Elio Motors came to visit Minneapolis this past May. I have been reading about them for a while and was truly excited to see the prototype in person.
For those of you unfamiliar with this car go google it...but until then, here are the high-lights:
-84mpg!!! 87 octane (representative said the ECU might adjust to more octane aka more power and MPG)
-0-60 in under 10 seconds
-two 6' plus people will fit in it tandem
-Traction control, ABS, cruise, A/C, and stability control
-Will meet CAFE emission standards in all 50 states
-Will meet crash test safety standards
Just that list alone in my opinion makes this car a no-brainier. As 90% of the time I am driving solo. Supposedly there is a computer repair place (something like Geek Squad, but not) and a security firm have already placed orders for these. Why wouldn't they?!? When a company has a basically one adult driving around all day.
I do wish it had a bit more cargo space, other pictures on net show the rear seat folded down and a full set of golf clubs in the hatch & back seat. Other than that most of the time anything I transport can fit in the back seat and back seat floor. The trunk/hatch is designed to fit a bag that normally fit in an airliner overhead compartment. Rumor is an aftermarket company already has a trailer hitch designed for it. I can totally see having a small enclosed trailer in tow, much like that behind many motorcycles. The representative said something about voiding transmission warranty, blah, blah, honestly I tuned that part out! There is no spare tire, one gets a can of "Fix-a-flat".
Even if the turbo makes 20% more HP, that would be a mere 11hp (I think we can call that a really conservative number) , that is enough to move it from 22lbs/hp to 18.9lbs/hp (assuming we go with the stated 1250lb curb weight) which puts it close to sport compact territory. Let's say that this performance version costs and extra $1200, aka 20% (probably a safe up charge when going from a base to performance model), making it a whopping $8000! Oh darn!, a brand new sporty car than can out drag race what 40% of the cars you see on the road? Let's not forget MPG goes down on sporty cars right? Well, turbos don't usually but, that is a whole another conversation...just for rough math let's say mileage goes down by 20%, that brings us down to a mere 65mpg....again, OH DARN!
Now I am thinking this could be the next race car....think about it...."Spec Elio"! Twenty of these things on the same race track at once! Unfortunately they are not legal for SCCA Solo, as the rules say something about having to have 4 wheels or some such non-sense.