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A Super-compact Three Wheeled Vehicle Ready for Prime Time

Would you be willing to commute in a tiny 3-wheeled vehicle for the sake of incredibly high gas mileage?  In this case you get two wheels in the front and one in the rear, yielding 84 miles per gallon.

Elio Motors has a dream of revolutionizing U.S. roads with its tiny car.  This cute little thing is actually about the same length as a Honda Fit but with a half the weight. The price starts at $6,800 which could be another big selling point for this start auto manufacturer.

The car won't be available until next fall but 27,000 people have already reserved one.  I'd say that's already a huge success for such car targeting a niche market.

Phoenix-based Elio plans to produce the cars from a former General Motors plant in Shreveport, Louisiana. The current production target for the company is 250,000 a year by 2016. Do you think there is such a huge market for a car with limited functionality?  We will have to wait and see.

Another interesting fact is that the Elio is actually classified as a motorcycle by the U.S. government even though the company may market it as a vehicle.

When it comes to a super compact car as Elio, the first thing that comes to mind for the most potential buyers is the safety. Elio Motors founder Paul Elio says the vehicle has all the safety features of a car, like anti-lock brakes, front and side air bags and a steel cage that surrounds the occupants. Drivers won't be required to wear helmets or have motorcycle licenses.

I wonder if it went through proper crash tests like most other vehicle, but I haven't been able to find any data on crash test results for Elio.  The founder thinks or hopes that the car will get 5-star crash rating.

Elio is comes in two seats in tandem configuration, standing just 54 inches tall.  The lack of power steering take a little getting used to.

The Elio is powered by a three-cylinder, 0.9-liter engine resulting in speed of more than 100 miles per hour. That's quiet impressive.

The future owners of Elio will also save some money when it comes to time for tire replacement. You will only need three tires instead of four.  But they won't be able to benefit from buy three and get the fourth for free deals.

Elio will be saving even more money by selling the cars directly through its own stores and not through franchised dealers, in a similar fashion as Tesla Motors. Elio plans stores in 60 major metropolitan areas. They'll be serviced by car repair chain Pep Boys.  I'm not so sure if that was a wise choice to contract out service exclusively to not so reputable franchise

The company founder, Paul Elio revealed that, reservation holders are older, more affluent buyers who will use the Elio as a second or third car for commuting.

A Super-compact Three Wheeled Vehicle Ready for Prime Time Reviewed by Brandon on 4:42 PM Rating: 5

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