Ok, first things first, this new car price of $7,000 – that’s US dollars. So lets assume $10k in Australia just for fun. This is ridiculous right? Wrong.
It has air conditioning, it has airbags, it has all the safety features of any other modern car. It’s made in the USA from 90% US components.
Where things start to get different – it has two seats, in tandem, and three wheels.
The Elio is something very different.
Namesake Paul Elio had the idea for the Elio some time back and the reason for the unique design is fuel efficiency. This little baby will do 84 miles per gallon, wait for it, that’s 2.8 litres per 100 km.
It has a 3 cylinder engine which is yet to be seen, heard or driven other than the mock-up on show but the ideas are all there.
While still some time away from production, and possibly even till a concept given funding is yet to confirm the production facility, they have secured a site to build the car – a former General Motors plant, which ironically used to build the Hummer.
There is certainly not talk yet of international distribution, but how cool is it to see people still taking a crack at the automotive market and really trying to shake things up.
This one might be an uphill battle, like many innovative and disruptive businesses, legislation can be a barrier, in this case the determination of a motor vehicle vs a motor cycle. If it has three wheels it may likely be the latter, and certainly in Australia, that means helmets on folks.
A full production model must be built before we can take this seriously, the fit, finish and quality of the prototype was well below par – so there’s a lot of work to do.
As with many other vehicles, I’d like to see it hit a crash test barrier wall first too – but if it did, and passed, I’d be happy to own one.