Elio has finally made public its engine prototype, which is a three-cylinder, 0.9-liter device. The small size (0.9 liters is about 30 ounces, while a Hurricane takes up about 26 – for those brave enough to finish one) is commensurate with the company's goal to have its three-wheeled vehicles get 84 miles per gallon. Elio also says the engine delivers a top speed of more than 100 miles per hour in the trike, but don't even think about it if you've knocked back one of those Hurricanes.
Elio, which was founded in 2008, is working with manufacturer Comau to build the cars at a Shreveport plant that once belonged to General Motors, and the company says the first vehicles will be built by June 2016. Elio, which is promoting the trikes with a cross-country tour, will price the trikes at about $6,800 and says more than 40,000 have signed up for advance reservations. Take a look at Elio's press release below.
Troy, Mich., March 6, 2015 – Elio Motors today announced it has unveiled its new 0.9 liter, 3-cylinder engine prototype, completing one of the company's most important stages of development.
With a goal of up to 84 MPG and a projected top speed of more than 100 MPH, the enclosed, three-wheeled Elio requires an engine with a unique blend of power and efficiency that simply doesn't exist on the market today. Elio Motors, which plans to sell the vehicle for $6,800 when it launches in the first half of 2016, turned to world-class engine developer IAV to create a new technology that would meet the company's needs.
"We are literally trying to reinvent the auto industry, so why go the conventional route and rework someone else's engine?" said Paul Elio, President and CEO of Elio Motors. "There really was nothing available that combined the speed and power that we want and our customers deserve. IAV came through with an outstanding execution of today's best technology that will be a cornerstone to delivering a world-class vehicle."
To provide its customers with high fuel efficiency and still provide the performance consistent with today's passenger vehicles, the Elio Motors engine must operate efficiently at two different loads – lower loads representative of highway cruising, and more demanding loads associated with the fast starts of city driving.
Several engine components, including the cylinder block, cylinder heads, CAM cover, front cover, oil pan, crankshaft, camshaft, valve train, pistons, connecting rods, bearings and water pump were developed specifically for Elio Motors. The final parts were recently machined and assembled and the prototype was started and run through several tests on a dynamometer.
"We are extremely pleased with our first run on the dynamometer," Elio said. "Seeing this new technology come to fruition has been one of the most exciting stages in our history. This prototype puts us right were we need to be at this stage of development."
Elio and its manufacturing partner Comau will build the vehicle at a world-class manufacturing facility in Shreveport where General Motors previously built the Hummer H3 and Chevy Colorado.
Currently on a nationwide tour, the vehicle prototype has developed an enthusiastic grass-roots following and more than 40,000 people have made reservations for a spot in line to buy one when they go to production. When the Elio goes to market, it will create 1,500 jobs at the facility. In addition, the Elio will use 90 percent North American content, creating another 1,500 jobs at its supplier partner companies. These manufacturing jobs will in turn create approximately 18,000 indirect jobs across the country.
About Elio Motors
Founded by car enthusiast Paul Elio in 2008, Elio Motors Inc. represents a revolutionary approach to manufacturing an ultra-high-mileage vehicle. The three-wheeled Elio is engineered to attain a highway mileage rating of up to 84 mpg while providing the comfort of amenities such as power windows, power door lock and air conditioning, accompanied by the safety of multiple air bags and an aerodynamic, enclosed vehicle body. Elio's first manufacturing site will be in Shreveport, La. For more information, visit www.eliomotors.com or www.facebook.com/ElioMotors.
About IAV in North America
IAV Group is an engineering and technical consultancy servicing the global automotive industry with over 5,000 employees worldwide. As a recognized leader in the specification, design, development, validation and production launch of advanced vehicle and powertrain systems, IAV Automotive Engineering deploys a leading team of technical experts, engineering tools and program processes from its North American Headquarters in Northville, Michigan.