The Anti-Tesla Gets No Love

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It’s interesting that the car That Makes Sense – economically and functionally – gets almost no press while cars that don’t (like the Tesla and other electric cars) do.Elio lead

Elio Motors (company web site here) had a near-production-ready car on on display at the New York Auto Show last week. Company founder Paul Elio gave a presentation to reporters and took questions.

Bet you didn’t hear a thing about it.

This is downright Weird.

You’d think the media would be champing at the bit to let the public know that there is a car on the verge of production (with 41,000 of them already spoken for via cash-down reservations) that – according to Paul Elio – will cost well under $10,000 (under $8,000 is the target) and go well over 80 miles on a gallon of gasoline.

Ah, but it’s not electric – and so the Elio gets no love (much less coverage) from the media.elio 6

Electric cars (and other such cars) do because they lack the thing the media finds abhorrent – an internal combustion engine.

As long as it has batteries or fuel cells or solar panels or some other form of motive power – no matter how functionally impaired or expensive these may be –  the media will spasm on the floor in ecstasy like a labrador retriever pup with a new chew toy. They will write stories more like love sonnets about the magnificence of whatever it is, provided it doesn’t use “old” and “dirty” technology.

That is, burn gas.

Well, the Elio does – but very little.

It is powered by a 900 cc three cylinder engine – about the same size as a typical motorcycle’s engine. Which is possible because the Elio weighs not much more than a motorcycle (about 1,250 pounds) and that is what makes 80-plus MPG possible.

Now, ponder that.

A car that can go 80-plus miles on a gallon of fuel is using very little fuel. The less fuel burned, the less exhaust produced and – here it comes! – the lower the emissions. The Elio’s emissions (it will comply with all of Uncle’s requirements) will be a fraction of those produced by any other currently available car simply by dint of the fact that it has a tiny engine that burns a fraction of the fuel.

No Magic (or elaborate/expensive technology) necessary.   elio 3 

Just simplicity – and light weight.

Which the media apparently doesn’t find attractive and therefore not worth reporting.

Meanwhile, endless fawning over the Tesla – the rich man’s toy subsidized by the working and middle class taxpayers who can look but never touch. They are fleeced by Uncle, so that Elon Musk – the Crony Capitalist King – can manufacturer $40,000-to-start (and from there to six figures) electric cars that are certainly sexy and Ferrari quick but which make as much sense as transportation as a thong does as clothing.

In Antarctica.

You have to be affluent – rich – to even contemplate the purchase (heavily subsidized by Uncle) of a Telsa. In which case, consideration of economy are an irrelevance. And if economy is irrelevant, what is the justification? Sexiness? Speed? Well, why not pay the rich to purchase Porsches, too?

Ah, but the Tesla is electric – and “zero emissions.”elio 4

Well, yes – it is electric. But “zero emissions”?

Sure, as far as the tailpipe (which, being electric, it hasn’t got). But electricity does not spontaneously appear out of the Void. It must be generated – and that requires (well, mostly involves) the burning of coal and oil, which produces emissions …  just elsewhere.

Probably, more of them than the little Elio produces.

Certainly, this will be the case once the cars are mass-produced. Because people – not just rich people – will be able to afford the Elio.

Lots of people.

Unless Musk can reduce the cost of his Toy by at least 50 percent, it will never be other than a low-production rich man’s indulgence. But the Elio will cost about 50 percent less than a current economy car.

Almost anyone will be able to afford it.

And the cost to operate it will be next to nil. Not just because it burns very little fuel but because it will cost very little to insure.elio 5

Elio Vice President of Sales Jerome Vassallo told the media at the NY Auto Show the company is hoping to have the Elio classified by the government as an Autocycle. This is a regulatory class different from conventional cars (with four wheels) but also different from motorcycles (which have two). The Elio (a three-wheeler) will have air bags (bikes generally don’t) and will meet a very high standard of crashworthiness, Vassal said. It will have a reinforced (and of course, enclosed) cabin with an integrated roll cage and these things alone will make it much superior in terms of occupant safety than a motorcycle (usually cheap to insure unless it’s a high-performance sport bike) and comparable to or even better than a current subcompact car.

