asking, but how useable is it?

You’re excused. But you have actually seen the pictures, haven’t you? There are no doors, no windows, and the windscreen is no taller than a house brick. There’s also no roof, although you do get a tonneau cover so it doesn’t become a fish pond when parked in the rain.

So it’s chocolate spark plug territory, a silly toy for five minute blasts?

Mmmm, not quite. Morgan discovered that owners of the last car took them far further than anyone in the factory could have imagined, and after listening to feedback, engineers gave the new one a bigger cabin to improve comfort.

They also gave them more places to store things, including under the flip-up rear canopy, and on the side pods, via special bungee attachments or panniers. You can even fit it with an unobtrusive satellite navigation system designed for motorbikes. You’d still have to be mad to embark on a multi-country trip in one. But now you can be slightly less mad.

Morgan Super 3: verdict

Losing the bike engine could have been a disaster, at a stroke spoiling the best thing about the Super 3. But the new car is so comprehensively better in every respect that it barely matters. It’s beautifully built, gorgeous to look at, hilarious to drive, even at legal speeds, and it does 40 mpg. At £50k for nicely kitted one, it’s even decent value in the context of the supercars it will steal attention away from.

Specs

Price when new: £41,995
On sale in the UK: Now
Engine: 1500cc 12v 3cyl, 117bhp @ 6500rpm, 110lb ft @ 4500rpm
Transmission: Five-speed manual, rear-wheel drive
Performance: 7sec 0-62mph, 130mph, 40mpg, 130g/km
Weight / material: 635kg/aluminium
Dimensions (length/width/height in mm): 3581/1850/1132

Photo Gallery

  • Morgan Super 3 (2022) review: the 3-wheeler returns
  • Morgan Super 3 (2022) review: the 3-wheeler returns
  • Morgan Super 3 (2022) review: the 3-wheeler returns
  • Morgan Super 3 (2022) review: the 3-wheeler returns
  • Morgan Super 3 (2022) review: the 3-wheeler returns
  • Morgan Super 3 (2022) review: the 3-wheeler returns
  • Morgan Super 3 (2022) review: the 3-wheeler returns
  • Morgan Super 3 (2022) review: the 3-wheeler returns
  • Morgan Super 3 (2022) review: the 3-wheeler returns
  • Morgan Super 3 (2022) review: the 3-wheeler returns

By CAR’s road test team

Our reviewers: fresh perspectives for inquisitive minds

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