Elio Motors Unveils Three Cylinder Engine (w/ Video)

Elio Engine Block

You remember the Elio, don’t you?  That’s the proposed new three wheel car that sort of looks like a Can Am Spyder with a car body attached? The company has promised to deliver an American made, comfortable and safe automobile that gets 84 mpg and costs just $6800, including air conditioning and power windows. It’s fair to say there are a lot of skeptics out there who think the Elio is little more than “vaporware”, a persistent rumor that will never see the light of day.

Not so, say the folks at Elio Motors. And, to prove they are making progress, the folks at Elio unveiled a few detailed tidbits about their new engine for car. That engine will have three cylinders, an aluminum head, multi-port sequential fuel injection, a long stroke/small-bore geometry, and a timing chain for durability. It will, reportedly, use conventional 5W-20 motor oil, with an oil change recommended every 3000 miles. Current specs call for it to produce 55 hp, although a bump to 60 hp is possible, though that’s still short of initial projections which called for 70 horsepower.

Don’t try call them out on it, however. The people at Elio Motors get a little testy with those who think the pace of development is too slow. In an e-mail last week, the company had this to say:

We live in a world of instant gratification. Rushing to find absolutes where they often don’t exist. And, when anxiously awaiting the arrival of something necessary, needed and game changing, like the Elio, we often forget that things most valuable to our existence take time.

In other words, the car will be done when they say it’s done, and not a moment before.

You have to give credit to people who have a vision and are not swayed by naysayers or dubious projections or a $145 million hurdle that needs cleared before production can begin. And, with several electric bikes selling for around $3000 (or more!), the prospect of an actual car that costs under $7000, gets over 80 mpg, and boasts air conditioning is certainly appealing. But is it possible?

If they’re going to raise the $200 million they need to get production going, Elio needs you to believe that it is. You can check out the all-new, fresh design Elio 3 cylinder engine in (computer-generated) action, below. Enjoy!


Source: Technology Tell

Steve Hanley

Closely following the transition from internal combustion to electricity. Whether it's cars, trucks, ships, or airplanes, sustainability is the key. Please follow me on Google + and Twitter.