In early 2014, The Weekly Driver reported on the ambitious plans of Elio Motors to debut about a year later an unnamed three-wheel vehicle conceived by company founder Paul Elio. The attraction was startling: the futuristic-looking contraption was touted as costing $6,800, and it could achieve 84 mpg.
Further, the company promoted the vehicle as featuring an eight-gallon gas tank with a 672-mile range and a top speed of more than 100 mph.
The small front-mounted engine in the Elio was promoted as 1.0 liter, with three cylinders and 70 horsepower. It would feature two seats, with an optional fold-down passenger seat for cargo space.
In the nearly three years since Elio Motors received its first public notoriety a lot has happened with the pending vehicle, but simultaneously not much has happened.
Elio Motors began calling its vehicle the Elio. Prototypes have been built, business relationships with suppliers have been announced. Nationwide tours have occurred, and commercials have been made. Jobs have been promised.
According to the company website, more than 60,000 wannabe owners have provided deposits to buy an Elio.
Elio’s early marketing campaign began at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction in Arizona and the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. Most recently, Elio had an understated booth at the Los Angeles Auto Show in mid-November.
But the vehicle has never debuted.
Last week, the website Gas 2.0 published Security Exchange Commission documents detailed Elio has reported it has more than $123 million debt. Paul Elio questioned the company’s ability to continue.
Since our first article, The Weekly Driver has published 26 additional posts about the company.
Here’s the timeline and the list of our reporting: