By on January 18, 2016

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The small crew of folks who make up Elio Motors brought the latest, fifth generation, developmental prototype of their reverse trike to the 2016 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Paul Elio gave a press conference going over what progress the company has made moving towards actual production, including some details about their recent stock offerings that will fund the building of 25 pre-production prototypes.

I’ll get to the press release stuff in a bit. First I want to talk about the car, errr, autocycle, and the third-class of motor vehicles for which the company is lobbying regulatory acceptance.

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Regarding the P5 prototype, it’s still a prototype but generally looks much more production ready than the P4 I test drove in 2014. There have been some slight styling changes to the outside and substantial revisions to the interior since the P4 (and even a few new things since the P5 was first shown to the public at the Los Angeles auto show).

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The most important differences however, are mechanical. The P5 is powered by Elio’s own IAV-designed inline 0.9-liter three-cylinder gasoline engine that produces 55 horsepower and not the Suzuki motor from a Geo Metro used in previous prototypes. The latest prototype also has the production transmission, a manual five-speed unit supplied by Aisin (an automatically operated version of the same basic gearbox will also be available).

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The car is operational enough to have had some some preliminary shakedown drives, including moderate speed runs for shooting the video they were showing in their booth, but it won’t be ready for someone like me to take the wheel until this summer.

The nose of the trike has been sharpened and the headlamp shape revised. The side windows for the rear passenger are much larger. I can’t say for sure without seeing them side by side, but I believe the windshield is larger too. The shape of the fenders for the outrigger front wheels has been revised. On the right side of the Elio, which has no door, a boxed exhaust housing runs along the rocker panel that exits just in front of the rear wheel. Yes, like the Viper, the Elio trike has side pipe[s].

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The P5 uses a steering rack that’s close to the production one and the turning circle has been much improved. When I test drove the P4, that was one of my criticisms, slow steering and a relatively wide turning circle for such a short wheelbase car. I believe they said they are aiming for a turning radius of 24 feet or less.

 

With the rear seat up, there's enough cargo room for some groceries and a briefcase.

With the rear seat up, there’s enough cargo room for some groceries and a briefcase.

In Los Angeles, the P5 had an acrylic windshield and no windshield wiper, prompting some criticism from Elio skeptics. At the Detroit show, the P5 was sporting both a production spec windshield and a single-arm windshield wiper. I was told that the hood will be modified so the wiper will be hidden when not in use — not for aesthetics but because aero is critical to reaching Elio’s goal of 84 mpg on the highway. To keep tooling costs down on the prototype, body panels are still made of fiberglass. The production vehicle will have panels made of sheet molding compound (SMC).

 

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With the passenger seat down, the cargo bay will hold a set of golf clubs. The valet at your club will likely not park it near the Rolls-Royces.

Besides the windshield and drivetrain, there are some other production components that have been incorporated in the fifth gen prototype, like the lower control arms for the front suspension.

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Inside the enclosed trike, there have been substantial changes to the interior design. To begin with, the cabin feels noticeably larger; there’s a lot more shoulder room. The instrument panel, repurposed from an off-the-shelf component similar to many of the vehicle’s parts, is the production unit first shown at the New York Auto Show last spring.

 

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I’m told that the production Elio will have a cup holder.

Though Continental will still be supplying much of the Elio’s electrical system, the company has decided to not use Continental’s technology for infotainment. Instead, Elio announced that the production trike will feature a modular, upgradable infotainment and audio system supplied by MTX Audio controlled by a tablet mounted to the right of the steering wheel. Elio, which has been promoting their trike all along as made in America, touted how MTX agreed to manufacture the components for Elio at one of their U.S. factories.

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As mentioned, the rear side windows have been increased in size so the back seat area is less claustrophobia inducing — but it’s still not roomy. Elio lowered the seat cushion so taller folks can sit back there. I was able to get in and sit without removing my fedora, though I am shorter than the average adult male.

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Here and there you can see signs that it’s still a prototype. The taillamp housings are nowhere near DOT spec and a few of the plastic parts inside don’t fit perfectly, but it looks like much progress has been made.

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So much for the Elio vehicle. What about the company’s news?

