What is it?
The clue's in the name, and it's not very subtle. It's a Morgan, with three wheels. Evoking the famous three-wheeled models from Morgan's long history, the new car (strictly speaking it's not a car - it uses a front-mounted motorcycle engine to power a single rear wheel) is light, powerful and the driving aids consist of your hands, eyes and feet. In an age of electrically controlled, hermetic motoring, the Morgan 3 Wheeler is a refreshingly back-to-basics approach to modern motoring.
Is it any good?
Charles Morgan reckons you could use the 3 Wheeler everyday and he's right. You'd have to be a bit unhinged, though. For all its joyous disrespect for modernity it's a bit crude as everyday transport. That's not to say it isn't a wonderful thing, it's just compromised as a daily driver. The machined metal controls and amusing fire button-covered starter button work well with the aero-inspired instruments and leather cabin.
It's basic, but it's got all the essentials. There are some lovely details like the cut out M3W on the brake pedal (the pedal box is well worth an extended look, such is the attention to detail), which is very smart, as are the column stalks. It's not all good news, even with the steering wheel removed it's tricky getting the key in the ignition and the gearknob looks at bit aftermarket in the otherwise bespoke interior.
That gearbox works conventionally though, despite the fact that it's mated to a 1.8-litre V-twin engine. The 115bhp unit is largely similar to that used by Harley Davidson, but built to a higher specification by S&S in the USA. It's not hugely powerful, but in something that weighs under 500kg, it's enough to shift the 3 Wheeler to 60mph in an estimated 4.5 seconds. The top speed is academic, as you'll run out of bravery before the 3 Wheeler runs out of pace - 60mph feels like 90mph due to the wind buffeting, the noise of the engine and the vibration that the V-twin causes.
If you're driving it on a fast, busy road you might want a full-faced helmet, but narrow country roads are where the Morgan 3 Wheeler feels at its best. The front wheels bob up and down in front of you and the rear can be made to break traction with surprising ease. It's quick, though, despite an initial sharpness to turn in it takes a bit more lock than you might think to make it round tighter bends. The brakes could do with a bit more bite and pedal feel, too, as the low position of the middle pedal renders heel and toe downshifting blips all but impossible. Forget trying to see anything in the rear-view mirrors.
They're easily resolved issues, though, and they don't detract much from the Morgan's enormous appeal. That attraction is all based around the fact that you're so integral to the driving process. Every input and decision is yours, the 3 Wheeler's appeal lying directly in its physicality.
Should I call the bank manager?
Prices are expected to start at around £30,000. If you're considering one then you're more than likely in a decent position financially, as £30,000 is a lot of money for a toy - which is what all but a handful of 3 Wheelers will be used for. As an occasional use machine for weekend fun it's enormously enjoyable, but so too are a lot of lightweight four-wheeled rivals like Caterham 7s and Ariel Atoms.
Unconventional insomuch as it's not even a proper car, nor is it really pretending to be. It's huge fun though, and never fails to attract attention. It might not be cheap for something that's essentially a weekend plaything, but there's nothing out there like it. Morgan's got form with 3 Wheelers and it shows, so it's not really surprising that the order books are overflowing.