Elio Motors officially introduced to the world the P5, a fifth generation prototype. This announcement was made during a news conference at one of the most influential auto shows in the world, the Los Angeles Auto Show.
The company says that this enclosed and three-wheeled vehicle is targeted to be launched during the latter part of 2016 with a possible $6,800 base price. The company also expects that it will return 84 MPG.
Though the P5 is a fifth generation, it is the first time that the company will be using a 3-cylinder 0.9-liter engine. This particular engine was developed by IAV for the P5. This is because as the company was developing the P5, it realized that there were no engines available that had the combination that it wanted in terms of efficiency, speed, and power. The engine allows the P5 a 100 mph top speed with acceleration of 0 to 60 mph in 9.6 seconds.
According to Elio Motors CEO Paul Elio, the company is more than proud not just to show this new product during the LA Auto Show but to show the world a novel approach when it comes to transportation. At the center of this prototype is the engine which represents the company's commitment to a vehicle that is fuel-efficient but low cost, Elio adds.
The P5 is the company's way of ensuring that the country would reduce its dependence from foreign oil, create new jobs for Americans, and provide consumers with a very good alternative to high-cost vehicles. Aside from the engine, Elio Motors also made modifications on the body in order to improve aerodynamics.
Compared to the P4, the P5 has a front end that is longer and more aerodynamic. These improvements not only enhanced the aerodynamics but it resulted in better fuel efficiency. Furthermore it also gave the P5 a futuristic style and look. The company also said that it will have a side-exhaust.
The interior was upgraded in order to differentiate the prototype from the production models. One upgrade is to raise the arm rest on its door in order to be more comfortable. The rear seat was also lowered by around 1 inch to have more headroom and more foam was put in to make it cushier. The instrument panel was improved as well with the color inserts now red instead of orange to match the color of the exterior.
The company also made sure to improve the iPad holder so that there was no need to make any vertical adjustment. Another important modification is the shape of the A-pillar to make it less intrusive. Finally the dashboard now has brushed metal giving it a modern look. According to the company, the P5 has already piqued the interest of many customers as more than 47,000 are said to have reserved a unit.
Once the P5 enters full production, Elio Motors expects that it will be able to generate an estimated 1,500 jobs at its facility located in Shreveport, Louisiana. Furthermore, the company also plans to have 90% North American content and generate an additional 1,500 jobs from the different divisions like the supply base, sales, service, and corporate headquarters. There will also be an estimated 18,000 indirect jobs that will be sustained or even created across the country.
Indeed, Elio shares, the project offers a variety of improvements for every sector, whether it’s the economy, the manufacturing industry, concern for the environment, and even just wanting to drive a unique vehicle. Elio adds that the P5 is just one step in the company's strategic initiative.