Click on the link above to see it on Car and Driver.com
Sure, it’s great that manufacturers are offering fuel-economy specials of existing compact and subcompact, non-hybridized models. Not only does such a concept improve mileage without compromising driving dynamics by adding heavy batteries and electric motors, but they’re cheap when compared to their gas-electric brethren, too. That’s why we’re intrigued by Elio Motors, a startup promising a brand-new fuel-miser for the cost of a decade-old Toyota Corolla.
Yes, for the low, low cost of $6800, you can have yourself an Elio 3-Wheeler: a two-seat three-wheeler powered by a 900-cc three-cylinder that’s estimated to deliver 84 mpg on the highway. Elio says that its eight-gallon fuel tank is enough to get one of its cars from Detroit to New York, some 650 miles away, without refueling.
Founder Paul Elio believes that at this price point, his brand could see annual sales of 250,000. To help meet this goal, Elio purchased a million-square-foot manufacturing facility in Shreveport, Louisiana, formerly inhabited by General Motors.So far, Elio has received more than 12000 orders. That’s nowhere near the brand’s theoretical production capacity, but it’s not an insignificant number for an automaker that’s yet to sell a single car. With production expected to begin this December, we’ll be eager to see how that number grows.