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Elio Motors will display cheapest car concept at LA Auto Show

The Elio Motors' three-wheel concept vehicle will be displayed at the Los Angeles Auto Show

Elio Motors, the Arizona-based experimental vehicle maker whose three-wheel, futuristic-looking prototypes have generated polarizing interest, will introduce its fifth generation vehicle at the upcoming Los Angeles 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 Elio Motors' three-wheel concept vehicle will be displayed at the Los Angeles Auto Show
The Elio Motors’ three-wheel concept vehicle will be displayed at the Los Angeles Auto Show

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.

However, the Elio Motors project has attracted plenty of detractors. The announcement of the appearance of the vehicle at the L.A. Auto Show on the website,, for example, drew wide-ranging pans.

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

To read more about the Elio Motors participation at the L.A. Auto Show and a strong sample of the public’s opinion about the car visit: LEFTLANENEWS/ELIO



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