Morris says further variants, such as a pick-up truck, minibus and campervan can be spun-off its modular platform. The JE’s bodywork is fashioned from lightweight carbonfibre and features a pair of full-width rear doors and a sliding door on the nearside.
In the load bay are claimed to be 5.5 cubic metres of volume and a flat floor with sufficient area for two pallets. Morris is expected to reveal further specification details at an event later today, but it claims in advance that the JE is “one of the lightest LCVs in the marketplace”.
The major selling point for the JE will be its retro styling, derived from the Morris J-Type, sold from 1949 until 1961 and achieving total production close to 50,000 units.
Morris Commercial ranks it alongside the Mini, Morris Minor and Land Rover Defender as a “truly iconic post-war British automotive design”.
In period, it was as familiar a sight on UK roads as the Ford Transit is today, and Morris hopes that its retro styling will have the same appeal of the Volkswagen Transporter Type 2 of similar vintage so loved today.
Retro features incorporated into the JE include a “pear-shaped” grille, a split windscreen and distinctive bulging wheelarches.
CEO and founder Dr Qu Li told Autocar that the production plan is for 1000 units annually for the panel van, with dditional variants adding extra volume.
“We have had so much interest from large fleets that we might have to reappraise the volume. But that would mean more tooling and more funding”.
1959 Morris Mini-Minor road test – Throwback Thursday
Why the new cars of 1948 changed the world
Icon of icons: Autocar Awards Readers’ Champion – Mini