Well, Elio is going public. Still struggling to raise the $200 million they need to start production (Paul Elio remains optimistic about getting a large loan from the ATVM program at the U.S. Dept. of Energy), they’ve made a couple of stock offerings over the past year that apparently have raised enough funds to move forward.

The first stock offering was to accredited investors and the company said it sold enough stock during that offer to be able to fund the building of the P5 prototype. That done, the company then made an offer to smaller investors under the Reg A+ provisions of the JOBS act, saying they were hoping to raise $25 million to fund the building of 25 “E series prototypes.” Those will be used for validation and testing purposes and will be close to production designs.

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That $25 million to build 25 prototypes raised some skeptical eyebrows, including my own. The going rate to build a concept car like you see at the auto shows is about $1 million for a company like Metalcrafters to build a one-off vehicle. Twenty-five vehicles is more like a short production run than building one-off cars. The Elio trike is less sophisticated than many of those concept cars, so $25 million seemed like too much to pay for the E series trikes.

As it turns out, $12.6 million was what Elio now says they actually needed, not $25 million, to start building and test the E prototypes, and some of that money is earmarked for tooling that will also be used for production. At the show, Paul Elio announced that they had raised $16 million through the Reg A+ offering, allowing them to begin fabricating the E-series prototypes. That’s a bit more than a third of the $42 million in non-binding interest expressed when the offering was first announced. The company’s PR firm said that in light of the fact that crowdsourcing Reg A+ stock sales is a new thing, there’s no way to benchmark that level of fulfillment, yet they are pleased with the results and are moving forward with the batch of validation prototypes.

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Elio Motors has also arranged for the stock to soon be listed on the OTCQX over-the-counter exchange so investors in the company have liquidity if they want to divest. In order to list the stock on an exchange, securities laws require closing out the Reg A+ offering. If you want to take up that particular offer, you have only until February 1, 2016 to do do.

Selling stock puts the company in an interesting position. On one hand, that’s exactly the kind of thing that got Preston Tucker in trouble. Selling stock to the general public before production begins opens up Elio to charges that it’s an investment scam, not a serious effort to go to production. The fact is, however, that the company comes under greater scrutiny by selling stock because it now has outside shareholders and the Securities and Exchange Commission to protect those shareholders’ interests.

So far, Elio claims to have over 48,000 reservations, the majority of them being non-refundable. Paul Elio describes some Elio enthusiasts as “all in, all in,” meaning that they’ve made non-refundable reservations and also invested money in the company.

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Should they reach production, plans are to start with a single shift at the former GM assembly plant in Shreveport, LA, building 500 cars a day, eventually going to two shifts and a goal of selling a quarter million trikes a year.

There was some recent news about proposed rule changes at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that would regulate “car-like” three-wheelers as cars, not as motorcycles as they are federally regulated now. Elio Motors believes that the fact that they are making a tandem vehicle, not one with side-by-side seating, will exempt them if the rule comes into force.

In any case, the company is lobbying NHTSA to create a third class of motor vehicles: autocycles. Previous lobbying efforts at the state level have been very successful, so in just about every state Elio trike drivers will not have to wear helmets.

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At the Detroit show, I was talking to Jalopnik’s Michael Ballaban about Elio as we walked to their press conference and he said that he didn’t think Elio was a scam, but he was turned off by the hype with which they were promoting both the car and their stock offers. In a related vein, Ballaban’s colleague at Jalopnik, Jason Torchinsky, wrote about a change in Elio’s advertising. They’re now saying that $6,800 is a “targeted” base price and that the trike will get “up to” 84 mpg. Torch finds the “up to” wiggle words troubling. So do I, but I think I know why Elio is now using them.

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All along, Paul Elio has been pretty straightforward that they were still working at getting the cost down to where they can have a MSRP of $6,800. Last year, he told me they were within a few hundred dollars. You’d be surprised where you can save money on an inexpensive car, though Elio will be using four lug nuts per wheel instead of the three that the Tata Nano had at launch. For example, using hood pins instead of a cable operated latch saves Elio about $40 per vehicle and reduces weight.

