Morgan at work on all-electric Aero Supersports concept

Morgan at work on all-electric Aero Supersports concept

Morgan Motor Company is on of the oldest and most traditional carmakers in the world but that’s not stopping it  from developing a high-performance electric sportscar prototype in partnership with a consortium of British technology specialists.

Called the Morgan +E programme, it’s preparing two engineering concept vehicles early in 2012. Both will be based on a development of the proven Aero Supersport’s aluminium chassis with the 4.8 litre BMW V8 replaced by a new derivative of Zytek’s high power-density electric powertrain driving through a conventional manual gearbox.

The collaborative research and development project is being part-funded by a £100,000 grant from the Niche Vehicle Network CR&D Programme, which is managed by CENEX.

The prototype Morgan will use a new derivative of Zytek’s proven 70kW (94bhp) 300Nm electric powertrain, which is already supplied to US vehicle manufacturers. The compact, lightweight unit will be installed in the transmission tunnel and will require three additional connections (cooling water, high voltage electrics and low voltage electrics).

Power will come from a Li-Ion battery pack integrated into the vehicle’s aluminium structure, offering a lightweight and powerful solution with safety systems already proven in production applications. The powertrain and batteries will be mounted in a bonded and riveted aluminium chassis constructed by precision metal former Radshape, based on an evolution of the design already manufactured by the company for Morgan’s Supersports range.

An unusual feature of the vehicle will be that drive from the electric motor is taken through the standard manual gearbox. “Keeping the motor in its sweet spot will help it use energy more efficiently, which will increase the vehicle’s range,” explains Zytek’s engineering programme manager Neil Cheeseman. “It also allows us to provide lower gearing for rapid acceleration from pull-away and higher gearing for top speed. It should also make the car more engaging for keen drivers.”

Expect to hear more on Morgan’s electric sportscar prototype as it’s developed further.

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