Morgan Motors, along with Delta Motorsport and Potenza Technology have been awarded a £6m grant by the UK government to develop hybrid performance engines. As Morgan continue to move beyond the ash-framed nostalgiamobiles, it becomes increasingly clear that not only will customers’ expectations evolve but hybrid and all-electric powertrains offer real advantages for acceleration and driving experience.
The two partners in the project are relatively unknown but nevertheless have interesting histories in the automotive and motorsport worlds. Potenza was spawned from the Rover Group Hybrid and Electric research department and has spent the last few years specialising in battery technologies for aerospace as well as automotive applications. Delta, based at Silverstone, cover a broad range of motorsport development services and were responsible for the F1 Legends cars of 2005/06.
With funding from the UK’s Advanced Propulsion Centre, the consortium will develop hybrid and electric powertrain systems which will significantly reduce vehicle CO2 emissions and aim to deliver best-in-class fuel economy.
The technologies developed through this project will be introduced progressively on Morgan’s range of hand-built sports cars from 2019, with hybrid propulsion available on all of its models by the end of the decade. The advantages in terms of performance, fuel economy and refinement are expected to increase demand across its most important markets in UK and across Europe. This will result in a growth of the workforce at the Malvern factory and within the partnering companies. The funding was announced by the Government’s Business Secretary, Sajid Javid, as part of his visit to the Morgan factory in Malvern in January.
Morgan Managing Director, Steve Morris said “This is a very exciting project for us. We have been involved in the research and development of new propulsion technology since the inception of the LifeCar project almost ten years ago. We are now ready to develop the best hybrid and electric drive-train solutions for production implementation before the end of the decade. We expect the project to deliver growth and employment benefits here at Morgan and in our partner companies, but equally it will broaden the appeal of the Morgan brand and attract new customers in our key markets.”