Elio Motors Delivering a ‘Classy Chassis’
Great news, all of you Elio fans! The Engineering team just finished its work on the vehicle’s chassis, which is the final element of design before the building of the E-Series vehicles can commence.
If you know much about vehicles, you know that the chassis is a critical element in how well the vehicle will handle, in terms of cornering and braking. With racecars, for example, the stiffness of the chassis, combined with the design of the suspension, makes a difference as to whether the vehicle will corner like it’s on rails, or if it will be sloppy, less responsive, and prone to understeer. While this agility may not be as important to drivers on a high-speed oval track, it is critical for road racers, who often compete through the streets of some of the world’s largest and most exotic cities.
Having a quality chassis on your personal vehicle also is important, since the better the chassis is constructed, the more precise your turning, braking, and other maneuvers can be completed and the less road noise, vibration, and ride harshness (NVH) are transferred to you, the driver. This affects not only safety and performance, but also your perception of the quality of the entire vehicle.
To ensure that the Elio has such a chassis, we brought in Roush, a premier provider of engineering and product development solutions, which not only designs chassis, but also tunes or calibrates them so that they eliminate as much NVH as possible. Roush works with the latest engineering and simulation software to bring the design to a near-finished state, so that real-world drivability issues can be finessed out of the final design before it’s produced commercially for you to drive.
Elio Motors has completed the fourth and final stage of engineering for its E-Series vehicles with the completion of its chassis design.
From a performance perspective, because of the rigidity of the frame and the design of the suspension geometry, the E-Series vehicles are expected to be quite responsive. According to Jeff Johnston, Vice President of Engineering for Elio Motors, the Elio has an independent suspension consisting of unequal upper and lower control arms, incorporating a coil-over shock absorber design in the spirit of some of the world’s leading performance vehicles. This provides a low profile for better aerodynamics and lower weight than MacPherson struts, one of the most common suspension types for light vehicles. The rear suspension utilizes a swing arm, also with a coil-over shock system.
“Once our E-Series vehicles emerge from the pilot build, the Chassis team will conduct ride and handling development tuning to refine the vehicle’s driving characteristics prior to commercial production,” Johnston said. “When this real-world and safety testing is complete, the team will be charged with continual chassis and suspension development for model-year updates.”
So when you’re able to take your Elio out for a spin around the block, around town, or perhaps on a nice long road trip, you’ll better appreciate the engineering that’s gone into its chassis and suspension. Our goal is for you to be able to tell right away that the Elio is both a great value in transportation as well as a real performer when it comes to handling, braking, and of course, those three important letters: N – V – H.
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