The cost to insure a Tesla is … higher.

A lot higher.

Because insurance is based at least as much on the cost to replace the thing – in the event of a major crash that totals it – as it is on how “safe” it is in the event of crash. If someone totals a Tesla, their insurance company is looking at cutting a check for $40k or so.

This fact is reflected in the premiums.elio 2

The Elio would cost $8k or so to replace. This fact will also be reflected in the cost of its premiums.

A full coverage policy for a new $10k motorcycle (other than a high performance sport bike) is typically $250 or so a year – about a third (or less) what it costs to buy a comprehensive coverage policy for a $40,000 entry-luxury car (which is what the least expensive Tesla is by definition).

Probably, a person would pay more to insure an entry-level Tesla over eight years than one would spend to buy an entire Elio.

This will probably appeal to people.

Well, how about maintenance? The electric Tesla requires no oil changes, no periodic tune-ups or valvetrain maintenance while the Elio – which has an IC engine – will require some of those things.elio 7


But the Elio has just a small 12V battery that costs about $100 to replace every five years or so (like any other car) while the Tesla has a battery pack that will cost thousands to replace when the time eventually comes. The Tesla’s battery pack alone costs nearly much as the Elio itself.

But all these practical (and economic) considerations don’t seem to get the Elio much traction – with the media. Even the automotive media has been largely silent.

Except, mostly, me.

But I’ve been excommunicated from the mainstream media because I refused the Kool Aid, do not sing sonnets of Tesla. I despise Elon Musk and have said so, in print. The mainstream media hides its bias.

I am open about mine. depends on you to keep the wheels turning! The control freaks (Clovers) hate us. Goo-guhl blackballed us.

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  1. Dear Eric,

    Ya gotta check this out.

    Meet The Guy Who Beat A Tesla P100D With His $13,000 Trash Car
    05-23-2017 •
    He’s done it again. Eric Lundgren took parts that other people thought were trash, turned them into a DIY, long-range EV he called the Phoenix.

    Last month (on April 1, somewhat unfortunately, since people thought it was a prank) he went on a range test versus a handful of OEM EVs and beat them all (including of course, Teslas).

    • Good morning, Bevin!

      This kind of thing makes my cold heart warm… briefly.

      I know all-too-well how possible it is to make a long-range, economically sensible EV. Also a very long-range IC car. Which is why the landscape is so depressing to me.

      The most dreary words in the language are… what might have been.

      • Dear Eric,

        As far as I could determine from the article, this guy did it without running to Uncle and demanding that taxpayers foot the bill for his experimental efforts.

        Instead, he made a genuine effort to be environmentally conscious and recycle already junked parts.

        If anything, he should be receiving louder applause than that parasitic showboat Elon Musk. Alas, not in today’s world.

        • Hi Bevin!

          A good friend of mine is a master mechanic; owns his own shop. He and I have talked about various projects, including using a TBI-injected three cylinder out of an old Geo Metro, paired with a CVT or five-speed manual, in an extremely lightweight (appx. 1,300 lb.) body/chassis, which we’d build ourselves. This would be appx. 500 pounds lighter than a Geo Metro – and with the additional efficiency advantages of a CVT we figure the car could average 70 MPG and be at least as quick as a current Corolla. It would have a catalytic converter and 02 sensor and meet any reasonable emissions standards.

          Such a car could be manufactured and sold for about $8,000, we estimate.

          Of course, it wouldn’t have air bags… and would be pilloried as “unsafe” because it would not meet current government standards. But neither did my ’73 Beetle. Which never injured me, I might add!

          • Dear Eric,

            As of 2017, we are up to our necks in the bureaucratic dystopia Ayn Rand depicted in her 1957 novel, “Atlas Shrugged”

            Armies of clover bureaucrats are binding us hand and foot, confirming the truth that Rand underscored in her dystopian novel, namely that problems can be solved only when men are free to solve them.

