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Morgan adds spark to battery roadster

2012-03-08 20:05

ELECTRIC OVERHAUL: Morgan's taken the body of its BMW V8-powered Plus 8 and slapped an electric power train into it. With gears...

Brit sports-car maker Morgan has shown what is – probably – its most radical concept yet at the 2012 Geneva auto show to gauge showgoers' opinions.

The electric roadster is called Plus E and could enter production, Morgan says, if it garners enough attention.

The Plus E uses the revised body of the Plus 8 on a modified version of Morgan’s aluminium chassis. Its power is provided by a development of Zytek’s 70kW/300Nm electric motor which has already proved intself in a number of Chrysler and General Motors engineering programmes. 

The Zytek motor drives the rear wheels through a conventional five-speed manual transmission although, since the clutch is retained, the driver can leave it engaged when stopping or pulling away, driving the car like a regular automatic.


Zytek Automotive's MD Neil Heslington explained: "A multi-speed transmission allows the motor to spend more time operating in its sweet spot, where it uses energy more efficiently, particularly at high road speeds.

"It also allows us to provide lower gearing for rapid acceleration and will make the car more engaging for keen drivers."

Morgan, however, also says that two concept vehicles will spring from this project with the Plus E being used for preliminary engineering assessment; the second will be closer to production spec. It may feature alternative battery technologies and a sequential gearbox.

Morgan operations director Steve Morris added: "We wanted to see how much fun you can have in an electric sports car so we've built one to find out. The Plus E combines Morgan’s traditional look with high-technology construction and a power train that delivers substantial torque, instantly, at any speed.

"It will be a fantastic car to drive."

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