Elio Motors, a new U.S.-based automotive startup, has unveiled a 0.9-liter, 3-cylinder engine prototype for the Elio three-wheeler. The three-wheeler is the company’s first passenger vehicle set to hit the market in H1 2016. The company targets a fuel economy of 84 mpg and a top speed speed of 100 mph for the production version of the three-wheeler.
Elio Motors reached out to IAV, a German automotive engineering company, for engine development. Cylinder block, cylinder heads, CAM cover, front cover, oil pan, crankshaft, camshaft, valve train, pistons, connecting rods, bearings and water pump are among the several engine components which were developed specifically for Elio Motors.
The three-wheeler will have 90% North American content in the beginning. The prototype was run through several tests on a dynamometer and these tests were “extremely pleasing”.
The unusual vehicle has only one door and provides seating for two. The three-wheeler’s affordable price of US$6,800 and exceptional fuel economy has already garnered itself 40,281 reservations (as of March 1, 2015). The company will manufacture the vehicle in collaboration with Comau, at a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Shreveport, Louisiana where GM previously built the Chevrolet Colorado and the Hummer H3.