            Hobble them, enslave them with endless rules and regulations, and watch helplessly as civilization begins its inexorable decline, first slowly, then gathering speed.

            You and your master mechanic friend clearly know how Hank Rearden and Dagny Taggart felt as they struggled to create in the face of technologically illiterate bureaucrats with more power than intelligence.

          • PS: The takeaway

            Most of us here have watched helplessly as bureaucrats with limited intelligence and unlimited power bind the creative people of the world hand and foot.

            So what is the takeaway from years, nay decades of such maddening observations?

            Is it that collectivist tyranny is “inefficient” and “can’t get the job done?”

            No. Absolutely not. I submit that is not it at all. That gets it all wrong. That presumes that the goal of collectivist tyranny is “efficiency” and “getting the job done”.

            It isn’t. It never was. The goal of collectivist tyranny is the establishment and maintenance of a system in which sociopathic control freaks get to control the human race, and force them to live according to their insane concept of “order”.

            Collectivist tyranny is the outer manifestation of political demagogues’ inner psychopathology.

            Whether the outer world “works” is irrelevant. All that matters to these collectivist tyrants, is their inner world and the sick sense of “security” they feel when everyone is compelled to obey them without question.

  2. But the Elio is ugly as sin, and the Tesla’s look all fancy and shmarmy…

    Not gonna lie, am probably going to get a model 3 because of it’s gadget factor more than anything else. The Elio would be tempting if it didn’t look like it fell out of Paper Mario and into the real world.

  3. I have two vehicles in my garage right now.

    A 50cc, Euro Emissions Legal, 250 mpg Honda scooter…

    …and a twin turbo 6,000 lb. 7 mpg SUV.

    Guess which one was illegal for me to import?

    • Hi AJ,

      Yup. Another example (of many) is the European VW Jetta TDI 1.6 liter, capable of 60 MPG. We got the 2.0 version… capable of 40….

  4. Dear Eric,

    Here’s a twofer.

    Both Musks (how dare he appropriate the good name of Tesla?) and self-driving cars discredited in one fell swoop.

    “The first death has been reported in self-driving cars. Our worst fears about artificial intelligence are already beginning to come true.”

    And 8sm, how about this part of it?

    “A test man working with Tesla motors was killed after the autopilot feature failed to see a bright-white 18-wheeler which was poorly contrast against the bright lit sky.”

    • Come to think of it, maybe it’s a “threefer” and not just a twofer.

      We all know the safety Nazi saw about “If it can save even one life, we must do it”.

      Well how about,

      “If rejecting self-driving cars can save even one life, we must do it”.

      • How about “If stopping the USG’s wars will save even one life, we must do it”. Or even better, “If abolishing the state will save even one life….”

        What they really mean when they use the old “If it saves one life” gambit is “If it enhances our power and control and saves a life in the process, even if untold other lives are lost, it’s worth it to us”.

        • Dear Mike,

          What they really mean when they use the old “If it saves one life” gambit is “If it enhances our power and control and saves a life in the process, even if untold other lives are lost, it’s worth it to us”.

          Thanks for translating the USG’s Newspeak into Plain English.

          If only politicians had to do what the Jim Carrey character had to do in “Liar, Liar”.

          Storyline Fletcher Reede, a fast talking attorney, habitual liar, and divorced father is an incredibly successful lawyer who has built his career by lying. He has a habit of giving precedence to his job and always breaking promises to be with his favorite young son Max, but Fletcher lets Max down once too often, for missing his own son’s birthday party. But until then at 8:15 Max has decided to make an honest man out of him as he wishes for one whole day his dad couldn’t tell a lie. When the wish comes true all Fletcher can do is tell the truth and cannot tell one lie. Uh-oh for Fletcher! Written by Anthony Pereyra

          • Bevin,

            I recently watched a movie called Interstate 60 on Amazon Prime. I highly recommend various parts of it! The language is not clean but it clearly makes one think and while not really NAP, it does go a long way in showing how corrupt members of the .gov caste are.