Regarding the 84 mpg figure, that was baked into Elio’s design brief cake by an American fleet highway mpg average of about 28 mpg and Elio’s novel financing scheme. The idea is that the price of the car is put on an Elio issued credit card that bills gasoline purchases at triple the pump price, with the overage going to pay off the car. The idea was that if the Elio trike can get three times the gas mileage versus the 20-year-old commuter beater their target customer is now driving, that customer can have a new commuter vehicle with a warranty and the gasoline to run it for the same amount of money they are currently spending on gasoline alone. For what it’s worth, that’s exactly the kind of promotional gimmick that makes folks like me and Torchinsky roll our eyes.

With less than two dozen people on their payroll, I doubt that Elio has the engineering or computer resources to accurately model what kind of fuel economy they can expect from the production trike. I suspect the only way they’ll know what kind of fuel consumption it will achieve is by wind tunnel and real world testing of a production-ready prototype. Considering the number of big car companies that have had to admit that some of their production cars don’t quite meet their projected fuel economies, the fact that the folks at Elio are giving themselves some wiggle room is no big deal in my eyes. Besides, I’m pretty sure when fuel economy started becoming a big thing in the wake of the 1973 oil embargo by OPEC, plenty of established automakers used the words “up to” when advertising highway mileage.

As they get closer to production, Elio is hedging their bets on price and fuel economy. To be honest, I don’t think it will be a problem for the general public. Most folks have never heard of Elio nor their price and mpg targets, so if Elio Motors does bring a $7,500 trike that gets 80 mpg on the highway, that’s probably just as viable in the market as their targeted figures. Today, Elio’s biggest critics are people who put down deposits only to become disillusioned as production has been pushed back more than once. If Elio comes to production but misses its targets, I suspect that a measurable number of those 48,000 reservation holders will join the critics.

The bottom line, though, is that Elio Motors appears to be making progress. The enterprise is still a longshot. While projected target dates have been missed, every benchmark that they positively had to reach have been met so far.

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Sometime this summer I should be able to drive the P5 prototype. Around the same time, we should start seeing news on some of those E series trikes. Elio Motors is almost literally banking on the hope that the close-to-production E series prototypes will convince the Department of Energy that they’re worth the ATVM loan. Otherwise, I don’t see any way that they can start production by the end of this year, as they’ve projected.

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After the NAIAS media preview was over, I went back to Cobo Hall during the industry preview, when people who work for car companies and their suppliers come to fly their flag and check out the competition. There was a steady stream of visitors to the Elio booth in the concourse. Some were from Elio vendors, and they all looked uniformly happy. Everyone else checking out the trike looked genuinely interested, not skeptical.

Ronnie Schreiber edits Cars In Depth, a realistic perspective on cars & car culture and the original 3D car site. If you found this post worthwhile, you can get a parallax view at Cars In Depth. If the 3D thing freaks you out, don’t worry, all the photo and video players in use at the site have mono options. Thanks for reading – RJS

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54 Comments on “Elio Motors Brings Latest Prototype, Stock Sale & Other News to Detroit...”


  • avatar

    One of my neighbors has a 1985 Pulse Autocycle Motorcycle.

    I can see the market for these in China. When I lived there, I saw Mothers taking their children to school – on the back of bicycles – in freezing rains.

    A Plug-in version of this should sell like hotcakes in the poorest countries. Naturally an I.C.E or PHEV would be better.

    IT’S A SHAME THAT THIS IS SO UGLY.

    Why not have the same “Jet fighter styling”? Hell, even the T-Rex looks better. My guess is the stupid pedestrian protection regulations.

    Should just put a spear at the end of it and make pedestrian shish-ka-bobs.

    Should have paid attention instead of being in the crosswalk staring down at your ipod.

    • 0 avatar
      TonyJZX

      Such a car would not work in the 3rd world either.

      Firstly they have a need for more than 1 normal seat and 1 midget seat. Hell I have a need for more than that which is why I dont have a 370z.

      Secondly, usd$7,000 would be more than many of them see in a lifetime.

      Thirdly, there are lots of ‘cars’ in the 3rd world that are cheaper than this with 4 normal seats. Granted the safety isnt there but the 3rd world isnt a safe place.

