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The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
Some of the Sexiest Cars we Can't Afford
There are automakers and then there are automakers. There are the Chevrolets and Toyotas of the world that offer huge model ranges and sell thousands upon thousands of vehicles each year and then there are specialty boutique brands.
The Morgan 3 Wheeler has been recalled in the U.S. because a label regarding the brake fluid reservoir could be missing.
A tiny car with big personality, Morgan CEO Charles Morgan announced that the radical Three-wheeler will be offered in the U.S. through the distribution channel of three select U.S. dealerships. Continue Reading…
Last year we heard news that Morgan was working on a high-performance electric car, and last month we heard news that the Plus E would be making its debut at the Geneva Motor Show. Now the Morgan Electric Plus E Concept has been revealed and is hoping to garner enough interest to make its way into production.
The prototype Plus E Concept is based on the Plus 8, but is powered by a Zytek electric motor and a lithium-ion battery giving it a range of 120 miles on a single charge. The electric motor produces 160-hp with 280 lb-ft of torque, which isn’t exactly high-performance but respectable for an electric vehicle. Mated to a five-speed manual transmission, the 2,756-lb Plus E hits 62-mph in 6 seconds and has a top speed of 115-mph.
The British automaker will be gauging consumer interest at the Geneva Motor Show to determine whether or not they’ll make the Plus E Concept a production model.
“We wanted to see how much fun you can have in an electric sports car, so we have built one to help us find out. The Plus E combines Morgan’s traditional look with high-technology construction and a powertrain that delivers substantial torque instantly at any speed. With the manual gearbox to increase both touring range and driver involvement, it will be a fantastic car to drive,” said Steve Morris, Morgan’s operations director.
GALLERY: Morgan Electric Plus E Concept Official Photos
British performance car maker Morgan will unveil an electric car called the Morgan Plus E at the 2012 Geneva Auto Show next month.
The company is using an electric drivetrain from Zytek, the same group they went to for their previous EV (pictured above). Like the last time, this car will also come with a manual gearbox. It’s an unusual combination considering most electric cars we see today have either a single speed or at most two.
Regardless of convention, using a manual system in an electric performance car can multiply the already instant torque electric motors offer.
“If there is enough public interest, it will go into production,” a Zytek spokesman told Automotive News.
Few further details are available on the Plus E, but Steve Morris, Morgan’s operations director, said it will have near-super car performance. We’ll bring you coverage live from Geneva next month during the press preview.
[Source: Automotive News]
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.”
With the Gumball 3000 already underway (it started May 26), the folks in charge of the international parade of shenanigans has released a video showing the rally’s start in Covent Garden, London. The 19 minute video shows over 100 of the most magnificent and rare supercars in the world. Even the rain couldn’t stop the massive crowd that gathered to watch the beginning of the world’s most fun and most glamorous rally.
The 3000 mile rally will start in London and end in Istanbul over a seven day period across 10 countries, via Paris, Barcelona, Monte Carlo, Milan, Venice, Zagreb, Belgrade and Sofia. It was also revealed that the 2011 rally would cost £25,000 to take part in.
Participants include the “who’s who” of the international social scene, Sheikhs, entrepreneurs, oil tycoons, and dot com billionaires.
The incredible line up includes Pagani Zondas, Bugatti Veyrons, Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Rolls Royces, Bentleys, Aston Martins, Jaguars, Porsches, Morgans and several Lotus’, and this year, over 20 eco and concept electric cars are taking part as Gumball enters a new decade of green motoring!
Check out the video after the jump!
Since Hammond’s car was one of only six right-hand drive examples, it is even more rare. Well now his very car can be yours, because Hammond has put his car up for sale.
It is listed at Mole Valley Specialist Cars in Surrey, England, and its asking price is a whopping £99,950 ($159,000). That is exactly the same as what these cars were worth new back in 2008.
So if you are the world’s biggest Richard Hammond fan, maybe this is just the trinket you’ve been looking for.
British car maker Morgan, long known for its quirky, retro sports cars based around wooden frames, is propelling itself into the 21st century with two new sports cars, including a diesel-electric hybrid, a first for the fiercely traditional car maker.
Morgan designer Matt Humphries said that the vehicle would be called the LIFEcar 2 and have a range of more than 1000 miles. Humphries also told Autocar that the second vehicle, which has not yet been named, would be a more extreme sports car. Morgan is set to launch a version of the EvaGT show car that debuted at Pebble Beach last month that will look nearly identical to the concept. “We’ve got a reputation for translating show cars into road cars almost unchanged,” said Humphries. “That’s our plan for the EvaGT. It needs a high-level brake light at the rear, but that’s about all.”
Previous Morgan cars have been powered by antiquated powerplants and are known for their arcane driving experience, as well as the decades long waiting lists for these exclusive sports cars.