    • bevin, nobody reported what the driver of the truck had to go through before he was legally declared not “at fault”. White is a common trailer color though not so much with tractors. We hope those self-drivers will see grills, headlamps, bumpers, etc……except now all the trucks are going to this form that’s simply a single colored wedge with a single small mirror on a stalk the same color of the tractor. Since I mainly do construction work I don’t have to drive that type thankfully.

      It’s strange what people do and don’t see. I recently had a guy “supposedly” not see me as I sat on the shoulder of the road in a bright red, big chrome bumper 379 Peterbilt right at the spot I was supposed to be. Whether he didn’t see the rig or simply lied(my guess)about not seeing that truck is anyone’s guess.

      For the last 3 decades or so, fatalities involving a commercial vehicle have the driver liable until proven innocent. It gives you that feeling of ease when there’s a near miss. I have an accident on my record involving a big rig running up my trailer and damned near killing me while I was stopped with no place to go in road construction. A new employer has to look at the written report even though I wasn’t at fault but did receive a citation(Yea, yea, I’m being awarded a citation) for no seat belt. Whoever came up with “citation” for having a charge leveled against someone deserves the clover special trophy of deceptive language. Well, I got my “citation” dismissed but if I had been unable to contact a lawyer that citation in some cases or not reporting that citation would cost me a job.

      Seriously, I was a kid when a DPS told me I was going to receive a “citation”(oh yeah, I’m getting a reward?) for not stopping at a stop sign…….regardless of the fact he was viewing it in his rear-view mirror and I drove out of a field 50′ feet away from the road and stop sign. I got back at that asshole many times after that. And there I was all excited at receiving some reward for outrunning him in an old Chevy pickup loaded down with feed. I was already unloading 100 lb towsacks of feed when he came grinding up through the mud. I started to ask him to go double or nothing arm wrestling. We’ve hated each other for over 5 decades and we’re not done unless he’s dead.

      You know society is on a steady decline when feed always came in 100 lb towsacks and then it went to 50 lb. towsacks or papersacks. Everything began coming in smaller and smaller quantities. A case of oil was 24 quarts nearly my whole life till one day even my favorite oil distributor had nothing but “cases” of 12. Now we buy it in 4 or 5 quart bottles with a few places having 5 gallon buckets and very few places have 50 gallon barrels that we used to pick up and put in the pickup. Now they delivery it with electric/hydraulic endgates and forktrucks. Cement came in 94 lb sacks that have dwindled to 60 lb sacks and now 40 lb sacks. I bought 50 lb sacks of pet food all my life and now 35 is about tops with 16 or 12 lbs being the common size. How many people spent their teen years hauling 4 60 lb sacks of fertilizer? I’d bet a great many more on this site than nearly all other sites. I recall when just about the only place with handtrucks was the cotton gin where you loaded a truck of 500 lb bales of cotton one bale at a time. Soon we’ll be buying two piece condoms so as not to strain too hard. We already have jerky in packages sold by the gram. A couple years ago a crew of the younger sort stopped at a out of the way convenience store and we hadn’t had lunch late in the afternoon. One guy reads the weight of the jerky and looks at the price. “it’s more expensive than dope” he said. Everybody laughed. I think he bought some 8 oz bottles of beer too. I never found out if my grand-daddy was right when he said one day when I picked up a calf that if I’d pick it up every day I could pick it up when it was grown since it wasn’t long before it was kicking shit out of me when I picked it up. It was a good thought anyway.

    • Hi Wagon,

      I agree the delays have been less-than-encouraging, but the company is very close to beginning production. I am supposed to get one soon to test drive, FYI.

      • Somehow, I had never heard of Elio until last week, thanks to you, and I’m only reading you thanks to Tom Woods, so 50k reservations is impressive. I’m more skeptical of EVs generally now, but I was an Aptera fanboy a few years ago. I’m surprised I never found the Elio while browsing back then.

        You say here that light weight is the key to Elio’s fuel efficiency, but Elio says that the narrow profile “moving less air” is the key. I also read that the Messerschmitt KR200 got similar mileage (over 80 mpg) with a similar design half a century ago.

