In a noteworthy departure from its long-standing tradition of internal combustion engines, Morgan Motor Company announced last month that it was making strides into the realm of electric mobility with the introduction of the XP-1, an experimental prototype.
This development, a culmination of a 12-month effort by Morgan’s engineering team based in Malvern, Worcestershire, UK, signifies the company’s entry into the electric vehicle (EV) market and serves as a precursor to its forthcoming electric sports cars.
A Strategic Move
The XP-1 prototype, built on the aluminum platform of the Super 3, is not intended for commercial production. Instead, it is a strategic move by Morgan to gather essential insights into various aspects of EV technology, ranging from driving characteristics and powertrain development to new feature experimentation.
Matt Hole, Chief Technical Officer at Morgan, emphasizes the prototype’s instrumental role in augmenting the company’s engineering and design capabilities, providing invaluable data for the shaping of future electric models.
In the pursuit of electric mobility, Morgan is breaking away from its conventional approach and developing a bespoke powertrain for the XP-1. This powertrain, engineered for precise control over calibrations, allows the creation of distinct driving modes. Crucially, this step is aligned with Morgan’s commitment to preserving the lightweight essence that has defined their sports cars throughout their 114-year history.
Charging capabilities play a significant role in the XP-1’s experimental features. The prototype is Combined Charging System (CCS) enabled, facilitating fast charging, and introduces bi-directional charging capability, a feature intended to contribute to the ongoing evolution of Morgan’s electric initiatives. Furthermore, the XP-1 pioneers the use of an electronic park brake (EPB), marking a departure from traditional braking mechanisms.
Beyond the powertrain and charging experiments, the XP-1 serves as an aerodynamics testbed. Front-end aerodynamic improvements have resulted in a remarkable 33% reduction in drag coefficient, showcasing Morgan’s commitment to enhancing efficiency and range in their electric vehicles. Internally, the XP-1 facilitates user interface (UI) experimentation, with a bespoke display that continually evolves based on user feedback.
Project Beyond the Prototype
As Morgan embarks on this electric journey, the XP-1 project extends beyond the prototype itself. The company initiates an extensive process of workforce training and infrastructure adaptation to align with the unique demands of electric vehicle production.
This includes preparing workshops, training for handling high voltage systems, and installing charging infrastructure—a pivotal step for the future production of electric sports cars.
Matt Hole reassures enthusiasts that the distinctive qualities of Morgan’s current range—fun to drive, lightweight, handcrafted, and bespoke—will remain integral to their forthcoming electric models. The XP-1’s evolution is not confined to the factory; it is a visible project that invites the Morgan community to witness the company’s journey to electrification.
The prototype is set to make periodic appearances at events, both within and beyond Morgan’s factory, providing enthusiasts with an opportunity to engage with the electrification process firsthand.
A Significant Milestone
The XP-1 marks a significant milestone for Morgan Motor Company as it navigates the complexities and opportunities presented by an electric future. This experimental prototype stands as a tangible representation of the company’s commitment to innovation, sustainability, and a seamless transition into the evolving landscape of electric mobility.
As the XP-1 evolves, so does the story of Morgan’s foray into a new era of automotive technology.