Elio Motors has begun work on its fifth-generation prototype three-wheeled vehicle. The P5 will include Elio Motors’ recently unveiled 0.9 liter, 3-cylinder engine prototype and a manual transmission. (Earlier post.)The P5 is the first in a series of 26 prototypes, codenamed P5 through P30 that will be developed for a variety of testing and validation purposes.
Elio Motors is targeting a launch date mid 2016 for a vehicle that will get up to 84 mpg (2.8-l/100 km) and is expected to retail for $6,800. The P5 is being developed using funds raised in a recent 506 (c) offering. The 506 (c) offering is made possible by the Jobs Act of 2012, and allows accredited investors to buy in to Elio Motors.
In addition to updated styling that has been driven by aerodynamic improvements, two of the most critical elements being added to the P5 are the engine and the transmission. The company turned to world-class engine developer IAV to create a new technology from the ground up. Elio Motors is the first start-up auto company in the Unites States in the past 60 years to build its own unique internal combustion engine.
The transmission on the P5 will be a Multi-mode Manual Transmission from Aisin.
Elio and its manufacturing partner Comau (wholly owned by FCA) will build the vehicle at a manufacturing facility in Shreveport, La., where General Motors previously built the Hummer H3 and Chevy Colorado.
Currently on a nationwide tour, the P4 prototype has developed an enthusiastic grass-roots following. Nearly 43,000 people have made reservations for a place in line when they go to production. When the Elio goes to market, it will create 1,500 jobs at the Shreveport facility. In addition, the Elio will use 90% North American content, creating another 1,500 jobs at its supplier partner companies. These manufacturing jobs will in turn create approximately 18,000 indirect jobs across the country.