Elio Motors is an enigma of the motoring world, promising plenty but failing to deliver thus far. Every time the launch of its cars is pushed back, the screams of naysayers grow louder and louder, but Elio is looking to silence the doubters with the completion of its first E-Series test car.

Unveiled in front of automotive suppliers and engineers in Livonia, Michigan, Elio says Prototype E1A will be used to refine and fine-tune the design as it creeps towards production spec. All things being equal, it'll be one of 23 validation vehicles planned to hone aerodynamics and safety performance.

"The completion of the first E-Series vehicle signals the launch of another critical phase in our journey," says Paul Elio, founder and CEO of Elio Motors. "The real-world performance data that we gather through the E-Series testing will allow our team to make final adjustments prior to tooling up for production. This is a giant step forward for the company and our Elio reservation holders as we continue to progress."

Once the testing is completed, the company will sell its first 100 pre-production vehicles to fleet customers with the intention of refining the breed when (or if) the three-wheeler finally reaches consumers.

Should that day come, P5 three-wheeler pricing will start at US$6,800. Despite the bargain-basement price, Elio Motors is promising highway mileage of 84 mpg (2.8 L/100km) from the air-conditioned, airbag-equipped trike.

Source: Elio Motors

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