Meet Toyota i-Road’s Homemade Enemy - The Elio

Elio Three Wheeler 1 photo
Photo: Elio Motors
Imagine it’s 2016 already and you want to buy a personal mobility vehicle to roam around town going to work, shopping and meeting with friends. What would you choose?
A bike with a small engine or an electric scooter seems all right, but then you remember you have a friend who had a nasty crash on one of those damn two wheeled things and it kinda scares you away now. Plus that it will suck big time to stay in traffic when it rains or it’s cold outside.

Oh, here’s something better - the electric Toyota i-Road. Small enough for the urban jungle, has a roof, some sort of doors and room for two. But the fact you are staying on a seat with a steering wheel in your hands and the vehicle is actually leaning through bends makes you kinda dizzy, so it’s not a great choice after all.

Not to mention the fact that the i-Road uses the single rear wheel to steer at low speeds, which kinda feels like driving a shopping cart or a crab.

If neither these fulfill your high requirements for traveling through town with something other than public transport, why not chose the Elio?

It’s still a compact three-wheeler, looks like a fish, it’s not leaning through bends and is not using the rear wheel to steer. In fact, the front axle resembles the average one a front-wheel-drive vehicle has, where all the magic happens.

Looking at it straight from the side you could swear it’s a nice coupe sportscar, but if you change the angle, it will resemble one that has been squished from the sides by a massive junkyard crusher.

Laugh as much as you want, but Elio Motors, the Arizona-based company that wants to make this vehicle available in 2015-2016 for you to buy, says it will achieve a city/highway mileage of 49/84 mpg (4.8/2.8 l/100 km) and the whole ‘car’ will cost $6,800.

This is done by combining a 1250 lb (567 kg) lightweight body with a 55 hp 3-cylinder gasoline engine. No electricity for you, but it will come with a fully enclosed cabin, two seats, 3-airbags, roll cage, stability control, ABS, power windows, stereo and air conditioning.

Elio Motors is already into its 4th prototype and wants to make it happen next year. Until then, you can sign up for one on their official website for as less as $100. But you should know that the more money you toss at them, the higher the place you get on the waiting list.

Oh, and if you thought this will suck in the snow, check out the video here and see how it performs.

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