In what promises to be one of the more interesting automotive stories to come out in quite some time, upstart American auto maker Elio Motors of Shreveport, Louisiana is making some very big promises. The company is now taking deposits and promising to deliver new cars about this time in 2014.
The new Elio is a very unique vehicle that looks more like a three-wheeled motorcycle than a conventional car but features all the normal car items you’d expect from air conditioning and keyless entry to three airbags and power windows. The extraordinary mileage (84 MPG highway, 49 MPG city) is thanks to a body made of composite panels and a three cylinder engine. But this is not a typical slow econobox. The car has a top speed of about 100 MPH and can get up to 60 MPH in under 10 seconds.
The car seats two adults one behind the other and has a small trunk for groceries and such. You can get a 5-speed stick or automatic transmission and even the radio comes standard. This could be the ultimate commuter car or possibly city car and since it’s front-wheel drive and fully enclosed, it will be a real year-round car that will work even in snowy regions.
The fact that this an American company, making the cars in the U.S. with mostly U.S. parts and suppliers and yet achieves a retail price of only $6800 is pretty unprecedented. According to the company, the car should debut with a 5-star safety rating due to the airbags and a steel roll cage frame. We certainly hope this company flourishes because this might be the sort of thing that might finally forces the big carmakers to start making inexpensive high-efficiency cars that we need as opposed to overpriced, badly engineered SUVs that guzzle gas and make the roads more dangerous.
To visit the company website, click here.