After pushing back the launch of its hotly-anticipated P5 three-wheeler a number of times, Elio Motors has finally announced that a limited run of pre-production vehicles will be made available to buy. It really will be limited, though, with only 100 to be sold, and all to fleet customers.

"We now intend to sell the first 100 pre-production vehicles built to one or more fleet customers, rather than use them for internal purposes as previously disclosed in our offering statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission," explains Elio Motors founder and CEO Paul Elio. "This will help us generate additional revenue, it will allow us to evaluate vehicles under real-world driving conditions and it will allow our supplier team to refine our design."

The company describes the move as "a major step forward" and hopes the fleet vehicle build will help to inform the subsequent vehicle build for consumers. In particular, it expects the recently-announced lead engineering partner Roush to produce a quieter, smoother vehicle with improved driving characteristics as a result.

The P5 is expected to cost from US$6,800, for which Elio Motors says it will deliver a highway mileage rating of up to 84 mpg (2.8 l/100 km). Despite this, the firm promises features such as power windows, air conditioning and air bags. As of February this year, over 50,000 reservations to buy the vehicle had been made.

The short run of fleet sales is scheduled to for the fourth quarter of this year, and production of the consumer vehicle is now expected to begin next year.

Source: Elio Motors

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