        I’m encouraged by your endorsement and look forward to the report on your test drive. If it ever materializes, I could easily replace my Mazda 3 with this car.

        • Hi Martin,

          The slippery aerodynamics are certainly a factor; so is the light weight. The thing looks like a winner to me. It even offers AC!

          I am hopefully going to get an Elio to test drive in the near future. The company is trying to sort out the logistics.

  5. Eric, what about the diesel cars that get about 70 mpg, but are full size, four wheel cars? Why should be support these tiny things when there’s an answer out there?

  6. Tim Urban. 80,000 twitter followers. You know his lockstep “positions” on Brexit, Trump, Islamic Refugees…

    Really you name it.

    To get paid and keep his position in the intelligentsia he knows full well, that his only option is to invent a back story and folksy reasons why, what a shock, he believes in exactly the same things in exactly the same way as his masters and flock of sheeple want him to.

    Brexit mainstream narrative. Lost wealth. Just a tantrum. About people wanting to rock the boat. When you look at the vote demographically. The old people about to die voted for exit. A total dick move. The young people voted overwhelmingly to stay.

    Trump mainstream narrative. Racist. Hate monger. Voting for him is about sending a message to Washington. A way of rocking the vote. It’s about men trying to undo the progress of feminism and minority rights.

    It’s comical really. Every mainstream internet blogger. Every well paid pundit. Every commenter on reddit or youtube or anywhere with a large audience.

    Always there is only two camps of controlled opposition. Those who blindly believe in their masters. Those who blindly want to return to yesteryear where we’re all forcibly segregated by race. All forced to adhere to a religious or state religious doctrine by force.

    Nowhere are there any thoughtful comments. Any dealing with the issues and debatable points one by one.

    On every issue, just a stadium with one huge fanbase of team A. And a second huge fanbase of team B.

    For all its channels and new audio visual abilities. The internet is one vast dialectical echo chamber. With two huge clusterfuck categories and all you are to do is choose which clusterfuck you want to be in and then try to win at all costs, give it your all.

    Tim Urban is as good as a referent as any. Here’s his latest tweet he claims is “deeply funny.”

    Donald Trump British Insults

    Bill Maher. John Oliver. Trevor Noah. Saturday Night Live. Comedy Central. All the major talk show hosts. They are spouting the agenda straight out of the teleprompter that’s always scrolling. When they have guests on, they won’t even engage but must always steer things back to Hilary. ISIS. Chinese. Russia. The same old tired third grade level assertions over and over ad nauseum.

    Howard too is in a very strict conceptual box. He’s allowed some leeway, but not much really. And how much is he really able to even contemplate reality without our minders. He’s a good Jew patriot warmonger after all. When the going gets tough, nuke a palestinian is what he’ll say. Banal jokes about unthinkable evil. To thundering laughter no less…

    At least the homeless lady’s song has something new to say…

    La Cunte Caldo. Slow Jam Version.

  7. Elon Musk… aint he the guy who invented the transcontinental subway system? Oh wait, that was Gene Roddenberry (maybe) or Alfred Beach (see SUB ROSA SUBWAY)!

  8. People always forget not only about the energy required to charge an electric car but also the tremendous amount of energy it takes to produce a battery.That is why they are so expensive in the first place.

    • Not to mention the substations, power lines, step-ups, step-downs, AND – to top it all off – the total CLUSTERF-CK when one dies on the road….

      And carrying the monster on another electric vehicle…? Hmmm….

  9. Tim Urban is your average mainstream intelligentsia nudger. He’s funny and interesting to read. But you always know he’s never going to find any problems with the PTB or their agenda.

    He’s going to help smuggle in what already is as benign and eternal and inevitable. And then within the tiny box of approved thought leeway, he’s going to spin his webs and funny cuck stories about how grand it is that we’re all cucks in a greater cuckoldry and we should all take the road to serfdom that’s more travelled on, and that will make all the difference.