  • avatar

    Of course it’s no scam. There are better ways to con people. I admire Paul Elio’s spirit. Don’t see the benefit of owning and driving one though, except for the Elio being different. With gasoline at rock bottom prices, it will be a hard sell to use the fuel prices argument. Even more important is the issue why you should opt for a vehicle that has the effective footprint of a small hatchback that’s capable of carrying only two persons. And there is the vehicle safety issue to consider. Is it a car, a tricycle (motorcycle effectively) or an autocycle as the State of Connecticut calls the category under which the Slingshot three-wheeler has been allowed on the road last year after much debate? What really would raise the bar, as well as boost acceptance:
    http://evworld.com/blogs.cfm?blogid=1366

  • avatar
    rokop

    A quarter million units per year production? That really sounds like a fantasy. I could see maybe 10 thousand takers a year at most. I mean, how many non-conformist lunatics are out there anyway, willing to pay seven grand for an impractical and off-beat, weird vehicle? That being said, I’m interested…….

    • 0 avatar

      How many Americans who are poor enough to need something this inexpensive, and who would welcome the reliable, enclosed mobility?

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        It’s the American Tata Nano. The Nano failed because the low-rent nature of the car ends up being a badge of shame for its owner. If you’re going to spend that much for a new car, then you don’t want to feel embarrassed by your purchase — buying used carries lower expectations and less stigma.

        • 0 avatar
          RideHeight

          Disagree about the Nano equivalence. The Elio makes no pretense of being a practical if shaming small-family vehicle as did the Nano.

          The Elio is a Personal Eccentricity Coupe perfect (ergos permitting) for old people like me in quiet suburban or semi-rural areas to buzz out for a buzz-cut, light grocery runs or more damn drugs.

          It’s just for cheap fun, not a first step out of traditional poverty.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            The Nano was marketed as cheap wheels with high fuel economy.

            The Elio is being marketed as cheap wheels with high fuel economy.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Cheap wheels and economy in Jaipur is not the same as cheap wheels and economy in Chicago.

          • 0 avatar
            RideHeight

            At the time of the Nano’s debut it was explicitly and often touted as “a family’s first car!” in Asian business news. Then everybody watched up-from-dirt Indian families avoid it like plague for used larger cars.

            Nothing like that even potential scenario pertains for the Elio. It’s purely a first-world plaything.

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            “for old people like me”

            I thought all you old folks needed CUVs because your knees and back are so bad that getting into an Altima or Avalon was too difficult. How are you going to fair with something that looks to nearly have a sports car hip point?

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            He’s just a little confused, he was thinking you ride on top of it! Like the old Conestogas of his youth.

            Tarnation!

          • 0 avatar
            RideHeight

            Yeah, that’s why I said ergonomics permitting. I mean hell, a toilet’s hip point is even lower, no?

            Necessity can be the mother of flexion.

  • avatar
    RideHeight

    I think this is a quixotic, life-busting mission for Elio himself but I sure as hell would like to try one.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    I’m certainly rooting for Elio. I do wonder if they’re actually going to use that early-fifth-gen Camaro steering wheel on the production model, or if they’ll swap it for a different one.

  • avatar
    Fred

    Here is a “game changer” 3 wheeler I’m interested in
    http://www.morgan-motor.co.uk/morgan-ev3/

    • 0 avatar
      lsargent11

      Really The Morgan is not even financially compatible to the Elio.
      I must state that I am an all in investor with my car Number 4360 That means when production starts I will have mine in the 8th day of production, I have been waiting since 2013. I also own a Madza Miata Special Edition.

  • avatar
    Corollaman

    There are now more prototypes than actually sold units, and I believe this will continue to be into the future, this thing will never get off the ground, sad to say. Also, why no rear window? this is a safety issue that should be addressed. Sid mirrors alone is just no safe in an everyday city driving situation, where these things are supposed to be used in the first place.

    • 0 avatar
      993cc

      The rear headrests basically block any possibility of seeing out through a back window. However the body tapers enough at the rear that the visual fields of the side mirrors join within a few feet of the back of the vehicle.

