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Elio Motors Completes Third of Four Key Engineering Milestones | Elio Momentum v49

The Inside Story: Fun and Function Fuel Elio Interior Design

Over the past two months, the Elio Motors engineering team has continued to make rapid progress. In recent Momentum posts, we’ve told you about the body frame and cradle and the body panel design.

Today, we are proud to share that the team has reached another important milestone – the release of our interior design, marking the third major milestone we’ve hit in recent weeks.

Why, you ask, is the interior so important?

Consider how much time the average driver spends INSIDE their vehicle: According to the Harvard Health Watch, the average driver spends 101 minutes each day inside his/her vehicle. If you want to make customers happy, you better get the interior right.

Here’s what Paul Elio said about the interior in a news release that will be distributed later this week:

“Our vision in developing the vehicle’s interior has been to maximize excitement, while providing a high degree of functionality and customizability to enhance the driving experience. This is extremely obvious just from sitting in the vehicle’s aircraft-like cockpit. Getting the interior design of the Elio vehicle just right is very significant, since almost all of the driver’s time is spent sitting in the cockpit, interacting with the controls and instruments by touch and by sight.”

We know we are on the right track with the interior, mostly based on customer reaction at our tour events. It’s one thing to read about the Elio, or even look at pictures. But sitting inside our prototype? That’s sealed the deal for a lot of our reservation holders. Many of tour stop fans tell us they feel like they’re at the controls of a single-engine airplane.

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The proposed Interior Trim system, which includes the vehicle’s instrument panel is shown here, The release of the production Interior Trim design will be incorporated into the build of its E-Series engineering prototypes, which will be used in crash-safety, aerodynamic wind-tunnel and manufacturability-validation testing. Results of the testing will be used to identify any refinements to the design of the Interior Trim or other vehicle systems that may be required, prior to commercial production of the Elio.
Of course, it was equally important to make sure the vehicle interior felt natural. The engineering team also focused on ergonomics and human factors in placing the controls and in making the feel of all of them “familiar” and intuitive to the driver. Ever rented a vehicle on a road trip and struggled to find the headlight switch, trunk or rear hatch release and maybe even the fuel filler door? It can be quite frustrating. Our team wanted to make sure our drivers can easily find all the important controls while driving, and feel comfortable and safe while doing so.

According to David Spykerman, a partner in Genesis Concept and Design and our team lead for Elio Motors’ Interior Trim Product Development Team, “As we developed the vehicle, we wanted to ensure that it would be comfortable for both the driver and passenger, whether they were small or tall. To ensure driver comfort, we added two inches on either side of the driver position, which improved the cabin’s roominess. We also added a feature that rarely is included on any vehicle in the affordable range – a height adjustment. We did this so that the Elio could be driven by owners ranging from 4’11” to seven feet, though we focused this for both the front or back seat on a 6’1” person weighing about 220 pounds.”

So remember, the next time you see the eye-catching exterior lines of the Elio or hear the purring of its efficient, capable engine, remember that we’ve taken special care to make sure our vehicle interior is engineered for comfort, fun AND function. Low-cost and high fuel efficiency are obviously important. But, always remember, what’s on the inside counts, too!

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