    Inside the mind of a master procrastinator by Tim Urban

    20 things I learned while in North Korea – Tim Urban

  10. Tim Urban is your typical huff and blow douche. Here’s “a comment” he made into an article about Brexit.

    Who the fuck believes this fake ass “long-blogging?” Probably the kind of douche refugees who have flooded the internet and all want to post their family photos and be their same aw shucks, we’re all just cucks, we’re afraid to make an effort for real change by harnessing the true potential of the internet.

    • He’s full of crap. From his fawning hero worship of tax-feeding huckster Elon Musk – who uses violence and coercion to keep Tesla afloat – to his parroting and blathering the inane mantra about “climate change” (which is a natural phenomenon, not human-caused), Urban makes me value Eric’s clear and logical point of view even more. From what I can see all Tim Urban deserves is fish heads shoved up his rear.

    • The science re CO2 is far from settled. Also, the dinosaurs did quite well when avg. CO2 were around 2000 ppm during the Mesozoic era. I’d think we ingenious humans will survive at less.

      (Also, note that there was no relationship whatsoever between CO2 and temperature if you go back 250 million years.)

      • It’s junk science – fudged and falsified data (with original climate data conveniently “lost”) cherry-picked and fed into faulty computer simulations.

        Years ago in the computer biz we used to have a saying that is apropos: “Garbage in, garbage out.”

        • So a baseball, bicycle racer/football/name your sport player takes some steroid and the fedgov goes after him but NASA gets caught falsifying data for years and who takes a fall? Those sports figures don’t affect the economy or the way we live. OTOH, that data generated by NASA affects every business and the economy, esp. when the EPA uses it for their own notorious purposes, almost world wide. Yes, there’s a tribe in Borneo who hasn’t heard about it. To be more accurate though, there are countries hostile to the US who don’t really give a FF.

          • The NASA data comes in two flavors. “Raw” and “final” So it’s original temperature records aren’t lost yet. The problem is what is reported is the “final” set which is adjusted and has stations estimated until a hockey stick of warming is imposed on the temperature record.

            The same people who will tell you this is the warmest year ever by 0.02 degrees C are the same people who added tenths to whole degrees C to ‘correct’ the underlying data. It’s as if they didn’t pass significant figures in high school science class. It’s just a con and the public is too scientifically illiterate to get it.

            • And too stupid to realize their stolen paycheck money is being used to fund what amounts to a criminal conspiracy once the EPA does their thing with it…..along with other agencies such as the BLM.

              One of my old college buds has a brother who is a doctor of some science at Princeton. Now and then we get a copy of their data and what they simply surmise. They swallow the global warming bs hook line and sinker. Of course it pays them quite well and they go out on 6 month voyages collecting data from equipment they’ve designed and had installed in the oceans. They never mention anything other than that data with the elephant in the room sometimes being data they have from other sources such as the depth of the polar ice and the amounts of it which don’t jive with global warming. It’s fairly disgusting…..and we have to pay for every penny they spend and get paid plus whatever the EPA decides to do with that “data”.

        • The original data is lost for some papers. If real science were practiced those papers would be tossed out. But it’s not so they aren’t.

        • True for leadership and management as well.
          Problem is, people LIKE bad leadership, because he tells them what they want to hear. (True in Corporate world, not just hitting the Magic Mulatto again.)

    • After 30 seconds of reading such wandering garbage I lost interest. Nothing related to anything just a bunch of mumbo jumbo. The kind of fuckshit politicians are full of.

      Eric’s reasoning and logic are impeccable and almost always spot on.

  11. One car I wished I had never got rid of is my commuter 88′ Chevy Metro with a 3 cyl engine and a 5 speed, no air. I got routinely 50 mpg with it and it was fun to drive. I even fabbed a class two hitch for it and pulled a small utility trailer and would take that camping around the Pacific Northwest instead of my Chevy C3500 and my 24′ fifth wheel.

    • My neighbor has an old Red Bull Sidekick which they turned the entire trunk area into coolers. He uses it for a fishing car since the little bugger will go anywhere.

