LA Auto Show: Elio Motors

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With the rise of Tesla and Local Motors, there are new options for those wanting a unique American-made car. The Elio is another addition to that mix.


What Is It?

Hmm, good question. The Elio is a two-tandem seat, 1,200-pound three-wheeler. It’s a front-engine, front-wheel drive car with a claimed 0-60 time of 9.6 seconds and a 100+ mph top speed, and Elio Motors projects that it will get 84 mpg from its eight-gallon tank.

Essentially, it’s a pared-down car, and the Elio’s economy of structure appears to yield benefits in performance and efficiency. Cost is paired down as well, with a projected $6,800 base price.


What Elio Says:

“In a nutshell, Elio is a stand-alone solution for today’s generation of drivers. Gas prices are constantly spiking. Cars themselves cost more than houses did a few short years ago.”

And: “Speaking of passing gas, our in-house science geeks inform us that Elio will emit even less harmful emissions in the atmosphere per year than the average flatulent cow.”


What’s New On The Elio:

As it is a novel concept, much is new with the Elio. Some highlights:

  • Engine is a 0.9-liter, three-cylinder engine producing 55 hp
  • Manufactured in the former General Motors Hummer H3 plant in Shreveport, Louisiana
  • Elio claims 18,000 US jobs will be created with 90% North American content
  • Three airbags and a full roll cage
  • Standard air conditioning, power windows and door lock, auxiliary port. Options include cruise control and leather seating
  • Tandem seating measurements are surprisingly roomy – rear legroom of 33.1 inches is about the same as that of a Ford Focus
  • The Pep Boys auto care chain serves as Elio’s official service centers


When Does It Go On Sale?

Reservations are being taken for a fourth-quarter 2016 launch.