Morgan has big changes in store for the next-generation 3-Wheeler

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England-based Morgan Motors is about to replace the 3-Wheeler, which is one of the most brilliantly unusual cars sold new anywhere in the world. It's keeping the full design under wraps for the time being, but it released photos of a pre-production prototype undergoing shakedown testing to give us a preview of what it has in store.

Some things won't change: The 3-Wheeler still has three wheels. Its proportions haven't drastically evolved, either, so it still looks like an overgrown bullet with two seats and a pair of round headlights. Up front, we see three large slats that likely won't appear on the production car; Morgan stresses the photos show a heavily disguised model. We're told the design will draw inspiration from the early jet age to differentiate the new 3 from its predecessor.

What's nearly certain is that the front end will need to be redesigned, because the V-twin engine that dominates the current model's fascia will not return. Instead, power will come from a naturally-aspirated three-cylinder engine sourced from the Ford parts bin and presumably tuned in-house. No technical specifications have been released, but the triple sounds like the Duratec unit fitted to the Fiesta in Europe. It develops 85 horsepower and 80 pound-feet of torque, figures which should be plenty for a car as light as Morgan's diminutive three-wheeled roadster.

Much else beneath the sheetmetal will be new. Morgan notes that the next 3-Wheeler will benefit from significant engineering advancements, so it won't be 100% old-school, and that it will display a spirit of adventure, which is open to interpretation. Feedback from current and past owners helped the design team shape the new model.

Morgan will release additional information about the next 3-Wheeler — including its name; 3-Wheeler might not be retained — in the near future. And the model will again be available on the American market. Until then, the small British firm is focusing on wrapping up production of the previous 3-Wheeler, which it sent out in style.

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