03 July 2013
As any follower of this forum knows, from time to time I like to include a piece on a new design in personal transportation ~ from flying cars and motorcycles to innovative aircraft and ground vehicles. Today's feature creature is decidedly ground-bound, but there any resemblance to conventional cars ends.
The Elio has a narrow two-person cabin with fore-and-aft seating (not unlike a Piper Cub). The rear seat can be folded down for a small increase in luggage space. It has three wheels ~ the two in front provide steering and propulsion. The engine is also in front, adding to traction on slick surfaces. All three wheels have ABS.
About that engine ~ it is an inline, 3 cylinder, 1 liter, 70 hp, fuel-injected, SOHC gas-powered, liquid-cooled power plant with a 5-speed transmission. Fuel economy is stellar ~ 84 mpg on the highway, 49 mpg in the city. An 8-gallon fuel tank gives you a potential range of about 670 miles.
Occupants are protected by air bags and a reinforced roll-cage frame with a collapsible crush zone up front.
Clearly this is not a utility vehicle for hauling large volumes of cargo. It would be a great commuter vehicle, and the composite body panels would provide a quiet ride on road trips. Perhaps the clincher for many will be the Elio's advertised price ~ $6,800.
Check out the drop-down tabs at the website for more on available colors, still shots and videos, news coverage, and additional specs. The company is accepting reservations for this Made-In-America concept car which aspires to become as common and accepted as the larger, much more expensive Toyota Prius and other 'green' hybrid vehicles. See what you think.