Not every car has to be sensible. Why should they be? Life would be boring if we all drove round in the same beige econoboxes as everyone else. Morgan agrees. With the Super 3 It also thinks that any sort of roof, doors, and windscreen is an affront to a good time, too. It is the most ridiculous car money can buy. And it’s brilliant fun.
The Super 3 is a follow up to Morgan’s much loved Three Wheeler, itself a tasteful homage to the Three Wheelers that formed the foundation of the company in the early 1900s. The originals were used for all sorts of things – commuting, goods transportation, and even racing. The Super 3, while a nodding to its past, will be largely useless at all of those things.
See, it’s a car made purely to generate smiles. You should be able to tell just by looking at it – its wide eyes, comically large aerodisc wheels, distinct graphics packs, and more, all point and laugh at the idea that it’ll ever be used for anything approaching ‘serious.’ An excellent start.
Its exterior is deliberately futuristic, moving it away from both its predecessor and the rest of Morgan’s range. The angles, curves, side blades, and vents give it a look of something that belongs more in The Last Skywalker than Last of the Summer Wine. This is echoed inside with its bright, bold digital dials. They provide a hint of the modernity to come, and, to a small extent, luxury. If you spec heated seats, they’ll heat not only your back side but your back as well. For those looking for even MORE luxury (don’t know they’re born, etc), you can spec a heater to keep your legs warm on a chilly evening.
The Super 3 is four inches wider than the car it replaces. As a consequence there’s an almost sensible amount of space in the cabin. Don’t expect to be able to stretch out, but you can have a second slice of cake at lunch and not worry that’ll have to walk home. If you do decide not to drive, the pedals and steering wheel are adjustable, so you can let someone else have a go easily.
Morgan’s thought, as seriously as you can with a car like this, about practicality, too. There’s a boot with space in it for a couple of small bags. Shell out a little more and you can spec a luggage rack, a bungee cord arrangement to pin your bags to the side of the car, and even bags to clip to the car itself (using a patented set of fasteners). Those clips can be found in the cabin, and on other parts of the car, so you can attach a GoPro or phone without worrying it’ll fall off.
You’ll notice that its engine isn’t as conspicuous as it was on the Three Wheeler. Here it’s set in the car’s body, hidden under its sleek hood. A Ford-sourced 1.5-litre three cylinder motor provides 115bhp and 110lb ft, and given that the car weighs 675kgs that’s plenty. Morgan says 0-62mph takes 7.0 seconds (pending final certification), and it’ll cruise up to 130mph.
Being quick is all well and good, but it needs to handle well to stand out properly. The looks, and general quirkiness will get you so far, but not far enough to justify nearly £42,000 for a toy. Its predecessor handled terribly, but its lumpy V-Twin made up for that by being all round hilarious to hustle. The drive was always memorable because it was a friendly reminder that flaws can often (but not always) make a car.
The Super 3 may not have a chunky motor, but it does actually go around corners when you ask it to. A set of custom Avons up front, and a fat tyre at the rear provide plenty of grip. Attack a bend with gusto, and the steering provides real, useful feedback. You feel engaged, excited to keep going. You can play with the car without fear of it biting you, as it’s been set up to be entertaining rather than serious. Its Mazda-sourced five-speed manual gearbox is the real star of the show here. It’s light, easy to use, and fun to play with. And, like the Three Wheeler, if your foot slips coming out of a junction you’ll find yourself at some interesting angles before the rear tyre finds grip again. Not that you’d do something so childish. Not at all. Having no roof means you get a great view around the car, so much so that you don’t really need its wing mirrors – you just turn your head. However, the optional moulded plastic fly screen keeps the wind out of your eyes, but is difficult to see through, which rather defeats the point. Goggles will be your friend here, and will help you look the part.
The Ford motor is smooth, it doesn’t wobble the car like its predecessor’s V-Twin. Its smoothness comes at a happy cost – you’ve got the rev it hard to get the best out of it. While it’ll potter perfectly happily at low revs, to make it sing its glorious song you’re best advised to find a straight piece of road and jam your foot down. As the car weighs next to nothing, you’ll see some large, bright numbers appear on the speedo in no time. Being barely off the ground, 30mph feels like 3,000, but it’s a genuinely swift car if you commit yourself. Braking is a bit of a weak spot – the pedal isn’t generous with feedback, but, crucially, the brakes do actually work when you need them to. The pedals themselves are beautifully spaced, but it’s easy to catch your foot on the linkages down there. They don’t stop you from driving the car at all, but are a bit strange to deal with when you encounter them.
It’s all rather jolly, albeit with a few flaws. It wouldn’t be a Morgan without them. It doesn’t have a roof, there are no doors, you can’t fit that much stuff in it (unless you fancy strapping things to it), and the windscreen is better off left unspecced. But… it looks stupid in the best possible way, it’s hilarious fun to hare around the countryside (and town) in, and it’ll leave you wanting to drive more and more. It’s ridiculous, but brilliantly so.
Only Morgan with its commitment to making cars that don’t look like they fit in 2022 could make a car like the Super 3, and we should be glad it is.