Having a three-wheeled configuration like the Elio encourages a host of wide-ranging questions. Is it an automobile? By federal definition, no. Is it a motorcycle? By some definitions, yes. Is it an autocycle? Yes, as the Elio is a three-wheeled vehicle with fully automotive controls and engineered to automotive safety standards. As no vehicles with fewer than four wheels can be considered an automobile, many ask if the Elio driving experience will be more reminiscent of an automobile or motorcycle. Regardless of definition, our goal is to provide a vehicle with a smooth and quiet ride. Today’s Momentum will take a look at the ways we will accomplish our goals.
Reducing Noise, Vibration, and Harshness (NVH) has been an important consideration for our engineers while also considering our ultra-low-price tag. The quietest vehicles on the market can cost ten to twenty times more than the Elio’s targeted base price. While keeping both our cost proposition and quality in mind, we are utilizing different materials and methods to minimize the Noise, Vibration, and Harshness of the Elio.
Keeping in-cabin noise to a minimum starts with engineering. Our engineers first look at the proper spacing, gapping, and distance of components to reduce outside noise. This practice, in conjunction with strategically placed body sealant, protects the cabin from exterior sounds like wind. In terms of eliminating interior noise, a variety of tapes, foam, felt, plastics, retainer clips, and sealers are utilized to protect against noise coming from the vehicle. Noise that does reach the cabin will be mitigated by the use of foam in the pillars and headliner, carpet and other materials in the vehicle.
In terms of smoothness, an independent suspension fits perfectly with our three-wheeled configuration and use of front wheel drive. We are using a Short Long Arm suspension, which enhances the angle of the wheel when the vehicle is in motion. Additionally, the Elio has a Pull-Rod Front suspension, meaning that a rod runs from the lower shock mount to the upper control arm to control the vehicle. The rear suspension of the vehicle is an aluminum die-casted Single Trailing Arm suspension. Taken together, the suspension of the Elio will provide a sporty, enjoyable ride for both driver and occupant.
The four tenets of the Elio Motors project have always been to build a safe, fuel-efficient, affordable vehicle in the United States. No matter the assigned designation, we aim to produce, along with our four tenets, a vehicle that is also smooth, quiet, and ultimately enjoyable to drive.