Visit this year’s Geneva Motor Show, and you’d be forgiven for passing one very important electric car by without even realizing it.
The Morgan Plus E concept car.
Complete with the sweeping fenders that morph into elegant running-boards, the Morgan Plus E looks just like the retro-styled, V-8 powered Morgan Plus 8 sports car.
That’s because the Morgan Plus E shares the same platform, from its lightweight aluminum chassis down to its body panels and non-drivetrain components.
But instead of a V-8 gasoline engine throbbing away under its elegant nose, the Morgan Plus E hides an all-electric drivetrain, powered by a Zytek electric motor capable of producing nearly 120 kilowatts of power.
Interestingly, unlike most electric cars, the Morgan Plus E has a five-speed manual gearbox.
Because of the way electric motors work, there’s no real need for a conventional gearbox. For most electric cars, a single-ration reduction gearbox is more than adequate.
Just like other sportscars however, the Morgan Plus E isn’t about adequacy.
Morgan insists that the addition of the gearbox will give it supercar-like acceleration. A gearbox should also equate to more fun at low-speed, where the gearbox and high-torque electric motor conspire to produce a tail-happy drifter’s dream.
At the moment, there’s little known about the battery system powering the Morgan Plus E, but Morgan has said the concept car should easily manage a range of 100 miles between charges, with a top speed of around 120 mph.
Morgan has no current production plans for the Plus E, but hasn’t ruled any out. If enough people express an interest, Morgan has said it will strongly consider making the Plus E.
We hope it does.
The Morgan Plus E is a car that reminds us of days before gasoline cost $4 a gallon -- a time when driving was as much a past-time as a method of getting from point A to point B.
We think it’s about time a car was made to remind us of those simple driving pleasures, without costing the earth to fill up.
And the Morgan Plus E could be the car to do just that.