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Brandon Seiler's Blog on Cars

Elio three-wheeler promises 84mpg, $6,800 price tag

Although technically classified as a motorcycle, startup company Elio Motors is hoping their three-wheeled creation ‘The Elio’ will strike a chord with car buyers.  With just enough room for a driver and a single passenger in the back the little oddity is essentially an attempt to capitalize on the upsides of a motorcycle (fuel economy, low cost) with fewer of the downfalls (exposure to the elements, being splattered to death in the event of a crash). 

“At highway speeds most of your fuel is going to moving air,” founder Paul Elio explained, “We're half as wide, we move half as much air, we get double the mileage. There's no magic here.”

“We get 84 miles per gallon, and that's what drove the design.” (1)

Elio says his car is good for a top speed of 107mph and expects it to earn a five-star government crash-test rating. Then again, when registered as a motorcycle the Elio should be able to bypass safety, emissions and fuel economy certifications nearly all together.  That also means drivers should be able to make solo trips in the carpool lane, although it’s easy to imagine that could lead to some interesting debates with skeptical police officers.

“Sir, technically it’s a motorcycle.”

“Technically you’re getting a ticket, weirdo.”

To lean more about the Elio visit the company website.  Production is planned to begin in 2014 at a former General Motors plant in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. 


(1)  CNBC

(2)  Yahoo! Autos

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Brandon Seiler is a bonafide car guy, member of the Northwest Auto Press Association and proud Washingtonian. He covers the latest auto news, technology, and pretty much anything having to do with car culture. You don't have to like cars to read his blogs, you just have to be able to read.

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