Morgan Motor Company and British technology specialists have teamed up to build a new, high-performance electric sports car prototype. The development project is being partially funded by a £100,000 grant from the Niche Vehicle Network CR&D Programme that supports companies active in the niche vehicle sector.
The vehicle will use a new derivative of Zytek’s high power-density electric powertrain mated to a conventional manual gearbox. Zytek has an extensive experience with fast electric cars. Zytek’s first experience was back in 1997 when it converted a Lotus Elise to electric drive. Zytek was also the first company to race a hybrid at Le Mans and supplied technology for the first KERS-equipped Formula 1 car to win a Grand Prix.
The prototype being built will use a new derivative of Zytek’s proven 70kW (94-hp) 300 Nm electric powertrain. The compact, lightweight unit will be installed in the transmission tunnel and will require three additional connections for cooling water, high/low voltage electrics. Power will come from a Li-Ion battery pack integrated into the vehicle’s aluminium structure. The technology can be integrated with a rear-wheel drive platform, which is great news for auto enthusiasts. Morgan is expecting the prototype to be ready in early 2012.
“This is an exciting investigation into the potential for a zero-emissions Morgan with near supercar performance,” says Morgan’s Operations Director, Steve Morris. “By working closely with Zytek and Radshape, who already have considerable expertise in this field, we aim to make this a realistic concept that could lead to further developments if demand and other factors prove favourable.”