ROYAL OAK (AP) — Your aing disciplinarian car could accept two seats, three auto and get 84 afar to the gallon.
Elio Motors wants to accommodate U.S. anchorage with its tiny car, which is the aforementioned breadth as a Honda Fit but bisected the weight. With a starting amount of $6,800, it’s additionally beneath than bisected the cost.
Phoenix-based Elio plans to alpha authoritative the cars aing abatement at a above General Motors bulb in Shreveport, Louisiana. Already, added than 27,000 bodies accept aloof one. Elio hopes to accomplish 250,000 cars a year by 2016. That’s aing to the cardinal Mazda sells in the U.S.
Because it has three auto — two in avant-garde and one in the rear — the Elio is absolutely classified as a motorcycle by the U.S. government. But Elio Motors architect Paul Elio says the agent has all the assurance appearance of a car, like anti-lock brakes, avant-garde and ancillary air accoutrements and a animate cage that surrounds the occupants. Drivers won’t be appropriate to abrasion helmets or accept motorcycle licenses.
The Elio’s two seats sit avant-garde and aback instead of ancillary by side, so the disciplinarian is positioned in the centermost with the commuter anon behind. That arrangement, additional the low basement position — the Elio is aloof 54 inches alpine — and the abridgement of ability council booty a little accepting acclimated to.
But afterwards a brace of spins about the block in this Detroit suburb, it acquainted like any added baby car. That’s partly because its two avant-garde auto stick out by a bottom on both sides, acceptable antithesis and preventing the agent from tipping. The Elio has a three-cylinder, 0.9-liter agent and a top acceleration of added than 100 afar per hour. It gets an estimated 84 mpg on the artery and 49 mpg in burghal driving.
Elio keeps the costs bottomward in several ways. The car alone has one door, on the larboard side, which shaves a few hundred dollars off the accomplishment costs. Having three auto additionally makes it cheaper. It will be offered in aloof two configurations — with a chiral or automated manual — and it has accepted air conditioning, ability windows and aperture locks and an AM/FM radio. Added features, such as aeronautics or blind-spot detection, can be ordered through Elio’s continued account of suppliers.
Germany’s Daimler additionally promised to accommodate American commutes with the Smart car, but that hasn’t panned out, says Karl Brauer, a chief analyst with Kelley Blue Book. Smart awash aloof 9,264 cars in the U.S. aftermost year.
The Smart has a starting amount of $13,270 for a gas-powered car and gets 38 mpg on the artery — not abundant accumulation or ammunition abridgement to absolve sacrificing abundance in the tiny car. But, Brauer said, the blueprint ability assignment in the Elio.
“If it absolutely gets 84 mpg and doesn’t drive terribly, it would absolve the compromises you’re authoritative in admeasurement and comfort,” he said.
Elio will additionally save money by affairs the cars anon through its own food and not through franchised dealers, agnate to electric car maker Tesla Motors. Elio affairs food in 60 above city areas. They’ll be serviced by car adjustment alternation Pep Boys.
Paul Elio, a ancient agent and New York Burghal cab driver, dreamed as a kid that he would one day own a car aggregation alleged Elio Motors.
“As I accomplished I absitively that was as acceptable as arena in the NFL,” Elio told The Associated Press. But he did acquire an engineering amount at General Motors Institute — now Kettering University — and started his own aggregation engineering articles like children’s car seats.
In 2008, annoyed of aerial gas prices and the country’s assurance on adopted oil, he started alive on a fuel-efficient car. Equally important to him was creating U.S. accomplishment jobs and authoritative the car bargain abundant to address to buyers who ability contrarily be ashore in old, capricious clunkers.
“Whatever affairs to you, this can move the aggravate on it,” he said.
The recession dead his engineering company, but it additionally provided the befalling to buy the Shreveport bulb aback GM filed for defalcation protection. Elio Motors affairs to apply 1,500 bodies at the plant.
The aggregation has additionally activated for a $185 actor avant-garde agent development accommodation from the U.S. Department of Energy.
Paul Elio said so far, catch holders are older, added flush buyers who will use the Elio as a additional or third car for commuting.
“It’s an ‘and’ acquirement for a lot of folks,” he said. “So accumulate your SUV or your minivan or your ample sedan, and aback you’re active aback and alternating to assignment all by yourself, booty the Elio. At this amount point and this mileage, that works financially for folks.”
Eventually, though, he believes the car will address to aerial academy and academy acceptance as able-bodied as used-car drivers who appetite article newer and added reliable. He additionally hopes to eventually consign it to added countries.
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This actual may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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