There's plenty of interest in this new "commuter car." As of August 17, over 28,000 people had put in money to reserve one of the new $6,800 wonder wheelers. It's small, to be sure – the length of a Honda Fit. With a low price and a three-year warranty, it's not surprising that many folks are interested in the unit.
This small, you may wonder about safety. The company says they've engineered in air bags, crumple zones, and a roll cage that will keep you safe in an accident. Despite the fact that the little thing is classed as a motorcycle, it still is definitely a car. Don't worry about crash helmets or license endorsements – just grab your standard driver's license, hop in, buckle up, and drive.
The company says it will sell the cars (manufactured in Louisiana) through a network of dealers in 60 "major markets." And service? Don't worry about getting in line at the dealership. If your Elio needs work done, the nearest Pep Boys store with a service bay will be the official repair facility. Production gears up next year, so you'll have to wait a bit for one of these units.
Those who've driven the prototype rigs say they drive like your typical small car. A standard six-speed transmission can be upgraded to an automatic. However, there is one twist that may make you think twice. The driver has an easy entry into this mini-rig – the door is on the left. Got a passenger? They've got to enter the car through that same door. In order to keep costs down, there is no "passenger side" door.
So how about that rig as a "toad" car? We asked Elio reps about how their new rig would handle being yanked around by a motorhome. Their e-mail response was, "Elio owners will be able to flat tow their vehicle although the details of how this will work are currently being finalized on our end. We have several ideas on how this will work best, and we will be prepared to share these details with our future Elio Motors customers in advance of production."
If we get more on this, we'll let you know.
See more on the Elio, or put in your own reservation here.