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Morgan's hydrogen-fuelled future. Image by Morgan.

Morgan's hydrogen-fuelled future
Morgan breaks with tradition and plans a fuel-cell prototype.
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Morgan is not a company you'd envision building a futuristic prototype. The British sports car maker is more typically associated with 'classically' designed cars built around a wooden body sub-structure, but the company surprised many when it unveiled plans to build a hydrogen fuel-cell car at the Geneva show last week.

Managing director Charles Morgan said the company bearing his family name will launch a LIFECar (Lightweight Fuel Efficient Car) at the Geneva show next year. The LIFECar is a hydrogen-fuelled vehicle built using Morgan's ash-framed body to keep weight down. The carmaker wants to demonstrate that a 200-mile range zero-emission vehicle can also be fun to drive.

The goal of the LIFECar is apparently to take the incremental adaptations of traditional car designs to new levels by showcasing a new vehicle architecture enabled by the use of a fuel-cell hybrid powertrain. The vehicle is likely to employ individual electric motors powering each wheel and it will store electricity generated from the fuel-cell in sophisticated capacitors. It is speculated that BMW's liquid hydrogen storage technology may also be used; unsurprising given Morgan's history with the German automaker.

Artist's impressions of the LIFECar depict a vehicle reminiscent of the Aero 8, but with aerodynamic fairings covering the wheel arches. The prototype is being developed in partnership with Oscar Automotive and elicits the technology know-how of specialists including Cranfield University, Oxford University, Linde AG and QinetiQ, the British defence technology firm. Keep an eye on the Motorshows page at this time next year for more news.

Eric Gallina - 21 Mar 2007

2007 Morgan LifeCar. Image by Morgan.2007 Morgan LifeCar. Image by Morgan.      - Morgan road tests
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