    • 0 avatar
      Makoto

      It is obvious that you have done no research what so ever or you’d know that the drive sits in-between the front wheels and the car is only 2″ wider than a Honda civic that is cut in two. Having a rear view mirror above the windshield would not allow you to see behind you or out a rear window if there was one. i made it a point to check this out when I went to see the P4 last year. It would do not good to have a rear window or a rear view mirror. By law all motorcycles have to have side mirrors. The Elio is so narrow at the rear that the side mirrors do an excellent job of allowing you to see what is behind you. If that is not good enough for you there will be an option to get front, rear, and 360degree cameras too.

    • 0 avatar
      lsargent11

      The Elio has a rear Camera for rear viewing. Not a backup camera but a full time Rear View Camera.

      • 0 avatar
        Makoto

        Isargent11 A rear camera is an option. The basic Elio will not have a camera. That is one way Elio keeps the price low. They are selling the basic Elio in your choice of one of seven colors. The 5 speed is standard. For a bit more you can get the Auto. Any options beyond that are to be installed at a marshaling center. There are to be seven marshaling centers.

  • avatar
    PeterKK

    Glad things are still progressing. I am signed up for their updates and they are annoying. Same stuff parroted over and over again. Occasionally you get the juicy updates, though. So that’s cool.

    I really want them to succeed, but I’m not really invested in it. It would be nice to see the auto world shaken up a bit by a new face, though.

  • avatar
    Corollaman

    So many words used to talk up a product that will never see the light of day, don’t get me wrong, I am rooting for it, but I’m also a realist.

    • 0 avatar
      RideHeight

      “So many words used…”

      New here? Ronnie only ships by the pallet. Good for your reading skills.

    • 0 avatar
      Makoto

      Well for a product that as you say, “will never see the light of day”, there are currently more than 49,000 reservations. More than 16,000 of them are non-refundable All-In deposits. In other words those are people that put down $1,000 for a Spot In line SIL. I placed my deposit in 2014 and have SIL #7715. Before I got involved I researched the board of directors and all other areas related to Elio motors. In August of 2014 there were less than 20,000 reservations. Now over 49,000 and growing. The Elio appeals on several levels. Those that can’t afford more expensive transportation can buy a reliable mode of transportation. Elio is not meant to be the car. It is meant to be an “And” car. In other words families can use their larger care to carry the family. But commuters are almost always alone. The Elio makes a great commuter car. It serves as a fun machine to many. The demographics for the average Elio Reservation shows that most of them are by people in their 50’s or older. Recently I found out that a lot of them of them are bikers that are getting older and feel that the Elio is a good fit for them and their interest. MY main interest s a fun machine. My second interest is in backing a company that is American and building an American vehicle (the Elio will be more than 90% American made parts) My last interest is in getting good gas mileage. Elio can give me all of that and I can have it with what ever options I want for a price that is still below anything similar.

  • avatar
    Makoto

    A fairly well written article on Elio Motors, with one exception. Elio has never had an official startup date. They have had target dates that were general guesses as to when they might be able to start production. However, these were only guesses and never have been official statements that the production line would start by those times. So there have been no push backs, only realization that production is not going to start then. Elio is a new company that has not delayed anything. They have made as much progress as the funds available to them have allowed. I’m both an All-In reservationist and investor in their stock offering, I have engineering background. All the research I’ve done on Elio Motors tells me they will go to production. The current target for startup is 4th quarter of 2016. I see that as a possibility but not likely. I’m thinking that production will begin in 2017. Bottom line is I do not doubt that the Elio will go to production. My only doubt is that it will happen in 2016. Of course if the ATVM loan is approved, and soon enough, 2016 is still possible.

  • avatar
    -Nate

    Fingers crossed that this will make it to market .

    In reality I doubt even 10,000 units annually could ever be sold , the niche is simply too small and has been tried before ~ in 1974 (? maybe) I was working for Fred Merkel and one of his English buddies drove up in an Austin three wheeler saying ‘ these will be the next big thing ! ‘.

    Never got DOT approval .

    Sunday I was at the Monthly Golden Cove old car gathering and one of the new(ish) Morgan three wheelers showed up , powered by an S & S copy Harley Davidson V-twin : http://www.morgan3wheeler.co.uk/desktopindex.html

    Were I to plunk down $erious Ca$h for a three wheeler , it’d prolly be one of these , I live in warm California of course and yes , I’d expect it to do daily yeoman duty .

