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Morgan tests electric prototype. Image by Morgan.

Morgan tests electric prototype
Morgan Plus E could enter production if demand is high enough.
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A radical new all-electric roadster was revealed at the Geneva Motor Show - by none other than Morgan. And while the Plus E is strictly a concept at present, the company has suggested that the forward-looking two-seater could enter production if public demand is deemed strong enough.

Although the Plus E uses Morgan's traditional body style, under the skin it's anything but. A version of Morgan's lightweight aluminium chassis cradles an electric power unit from British engineering firm Zytek. It might only be rated at 95hp, but that motor offers up a healthy 300Nm slug of torque - and, like all electric motors, it delivers maximum torque from zero revs. So while ultimate performance won't quite be up there with the 367hp Plus 8 (the Plus E's V8-powered petrol counterpart), acceleration should still be brisk.

Unusually for an electric vehicle, the concept features a five-speed manual gearbox.
Morgan says that this addition will allow the motor to be kept at peak efficiency, which will not only improve the car's range, but also make it more involving to drive. However, because of the electric power unit's torque characteristics, the driver won't actually need to use the clutch to pull away - in fact, the car can be left in gear and driven like an automatic if desired.

You could be forgiven for thinking that this sounds rather like a motor show flight of fancy, but the Morgan is serious about getting the model into production. This is the first of two prototype vehicles in existence; the second is an engineering car, and with it Morgan intends to trial alternative battery types and a sequential gearbox. What happens after that depends largely on customers' reactions, but if people like what they see, a production Plus E looks likely to become a reality.

Alex Robbins - 27 Mar 2012

Earlier articles featuring 2012 Morgan Plus E

2012-03-26: Gallery: Morgan's electric Plus E

2012 Morgan Plus E. Image by Morgan.2012 Morgan Plus E. Image by Morgan.      - Morgan road tests
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