DETROIT — Say hello to Elio. Car enthusiast Paul Elio who, during the recession of 2008, created a revolutionary new approach in transportation. Elio Motors introduced their three-wheeled vehicle in the lobby of Cobo Center at the 2016 North American International Auto Show. This car hopes to make a game-changing impact beyond sales; creating thousands of jobs, reducing dependence on foreign oil, reducing emissions and providing a significant return for investors.
I talked with Jermaine Del Rosario, Product Specialist, and he explained that this vehicle gets 84 mpg highway and 49 mpg city. “It also has 90 percent of its parts American made, with the highest of safety standards. It has three cylinders, 60 horsepower with a .9 liter engine that gives you 55 pounds/foot of torque. We are partnered with 34 tier-one suppliers, and the engineering is based in Detroit. The top speed is 100 plus mph,” says Del Rosario.
There is SMC resin on the body which is stronger than fiberglass and steel, and makes it a lot lighter. Therefore, it does not rust. Its unique design makes this vehicle more aerodynamic. There is an option for a moon roof and glass top options in the near future. There are three air bags for safety. “The trunk will fit a 20-inch luggage and with the back seat folded down, you can put a large duffel bag or golf clubs,” added Del Rosario.
The engine was developed by IAV. They are behind the engineering designs for BMW, Porsche, Audi and Bugatti. This engine is the newest project to be built for a start-up car company since 1951. Nash was the last one. “We’re in the forefront for a lot of things and we are very excited about this,” says Del Rosario. Elio Motors will manufacture the Elio at a 3.2 million square foot manufacturing facility in Shreveport, Louisiana. They will be producing 250,000 units per year. They also will have 120 of their own dealerships next year.
The targeted base price is $6,800 which includes AC, power windows/lock, AM/FM stereo and a 3-year/36,000-mile warranty. “The reason that it is so cheap is because it has one less tire, less seats, and a smaller body (much more narrow body). This vehicle is gas-powered and runs on unleaded gasoline in an eight-gallon tank. The range is 672 miles on the highway and 392 city driving,” he added.
The American automotive industry needed something to ignite its ingenuity, flex its imagination, and I think Elio did just that. This car captures the awe and attention of the world. It is worth your while to stop by and check this car out.
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