    -Nate

  • avatar

    These things look like coffins with wheels to me. What happens on a two lane highway when a car doing 60MPH swerves over the center line and nails the front wheel of the Elio which is traveling 60MPH in the opposite direction? Looks to me like driver is killed by his own wheel and steering assembly as it becomes a wrecking ball and smashes through the drivers seat area at high velocity.

    • 0 avatar
      -Nate

      Clearly you’re not a Motocycle Enthusiast as this is never a concern if you ride two or three wheels .

      Some years back on a remote Moto ride at the lunch stop I chatted to a nice older Gentleman and his wife who were just heading out in their restored JAP powered vintage Morgan .

      Turns out I was the last person they ever talked to as on a sweeping downhill curve one front tire failed (blew) and it rolled over killing both .

      If this sort of thing worries you , stay indoors an more get killed annually waiting for the bus than do by three wheeler accidents .

      -Nate

      • 0 avatar
        Drzhivago138

        Source on that? Not that I immediately doubt you, I’d just like to see the numbers.

        • 0 avatar
          -Nate

          ” Source on that?”

          Insurance , what I *think* are called actuarial tables , I’ll leave it to you to go find them , I don’t save every trade article I read .

          -Nate

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Actuarial (mortality) tables only reflect the mortality rate for a given age of person. The probability they will die before their next birthday. Example: Male, age 26, non-smoker rate is .00032 on the 01 VBT (Valuation Basic Table, used for insurance rates). For a population of 100,000 people in that group, you’d expect 32 to die before their next birthday.

            They do not reflect cause of death. You’d need a population study for that (of given insureds, most likely). This is hard to come by, as cause of death reporting is spotty and inaccurate.

          • 0 avatar
            -Nate

            Thanx Cory ;

            I got the name wrong but the Ins. Co. info and tables are out there for anyone who cares .

            -Nate

      • 0 avatar

        Hopefully Elio will design it so the wheels can be removed and it can be directly converted to a coffin.

        • 0 avatar
          -Nate

          ” Hopefully Elio will design it so the wheels can be removed and it can be directly converted to a coffin.”

          =8-) .

          You made my point , I thank you .

          -Nate

        • 0 avatar
          RIMSPOKE

          WHY IN THE WORLD DO THEY SPEND MILLIONS CRASH
          TESTING PERFECTLY GOOD CARS WHEN YOU CAN PROVIDE
          SCIENTIFIC DATA BY JUST LOOKING AT THEM ?

          SUCH A WASTE OF MACHINERY AND YOU COULD BE RICH .

    • 0 avatar
      Makoto

      Any vehicle on the road can be critiqued saying that in this or that situation this could be deadly. but this is not a car and is much safer than any other three wheeled vehicle on the road or being developed. Sure if you want to find fault you can find something to complain about. But Elio is dong everything it can to make the Elio safer in a crash than is necessary to be allowed on the road. There is no 5 star crash rating system for motorcycles as there is for cars. Elio is working with the NTSA to develop a National crash safety rating system that would be used to rate all vehicles such as the Elio. In doing so they are helping create an Autocycle category for vehicles that are not motorcycles and not cars. By definition any vehicle having less than four wheels is considered a motorcycle. But that makes no sense for vehicles that have a roll cage, are fully enclosed, have air bags, automotive seats, Automotive controls, …etc. That is also why these new types of vehicles need new legislation and a new category (autocycle). no one should be wearing a helmet in an enclosed vehicle that has air bags and seat belts. Data already proves that to do so increases the chance of the rider being injured. so people need to educate themselves before blasting Elio. It is clear many that do don;t know all the facts and are giving a knee jerk answer.

  • avatar
    -Nate

    BTW : yes , I’m an un apologetic GM (Chevy mostly) fanboi but , junk is junk , I call ’em as I see ’em .

    -Nate

  • avatar
    Corollaman

    The diff here is when someone decides to become a biker, he or she know of the inherent dangers and is willing to risk it all, even in states where helmets are optional {like Fl}But when you buy a vehicle like this, with windows, a roof and doors, you expect a certain level of safety, which frankly, I don’t believe this thing can offer. I jst wonder how sturdy those front wheel are

    • 0 avatar
      shaker

      “you expect a certain level of safety, which frankly, I don’t believe this thing can offer.”

