Three-wheeled commuter cars seem like they’re popping up all over the place these days. And while there are some cool designs out there, these “around-town” vehicles can get a little pricey for a vehicle you just use to pick up the groceries.
The Elio, a new entry in to the world of three-wheeled transit, hopes to alleviate such woes. Developed by Elio Motors, the Elio isn’t a hybrid or an EV. It’s what you might call a “traditional sub-compact car” — if you weren’t looking too closely.
The two-seater Elio runs on a one liter, 70 horsepower engine. That doesn’t sound all that impressive, until you realize that this tiny green monster can hit speeds in excess of 100 miles per hour and has a range of over 670 miles on a single eight-gallon tank. So much for “around-town.” This little guy has the chops to keep up on even the most unforgiving highways; highways on which the Elio gets a whopping 84 MPG.
City mileage is a good deal lower at 49 mpg, but that still edges out even the theoretical limits of Ford’s newest hybrids. It also costs a whole lot less. The aforementioned Ford costs almost four times what an Elio does. In fact, many cars do. Because the Elio’s sticker price is just $6,800. That’s only $3,000 more than a modern day Flintstones-mobile.
If all the hype is to be believed, the Elio will also come with a five-star crash test rating, roll bars, A/C, anti-lock brakes and even power windows. How on Earth Elio Motors will turn a profit on such an offering remains a mystery, but that’s not your concern. Driving down the future’s highways in a three-wheeled futuristic pod of a car, now that’s something to get worked up about.