Elio Motors, a start-up vehicle manufacturer planning to launch a three-wheel vehicle that will get up to 84 mpg with a set $7,300 base price, has introduced its E1c engineering vehicle.
The E1c marks a ‘significant step forward’ for Elio Motors, as it progresses from the prototype to production phase. While the exterior is similar to previous Elio prototypes, the E1c engineering vehicle features foundational and structural improvements to the frame, suspension, and safety systems that will ultimately create a more satisfying driving experience.
The E1c is part of Elio Motors’ E-Series vehicles, which are being built for testing and validation purposes. Powering the car is an all-new 0.9 liter, 3-cylinder engine prototype engine.
“We are literally trying to reinvent the auto industry, so why go the conventional route and rework someone else’s engine?” said Paul Elio, president and CEO of Elio Motors. “There really was nothing available that combined the speed and power that we want and our customers deserve. IAV came through with an outstanding execution of today’s best technology that will be a cornerstone to delivering a world-class vehicle.”
Elio states that in order to provide its customers with high fuel efficiency and performance consistent with today’s passenger vehicles, the engine’s brief required it to operate efficiently at two different loads – lower loads representative of highway cruising, and more demanding loads associated with the fast starts of city driving.
Several engine components, including the cylinder block, cylinder heads, cam cover, front cover, oil pan, crankshaft, camshaft, valve train, pistons, connecting rods, bearings and water pump were developed specifically for Elio Motors. The final parts were machined and assembled, and the prototype was started and run through several tests on a dynamometer earlier this year.
“We are extremely pleased with our first run on the dynamometer,” Elio added. “Seeing this new technology come to fruition has been one of the most exciting stages in our history.”