What better venue for classic British automaker Morgan to debut a new concept than at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. Keeping the same general body shape as the Aero, the EvaGT does away with the VW Beetle headlights in favor of some angry LED units. The large Morgan grille remains, however, and grows in size to add more oomph to the retro coupe.
Continuing to rely on BMW for the powertrain, the EvaGT comes with the German automaker’s twin-turbo inline-six making just over 300-hp and a solid 300 ft-lbs of torque. Using a light weight chassis, aluminum body panels and light weight Rays wheels, the EvaGT tips the scales at just 2,755 lbs, allowing for an impressive 0-62 mph sprint of just 4.5 seconds. Top speed is rated at 170-mph.
Technically speaking the EvaGT is still a concept, but a small automaker like Morgan isn’t about to do through all the trouble of building this prototype to then store it away in a museum. Expect a production model to debut as early as the Geneva Auto Show this coming March.
GALLERY: Morgan EvaGT
On display at the Detroit Auto Show, Lotus showed its new flagship sports car, the Evora, alongside another rare British auto, the Morgan AeroMax. The AeroMax sports a BMW sourced 4.8-liter V8 engine and can accelerate to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds. It retails for a whopping $180,000.
As for the Evora, it’s Lotus’ all-new 2+2 sports car, aimed at delivering the same Lotus driving experience with added functionality. Powered by a 3.5-liter V6 engine with 276-hp, it can hit 60 mph in 4.9 seconds and gets over 30 miles per gallon on the highway.
Options include items like a $1,990 Premium Package that includes a more extensive leather interior and lets the owner choose the leather color. There’s also a Sport Package for $1,275 that includes a new diffuser, titanium exhaust tips, black brake calipers and cross-drilled rotors as well as a Sports Mode with more aggressive throttle response, a higher RPM limit and a more limited level of interference by the traction and stability control programs. For $2,995, there’s a technology package with an upgraded audio system, a 7-inch LCD screen with navigation, all the iPod and USB connectivity you could want, as well as reverse parking sensors and steering wheel mounted cruise control. And for $1,500 owners can opt for a close ratio six-speed manual transmission.
Currently on-sale in Europe, the Evora is set to hit dealerships later this year in the U.S., with a base price of $73,500.
In addition to the new Evora, Lotus had on display a new Exige S 260 model in a stunning red paint scheme, as well as an Elise with an equally impressive red Alcantara interior. The Exige S 260 is pwered by a supercharged 1.8-liter engine and makes 257-hp and 174 ft-lbs of torque. It weighs just 2,020 lbs. thanks to a carbon fiber front splitter, rear spoiler, roof, engine cover, side air intake ducts, sill covers and even the top of the dash. The weight savings is also due to the use of several other lighter parts including a lightweight “motorsports” battery, lighter 12-spoke forged alloy wheels, a revised rear engine subframe, a lightweight flywheel, alloy piping for the supercharger and intercooler and a composite panel that replaces the rear window. Exige 260 models retail for $74,995.
GALLERY: Lotus Evora, Exige S 260, Elise and Morgan AeroMax
While the real stars of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance are the vintage autos, the Concept Lawn is a special place where future show-stoppers are put on display. While some of the models are actually concepts, many are rare coachbuilt models and a few are full-production cars.
In the concept category there was the luxury convertible plug-in hybrid, the Fisker Sunset, as well as the absolutely stunning Infiniti Essence Concept - a hybrid in it’s own right, making 600hp thanks to a 440hp twin-turbo direct-injection 3.7-liter V6 and a 160hp electric motor.
Included in the list of Coachbuilt creations was the edgy Corvette ZR1-based Stile Bertone Mantide. This is no kit car, however, as the vehicle was designed by Jason Castriota, the man who also penned the Pininfarina P4/5. Plus, it weights 220 lbs less than the ZR1 for even more performance.
Also on display was the Devon GTX (pictured above), arguably the arch-nemesis of the Mantide, as it is based on the Dodge Viper. With a more shapely body than the Mantide, the 650hp GTX is scheduled to attempt to set a new fastest lap time at the Nürburgring. No doubt there’s some ego involved in this announcement as Devon attempted to buy Viper from Chrysler but the deal was never completed.
In the production category cars ranged from the reasonably well priced (Lotus Evora) to the ridiculous (Bugatti Sang Bleu). The four-seater Lotus is scheduled to be released early next year, while the ultra-limited edition Bugatti is based on the convertible Grand Sport model. Other production or near production models included the Spyker C8 Aileron Spyder, V-10 powered Audi R8, the 750hp carbon-chassis Aston Martin One-77, a Morgan, the all-new 510hp 2010 Jaguar XJL Supersport, the Mercedes-McLaren SLR Stirling Moss and the Rolls-Royce EX200, aka, the Ghost. And who could forget the misplaced SMS 570X Dodge Challenger.