Elio Motors has recently announced that a limited run of pre-production vehicles will be made available for preorder, its three-wheeled ‘car’ that can achieve 84 mpg, all thanks to its small footprint and simple design. The company hits its goal of 65,000 total pre-orders, early adopters can reserve one of the podracer-like microcars for a locked price of $7,000.
Elio says it’s “locking in” its prices for different levels of reservation holders. If you put down a non-refundable deposit, the price will be set at $7,300. If you make a “binding commitment,” as Elio calls it, the price drops to $7,000.
The 900-cc Elio (there is no formal model name) is a single-doored, front-engine, front-wheel-drive ‘autocycle’ which can be driven without a motorcycle license in 41 states. It fits two people, tandem-style, and is said to weigh over 1200 pounds. The aluminum-block three-cylinder SOHC gasoline engine is Elio’s construction, too, with all 55 hp and 55 lb-ft of its might routed through a five-speed Aisin manual or automatic.
Its eight-gallon tank, at a projected 84 miles per gallon, that would provide 672 miles of range. Although it’s not required, the Elio comes equipped with ABS, three airbags, stability control, and traction control. Elio is so confident about his vehicle’s safety which he plans to run it through the same battery of government crash tests as regular cars and publish the results.
The short run of fleet sales is scheduled to for the fourth quarter of this year, and production of the consumer vehicle is now expected to begin next year.