      I was recently at the tire store and their was a nice example of one there with new suspension and entire brake system getting new tires. Interior was good too. I’d like to have one, be just right for me and Cholley Jack although he’d have to get used to riding in the front seat.

    • Robert,

      The Elio is definitely a small car. It is ideally suited for commuter (1-2 people) use for those that do not need large trunk capacity.

      A spare tire would be nice. This car might be a good case for a doughnut spare tire, although it would take up quite a bit of the already small trunk space.

  12. This looks like a cool, fun car. I’m not sold on the Tesla yet, but technology evolves, and maybe it will to the point of becoming more practical and affordable.

    It seems like, Eric, that you get so intent on slamming Tesla, that a story like this takes on more meaning than it really has. While the Elio looks fun, it is not a practical car from several standpoints. It is very low, which is a safety demerit as far a visibility to other traffic. It will be harder for older people to get in and out of. It can only carry 2, making it useless as a family car, or for carrying most anything as well.

    How does it handle on country roads? We all aren’t city slickers. What about wet or snowy roads? Does it have to have a manual trans to get this mileage? How does it handle when a tire blows out?

    A point of interest– when I lived in Fort Worth in the early 80s, there was a company there that had built a very nice car/trike very much like this one already. So, the concept is not anywhere close to something new.

    • Sooner,

      People will be in a better position to decide for themselves if the Elio is appropriate for them if (hopefully it will) the car get to the marketplace.

      As you probably know, not all vehicles are good for all roads and/or situations.
      For some people, a car with the properties of the Elio would be a good fit.

      If I needed a car for off-road use, camping, towing, and/or moving more than 5 people with their supplies, then the Elio (or any similar small car) is not a good fit.

      The Dodge Neon was a poor fit for me. This had more to do with the rear view mirror blocking my view of the road than the car itself.

        • Eightsouthman,

          Although you speak in jest, I meant it could not clearly see the road in front of me due to the Neon’s rear-view mirror blocking my view.

          From the side scroll, I thought you were speaking about the Elio not having a rear view mirror.

          • It could very well be an option for most people.

            Speaking with a retired trucker recently we lamented the way everything in this country has gone to shit, driving skills along with it. He said he spent more time looking in his mirrors than the windshield. I have said that same thing many times….but I can’t imagine having my forward vision blocked. Those big, thick side mirrors on newer trucks are a hazard when trying to get on a road with fast traffic. You can lose a vehicle in the time it takes to look and if you don’t look again, you’ll be dangerously close to getting hit from the side or t-boning someone. I missed a few the first time I looked in the Volvo. With a flat mirror that’s not as quiet and catches more wind, I see several degrees further on each side of it. The Pete is old school with west coast mirrors way out there and big spot mirrors to boot. It would be hell to do the work I do with those built in spot mirrors. I used the Volvo to haul equipment sometimes and a wide dozer blade just made you blind down the sides. That’s the reason you won’t see those types of mirrors on an equipment hauler.

      • One issue I would have with 3-wheeled vehicles is that you really cannot straddle deep potholes, debris, and other road hazards.

      • Agreed Mithrandir. I think it could be a fun car, but like any car or vehicle, it has its plus and minuses that are different for everybody.

    • “So, the concept is not anywhere close to something new.”

      Absolutely not. The British were manufacturing several 3-wheel cars before WWI.

  13. Does anyone else not think these will come to market for close to $8,000? The Can-am trikes of the same design but no body are about $25,000. How is this going to be a third of the cost?

    Cars like this are fine for commutes, why not bring back the subaru justy, honda crx, ford fiesta?

    • Honda used to make a CR-X and now they make a CR-Z. But I don’t remember ever seeing a CR-Y. Or did I just miss that?

      • Phillip I wrote CRX. Or maybe Eric corrected it for me? My point was those early 90’s cars were fun and got great fuel economy. They were also plenty safe and light weight.

        Eric I’ll agree it might not be a fair comparison, I still have doubts they can bring it to market for that price.

