In just two weeks from now, Elio Motors will “launch” its P5 prototype at the LA Auto Show.
Founded in 2008 by Paul Elio, the company has taken more than 40,000 paid reservations, worked to raise funds and develop its idea, and says it is “set to launch its three-wheel vehicle in late 2016.”
A press conference at 10 a.m. Pacific time will reveal the latest iteration of the car projected to achieve 84 mpg, cost $6,800, and run with a 0.9-liter three-cylinder engine built for it by IAV.
A prestigious firm, IAV has an enviable client list, has had a hand in cars you may have heard of, such as the Bugatti Veyron, but at the extreme opposite end of the scale Elio has chosen it to build its own powerplant in place of Geo Metro engines its earlier prototypes used.
“Elio Motors is the first start-up to develop its own internal combustion engine from the ground up in more than 60 years,” says the company. “The vehicle will have a top speed of over 100 mph and will go from 0 to 60 in 9.6 seconds.”
The company is continually taking reservations, and included in these are “all in” non-refundable ones from $100 to $1,000, and “I want in” refundable reservations for the same amount.
The blue car image shown above was not distributed by Elio, is an artist’s conception, a CAD rendering, and the actual P5 will be revealed at the date mentioned.
Of course the Elio is not electric, not even a hybrid, but it represents that elusive notion of cheap reliable wheels.
If the price is even remotely close to $6,800 up to perhaps $10,000 or so for a loaded one, it will cost one-third or less the price of a 2016 Toyota Prius which might get 55 mpg or maybe more in the as-yet unrevealed “Eco” trim.
Elio promises safety, the vehicle is classed it says as an “autocycle” loosely falling under rules of a motorcycle. Motorcycles do not have crash tests, so how this will really work with federal crash test ratings is not clear.
Those enamored with or otherwise supportive of the idea have said they wish Elio success as an American start-up working in a former GM plant in Louisiana to present an economical solution.
Detractors have written op-eds and internet commenters have been known to troll for Elio articles to tell why the whole thing is a scam.
Elio is a bona fide company, and is working toward its goal. The next step pending production it says, will be in LA in a couple weeks.
Image credit: Balansboy, Wikimedia.