It’s a historic time for Elio Motors, which recently unveiled its first in-house engine. The new 0.9-liter three-cylinder engine will power the company’s anticipated three-wheel car, if it can finish raising the capitol needed to get delayed production rolling. The company’s fourth and latest prototype is show above. However, actual production looks to be at least a year away following due to continuing financial issues that have skeptics raising their eyebrows.
Despite those delays, however, the automotive startup is not backing down from its promise to deliver the Elio two-seater complete with airbags, air conditioning, a stereo, wifi technology, plus power windows and door locks, for just $6,800. It’ll get a super-efficient 84 miles per gallon and a top speed in excess of 100 mph.
Of course, Elio needs a special engine to deliver all that, so the company went to German engineering firm IAV to help design the new optimized engine for the three-wheeler. It’s now been taken from the engineering stage to prototype assembly and initial testing, which you can see in the video below.
“Seeing this new technology come to fruition has been one of the most exciting stages in our history,” said founder and chief executive Paul Elio. “This prototype puts us right where we need to be at this stage of development.”
“Ultimately, the decision to build an engine that was completely ours will pay off by meeting and exceeding our customers’ expectations for fuel efficiency and performance,” Elio said. “In addition to a vehicle that is fuel efficient and has a unique look, our customers will find it fun to drive as well.”
Back at the Consumer Electronics Show in January, Elio unveiled new technology for the vehicle.
“This year we have included Elio’s own app with internet interfacing to the whole driving experience with your smartphone or iPad mini. We’ve even added a front and rear cameras so that you can see what’s around your car before going out to the parking lot. If you are a nurse or working late, its good to know that you are safe and secure before getting into your car,” said Paul Elio, founder and creator of Elio Motors. You can also start your car or unlock it with your smartphone before stepping outside.
The initial launch date for the Elio was back in mid-2014. When production finally gets underway, it will be built at a former General Motors plant in Shreveport, Louisiana. So far, nearly 40,000 Elio vehicles are on pre-order.