Elio is showing off another concept at the L.A. Auto Show – this time, it’s actually looking production ready.
Elio Motors is ambitious, we’ll give them that much. The American company has been unyielding in its attempt to bring to production its three-wheeled, 84 mpg vehicle, which was first presented as a concept in 2009. At the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show, that determination continues with yet another prototype.
The company is calling this one the E1c. While it shares an identical exterior to practically all of the prototypes we’ve seen since 2009, this example is the first of undoubtedly many that will be built specifically for testing and validation purposes.
With foundational and structural improvements to the frame and suspension, it makes for a safer three-wheeled driving experience. More than 80 percent of the E1c was developed using short-term, low-cost production tools in order to prove manufacturability and repeatability of individual parts prior to full-on production.
"The E1c represents our continued progress along our long-term plan to bring low-cost, highly fuel efficient transportation to the market," said Elio Motors' founder and CEO Paul Elio. "We have assembled an amazing team of engineers and supplier partners who have jumped into every aspect of this vehicle to make sure it meets or exceeds all of our targets.”
While the most significant changes come to the frame, the interior also gets a healthy revision. A new steering wheel and a slightly more refined set of cues bring it that much closer to production. The E1c also features airbags, a first for the company – two roof-rail side-curtain fitments and a driver airbag in the steering wheel.
Though the company hasn’t given an official date as to when the Elio will be ready for production, it’s currently offering a limited amount of the three-wheelers for pre-order at just $7,300.
Source: Elio Motors
Photos: Nathan Leach-Proffer / Motor1.com