What does the 3-wheeled, super-efficient Elio have in common with a gas-guzzling Hummer? Both use a standard internal combustion engine in favor of a hybrid or electric setup, and the Elio will be built in the same Louisiana factory that once hummed to the tune of H3 production. The similarities end there.

The Elio is a motorized trike that seats two and is capable of achieving 84 miles per gallon thanks to its lightweight, aerodynamic design and 3-cylinder, 0.9-liter gas engine. If you're deterred by the Elio's small footprint, slight seating capacity and modest performance, keep in mind its projected retail price of under $7,000 and the little 3-wheeler starts to make a bit more sense.

Host Jonathon Buckley heads to Ontario, California to test the prototype Elio and meet its maker, Paul Elio.

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  • 70 Comments
      Doug Danzeisen Sr
      • 5 Months Ago
      Nice to hear from someone who has actually driven the Elio on the street, besides the factory guys I talked to when I went to Cincinnati to view and sit in the 2nd prototype. Elio makes sense. If they can do it I intend to buy one.
      KeiCarLvr
      • 5 Months Ago
      Any way you slice it, we need more cars like this. Cheap, affordable cars for singles with good gas mileage. And before anyone says "herpUSEDCARSderp", remember not everyone wants an old car, with old tech. if you don't like it, don't buy it. Simple as that.
        Ducman69
        • 5 Months Ago
        @KeiCarLvr
        A mass produced maxi-scooter/motorcycle hybrid like the Honda NM4 costs $11K, and even the cheapest new motorcycles cost more than this, yet alone something similar like a CanAm Spyder, yet we are to believe they can make hundreds of thousands for $7K... yeah right. Your BS meter considering their constant stalling should alert you that its too good to be true, and the product will be incredibly cheap or more likely never make it to market and is just hype for vaporware.
      Dave
      • 5 Months Ago
      I like the idea. I hope they can deliver a car with good ride / handling / NVH. The only inherent problem I see is that trikes have a more difficult job of avoiding potholes than a four wheel vehicle does.
        2 wheeled menace
        • 5 Months Ago
        @Dave
        Less wheels to fall into potholes, dude. :)
        2 wheeled menace
        • 5 Months Ago
        @Dave
        If you hit the pothole with the rear wheel, that's ideal then. Because you get an up-down bump instead of a side-side bump twice.
        Bernie Kressner
        • 5 Months Ago
        @Dave
        Hi Dave.... The unfortunate thing is that, like the Morgan 3-Wheeler, you greatly increase your chance of hitting a pothole in the first place, since it's much more difficult to "straddle" one, with wheels in this configuration. But I WILL buy one when they go into production. Like my little Jeep Wrangler, this thing looks like a hoot. Question: does it come with a manual transmission? (I hope....) ------------------------
          • 5 Months Ago
          @Bernie Kressner
          Elio says they will offer two basic models, one with manual and one with automatic transmission. All other "options" will be installed, post sale, at a regional "marshalling center" prior to final delivery to the retail center.
          lessphonebill.com
          • 5 Months Ago
          @Bernie Kressner
          Yes the manual transmission I thank is standard.
      thecommentator2013
      • 5 Months Ago
      If I needed a car I'd sure buy one. It's what most people really need. Not want. In this case, also want. I wish so for Elio Motors.
      TIMMAH!
      • 5 Months Ago
      If they produce it, I will buy one. I just hope this isn't another Aptera.
      tump
      • 5 Months Ago
      I'm going to see the car this weekend at Cortre Madera, CA - my judgment is so reserved on this product, that I'll have wait to make up my opinion (shocking in this day and age, I know.) But then, I still have high hopes for Lit Motors to pull through.
        Doug Danzeisen Sr
        • 5 Months Ago
        @tump
        Let us know what your thoughts are. I was impressed when I went to see the 2nd gen prototype at Cincinnati.
      Driver1
      • 5 Months Ago
      I wonder if they could source a motor from BRP, their ACE 900cc makes 90hp.
      radroach
      • 5 Months Ago
      Would definitely drive for a rental car
      d
      • 5 Months Ago
