A small three-wheeled car, with a small price tag, is making its rounds in Portland.
The car will sell for $6,800 and it gets 84 miles per gallon on the highway, said Elio Motors VP of retail sales Jerome Vassallo.
It looks like a cross between a motorcycle and a car, with two wheels up front and one in back. The company expects to start production in Louisiana at the end of 2014 and already has several thousand pre-orders according to Vassallo.
Vassallo said Elio Motors expects to get a five-star crash safety rating.
“Crash tests are all about physics. It’s about the momentum we carry into an incident,” he said. “So we’ve engineered this with five air bags, one for each window, and one comes out of the steering wheel. We have a roll cage, complete hardened steel, and that roll cage is kept under tension kind of like a spring; it bows out a little bit.”
He said the car’s light weight will help too. “We’re a thousand pounds, so any time you can dissipate some momentum, that helps. So the fact that this vehicle will move rather than stay planted is a big advantage.”
The car touring Portland is the third version of a prototype and Vassallo said the company would put out one more before beginning production.
The Elio will be available for viewing at Washington Square on Thursday between 1 p.m and 7 p.m. It will be at the Lloyd Center Saturday from 10 a.m until 9 p.m.