      Exactly. This.

      If this vehicle sells in any numbers, there *will* be enough owners without the sensibilities (fear) earned by riding motorcycles that will be endangered, thinking that this offers some form of “protection”.

      This is my opinion, of course, so don’t sue me. Save that “lawyer money” for when you’ll really need it.

  • avatar
    John Painter

    A well written and fair review of the challenges and accomplishments for Elio Motors, as one of the “all in, all in”! I agree there is plenty risk to Elio or any automotive start up. I also see huge opportunity for a vehicle market to help weak the American public off its petroleum addiction at a price most people could afford. Though I have a comfortable income, it does not escape me just how hard it is for the average person to afford ever more expensive conventional vehicles let alone EV vehicles. I’m very proud to support an American automotive start up like Elio Motors #12436

  • avatar
    bultaco

    When the production version is finally available you can publish a comparison test between the Elio and the Dale. (Google it)

  • avatar
    -Nate

    ” Necessity can be the mother of flexion.”

    Yes and excruciating pain too ~ just ask Jack .

    -Nate

  • avatar
    pleiter

    2 questions:
    1) How does the rear passenger enter the vehicle ?
    2) Whatever happened to the Pep Boys sales outlet idea, given the recent acquisition-action on Pep Boys ?

    • 0 avatar
      Makoto

      There is one door on the left side. The drivers seat folds forward as many 2 door cars do to allow the rear passenger to enter. I have sat in the front and back and there is no problem. As far as Pep boys you seem a bit confused. Pep boys is to the the official service center for the Elio. Pep Boys is not selling the Elio and it was never a consideration. Elio will be sold and either buyers will go to the facto9ry in Shreveport, La to pick up their Elios, or they will have the option of having them shipped to them. After Elio is up and running they plan to open Elio stores in 60 markets and have 2 stores in each market. Stores will have only two Elios to show. One with manual transmission and the other with the Automatic. buyers will pick out the type transmission they want and pick their options. The orders will go to the factory that night and the elio build. If options were selected the Elio will go to a marshaling center nearest the customer for the options to be added. Then the Elio will go to the customer. NOTE: one reason the Elio will be able to be sold so cheap is it has 1/3 the number of parts the average small car has. Many of the parts are off the shelf and already on the market. The steering will come from a Camero. The seats are the same as in the Mustang. Also Eliois selling the basic vehicle in one of seven colors and with either 5 speed manual, or automatic (cost extra). no packages as other cars makes make you buy to get something you want. If you buy options you pick exactly what you want and nothing else. Any option that you can get for a car or motorcycle will be available. another reason the cost is so low is the the engine is going to be Elios own and built by them.

  • avatar
    drnoose

    I like it. If it is half as much fun as my Messerschmitt was, count me in!

  • avatar
    tylermattikow

    The problem with the Elio is that the Nissan Micra and Chevy Spark both start at about $6800 us in Canada. If Elio has any success and proves a market for a 7k car in the US, the Micra can be brought in and the Spark’s price can be lowered. While they get about 45mpg highway vs the Elio’s 84, they also can seat four and carry far more cargo.

    • 0 avatar
      Makoto

      tyler you are missing the point. Sure there will be other cheap modes of transportation that can compete on price. But, the elio will be tons of fun. Those that have driven one of the prototypes say it feels like a race car. The current MPG highway is at 81.6mpg and they are still tweaking everything to try to reach the goal of 84 mpg highway. As for me I stumbled on the Elio in August of 2014. I had wanted to buy a trike, but the prices were making me uncomfortable. Plus I wanted something a little more comfortable to ride in. I wanted something with good gas mileage as well as a head turner. This will be my fun car. I wanted something MADE In America. Then I saw the Elio and started researching everything about the car and the company. Just look at the board of directors and their background is impressive. The engine they had IAV designe specifically to be able to achieve the MPG they want and still be able to do 0 to 60 in under 10 seconds is amazing. It also happens to be the first new engine built by an automotive startup in something like 60 years (the last company to do it was Nash).


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