With checks cashed, Elios’ three-wheeled, 84-mpg commuter car aims for 2016 production

The three-wheeled Elio P5, with its $6,800 base price and 84-mpg fuel economy rating, is a concept most people can get behind. The car is safe, affordable for the masses, and is incredibly fuel efficient. But as we all know, making cars ain’t free.

In January, Elio Motors founder Paul Elio said that his company had raised $65 million of the $240 million required to manufacture the car, estimating that the vehicle would go into production sometime in 2016.

It appears that the remaining funds are inching toward the bank. Following a successful supplier summit in Michigan, Elio Motors has announced that it will build a fifth-generation prototype of the car dubbed the P5. According to the company, a production version will launch in the middle of 2016.

“The P5 build is another important step in our march toward production and is the culmination of several important strategic initiatives we have completed or launched in the past several months,” said Elio. “The completion of our engine prototype, our offering to accredited investors, and our recent supplier summit are all excellent examples of the progress we continue to make every day.”

Elio Motors P4
Paul Elio with the P4 prototype

“We are fortunate to work with some of the most well-respected and notable auto supplier company’s in the world,” he continued. “We also have given them a voice in our development that they typically do not have working with traditional manufacturers.”

The P5 and its eventual production variant will be based on the P4 prototype (pictured), but with amenities like power windows, power door locks, and air conditioning.

As far as the powertrain goes, the two-seater will equip a 0.9-liter three-cylinder that returns a whopping 84 mpg. Engine output wasn’t specified, but previous prototypes produced around 55 horsepower. A multi-mode Aisin manual will be the only transmission offered.

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