The Weekly Driver

Website • Podcast • Newsletter
Established 2004

Elio Motors set for live debut of $6,800 car at LA Auto Show

Elio Motors has again delayed its debut - now until 2017.

The latest prototype of the $6,800, three-wheel vehicle Elio Motors has promoted for several years but has yet to deliver to the public despite a substantial public online reservation investment, will be unveiled in a live video broadcast Nov. 19 at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

The Arizona-based experimental vehicle maker’s prototypes have generated polarizing interest. Its fifth generation vehicle will be introduced at the 10 a.m. press conference.

To view the unveiling, visit: ELIO MOTORS/L.A. AUTO SHOW

The vehicle’s CAD renderings detail a similar but update version of the car’s previous concepts. The company, building what it’s touting as the cheapest car in the United States in a former General Motors plant in Shreveport, Louisiana, has collected different levels of reservation deposits online for several years.

But Elio Motors and its founder, Paul Elio, have suffered many setbacks and have changed public delivery dates several times. The Elio project has been as controversial as an in the auto industry, with the exception of the the current Volkswagen diesel scandal.

The latest edition of the vehicle, called the P5, has many of the same features as the previous concepts. The front wheels are completely enclosed in order to reduce drag and a narrow, highly-aerodynamic body. The cockpit seats two and there’s a comprehensive list of equipment that includes power locks and windows, cup holders, parking sensors, and a USB port. There’s A rear-view camera but no rear window.

The latest prototype of the Elio Motors three-wheel vehicle is scheduled to be introduced at the L.A Auto Show, Nov. 19.
The latest prototype of the Elio Motors three-wheel, $6,800 vehicle is scheduled to be introduced in a live stream from at the L.A Auto Show, Nov. 19.

Power for the P5 is provided by a 0.9-liter three-cylinder gasoline-burning engine developed specifically for Elio Motors by Germany-based IAV Automotive Engineering.

Full technical details haven’t been published yet, but the startup predicts its first car is capable of returning about 84 mpg on the highway thanks in part to an ultra-low weight. The P5 accelerates to 60 mph from a stop in 9.6 seconds and goes on to a top speed of 100 mph. It’s predicted to get 84 mph and is marketed as having a price of $6,800.

The current public relations material from Elio details the car will be available to the pubic in late 2016.

The Los Angeles Auto Show will be held Nov. 20-29 at the Los Angeles Convention Center.


To get our weekly newsletter with automotive news and commentary delivered to your email inbox.