Sometime next year, a company called Elio Motors claims it will begin building a car in its Louisiana factory that will get 84 miles per gallon on the highway and that will see for a base price of $6,800.
It won’t be a tiny little deathtrap either. It’ll get top crash test scores. At least, that’s what Elio is promising.
That sounds like the wish-list of someone with zero contact with reality, but Elio Motors executives insist it’s possible thanks to the car’s odd layout and the complete lack of any new technology. Yes, these folks actually brag that their car has nothing new on it.
Paul Elio, who founded Elio Motors from the crumbled remains of his auto parts design business, said this car isn’t intended to replace the family car, and by the looks of it, clearly it’s not.
“We want to be an ‘and’ not an ‘or’” he said.
The Elio Motors car — it has no model name and they plan to keep it that way — is a three wheeler.
There are two wheels out front, separated from the rest of the body, and one back wheel. The engine — 3 cylinders producing 55 horsepower — rides in the nose driving the front wheels.
The weird three-wheeled shape optimizes aerodynamics by cutting way down on frontal area and giving the car a nearly ideal “teardrop” body.
Having only three wheels also allows the Elio car to be, in legal terms, a motorcycle.