      Everybody remember it's a (AND vehicle) not a or vehicle. It's a MOTORCYCLE not a car. You will need a motorcycle license if you don't already have one. If you buy this and have never ridden on a motorcycle don't think you can now, it's not the same.
      • 5 Months Ago
      One of the biggest pieces of nonsense is that everybody neads a car that will seat 4, 5 or 6 people. There are well over one hundred million singles,childless or retired couples in this country and the cost of that extra couple of never-used seats is ridiculous - gas, taxes,insurance, tire wear, initial cost, etc. AS for emissions, this little vehicle will produce less than one third the emissions of a Tesla Model S on the highway and around 60% in town. So exactly why is our Federal govt giving $7500 to buyers of an $80K plus vehicle? In terms of emissions reductions per dollar of subsidy, the Elo will reduce 20 to 45 times more emissions than that dollar spent on a Tesla. Subsidize Elio cars, not fat-assed Tesla emission generators. It's obscene.
        Dave
        • 5 Months Ago
        "AS for emissions, this little vehicle will produce less than one third the emissions of a Tesla Model S on the highway and around 60% in town." I agree that the Elio will generally have lower well-to-wheel emissions. However, I'd like to see your source / calculations. Fueleconomy.gov rates the average well to wheels emissions of a 85 kwh Tesla Model L at 250 grams CO2 per mile. An 84 mpg car would generate 132 grams per mile well to wheels (50/84ths of the emissions of a non plug in Prius.) That would be 47% lower emissions than a Model S, not 60% or 66%. (unless, of course, you live in a section of the country with a very dirty grid)
        John Hansen
        • 5 Months Ago
        They are different cars for different people. Folks who buy these aren't the same that would buy Teslas. More likely, they're people who are fiscally conservative and drive old Geo Metros (see the comments below). Moving from a Metro to this will save some gas. Moving from a BMW 5 or 7 series will save a LOT of gas.
        jphyundai
        • 5 Months Ago
        Right on, gig!!! This is the future of efficiency. Right here. No highly flammable giant laptop batteries here!!!
      Ducman69
      • 5 Months Ago
      I'm really surprised that autoblog continues to shill for what is clearly a vaporware company, accepting a whole bunch of non-refundable government and private deposits, when its so obvious they are going to pull an Aptera and take the money and bail. "So sorry, we tried" will be the tune.
        Neil Blanchard
        • 5 Months Ago
        @Ducman69
        Aptera returned their depositors money. We should see the Elio P5 prototype soon, with the engine they intend to use in production. it will also have other changes, like greater ground clearance, and more rear headroom. They are much farther along than Aptera, with an actual factory lined up, and a nation wide sales plan. Elio may or may not make it. I hope they do. Let's wait and see before we make pronouncements from afar.
      Doug
      • 5 Months Ago
      1. Ah yes, a Geo Metro engine!!!! 2. This guy is so full of bull. This thing is way behind schedule. I heard from a supplier it is never going to happen and they are prepared to write off the expenses from it. 3. NO way it'll come in at this cost. 4. The assembly plant is a joke. So far behind schedule. 5. IT doesn't even have a windshield washer reservoir.
        Doug Danzeisen Sr
        • 5 Months Ago
        @Doug
        1 Actually a pretty solid little engine. I had one for over 160,000 miles, not the fastest thing out there, but a very solid, economical and well engineered engine. BTW the Elio engine may use this architecture, but there are great differences. Why reinvent what already exists? BTW. I spoke at some length with a retired Chryco production engineer who said this was a stroke of intelligence to use that which already exists and is developed. 2. Suppliers are not stupid, they are not in business to give away their engineering and expertise without reasonable expectation of a return. It is a reasonable expectation that the engineering firms did their due diligence or else would not have signed on. 3. Perhaps, perhaps not. 4. How do you know this? 5. The windshield washer bottle is the jug the fluid comes in. Actually pretty intellilgent, no more pouring the stuff in and spilling it all over. Just snap in the jug and close the hood. You have a better idea?
        jasonbooboo
        • 5 Months Ago
        @Doug
        VAPORWARE; nobody is getting their deposits back.
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