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What else is new? Elio again delays futuristic car debut

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

Elio Motors has announced another delay. If you’re among the 50,000 people who reserved one of the three-wheel, futuristic-looking machines touted to cost $6,800 and get 84 mph, it won’t arrive until an undisclosed date in 2017.

The latest setback seemed eminent since the company’s recent announcement of what appeared to be an appeasement. Elio said it was going to sell 100 of its pre-production models.

The press release announcing the sale didn’t include to whom the vehicles would be sold. But the company subsequently said it would sell the vehicle to “fleet customers.”

Still, the real model, called the P5, is still in limbo, with the delay announcement added to a growing of setbacks for the start-up and its eager customers.

“We now intend to sell the first 100 pre-production vehicles built to one or more fleet customers, rather than use them for internal purposes as previously disclosed in our offering statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission”, said Paul Elio, the firm’s chief and founder.

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

Since the idea for the unique vehicle was announced, the futuristic-looking car has been polarizing. Skeptics believe it will never be produced; fans think it will revolutionize the automobile industry.

The pre-production models, like the pending final product, were made at the Shreveport Manufacturing Facility, in Louisiana. The carmaker said the sale of the 100 vehicles would generate revenue and give the company an opportunity to evaluate the three-wheeled vehicles under real-world driving conditions.

Elio idea debuted in 2013

The idea was publicly announced in 2013, with its website soliciting deposits from $100 to $1,000 and with promises of different levels of getting an Elio depending upon the amount of the deposit.

The 55-horsepower vehicle, which Elio had promoted as having a top speed of 100 mph, has had several previous launch dates — and all have delayed.

According to the manufacturer, the Elio is “engineered to achieve a 5-star crash test safety rating.”

Elio Motors describes the futuristic-looking vehicle as “perfect for individual commuters looking for an inexpensive and fuel-efficient mode of transportation, but who also yearn for a unique expression of their passion for driving.”

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