  14. I know this is a scam to take “reservation” money then head for the hills with the money when the Government shuts them down. I’m SURE the $6500 cost DOES NOT include the millions of dollars in Govt graft and cost to navigate the minefield of laws the big three will push through specifically to guarantee that these never hit the road en mass.

  15. Great report, Eric !

    I am a big fan of micro, smaller is better, cars. This looks very good for us.

    However, it looks awful for the automotive and financial industries. You “marvel” at the lack of publicity for this creation, but you forget “Total Spectrum Dominance”. The so called “banks” are in 100% cahoots with the media. Nothing is mentioned by US media that does not reinforce the fascism they have created.

    Proof of this is BREXIT. Most Americans have near zero comprehension of the EU. Virtually no MSM coverage. Same thing for Eilo Motors. You do a great job exposing the Wizard behind the curtain, but most still do not get the connection between our automotive issues and our fascism.

    Our cars are not the problem; it is our leaders…

    My Citroen 2CV6 is an older version of this impulse to use lighter transportation. It was driven off the market, along with the Type I VW by the same thugs that step on you.

    2005 Passat TDI
    1988 Citroen 2CV6

    • Jack,

      The Citroën 2CV is a nice car. Unfortunately it is not good for me. My legs are a bit too long for me to comfortably drive the car.

      It is great for back and secondary roads. Not so good for traveling above 60 mph.

  16. But, how is it in the snow? And, with an enclosed cabin, is there air conditioning? If it doesn’t have those two things, it’s still just a fancy motorcycle.

    • Hi Geo,

      It’s probably not great in snow – but then, neither are many cars. My 2WD truck sucks in the snow. But how often does it snow? I’m in SW Va and while it happens, it’s a minor inconvenience; maybe – in a bad winter – a couple weeks (total) out of the entire year that it’d be handy to have 4WD.

      I’m not sure about AC but I’m betting it will have it.

      • eric, same for us. This winter I hauled ass through what little snow we had, worked long days but the winter before was another thing. I was headed down to the Santa Rita with a load and had another to haul when I noticed all traffic seemed to be headed north, looked like the whole patch was headed to the house. I got a call to come in and park it, big ice storm on the way. Sure enough, I met it but it was no big deal till the next day. Got up during the night, solid ice, tree-breaking sort. Went back to bed and turned the alarm off.

        I worked for a company 30 years ago that had the HQ in Chicago, the center of all great minds as they would tell it. It was time to order new cars and when you checked off defrosting windows they nixed it. One guy called them and asked what the problem was and they said Tx. doesn’t get snow and ice. Oh yeah, he tells them he can’t get out with foot deep snow while they’re speaking and ice under it. They sent cars with defrosting back glasses.

        BTW, Elio will have a/c. It was a no-brainer since that has a lot to do with defrosting the windshield in winter too but being built in La. no a/c was never even a consideration I’m aware of. It was on the list from day one.

    • It does have air conditioning. When you look up images of the engine you can see the belt around the ac clutch. As far as the snow is concerned I think you would have to just drive the conditions like any other automobile. Its FWD so that is in its favor and it isn’t a two wheeler like a motorcycle so its stable.

    • Not a fancy motorcycle, geoih. AC, ABS brakes, airbags, roll cage, power windows, basic radio all standard. Standard 5-speed manual tranny or optional automatic ($). Enclosed cabin, roomy passenger seating, child-seat compliant. Not like any motorcycle I’ve seen.

      • If I can’t drive it for 4 months of the year because it can’t handle the road conditions, then it is essentially a fancy motor cycle (i.e., it cannot function as my primary mode of transportation). You can make all the apologies for it you want, but an enclosed cabin, roomy seating, etc., are completely worthless if I can’t get it out of my driveway.

        • Hi Geo,

          Well, sure – but where do you live that such conditions exist for four months out of the year? I live up in the Blue Ridge mountains and – in a bad year – we might have a couple of weeks (total) that require a 4WD truck to get around.

        • geoih,

          If the roads are that bad for 4 months of the year then perhaps an elio-type car is not appropriate for you.

          The type of area I can think of this applying would be rural mountainous areas that receive snow/ice often. In the US that would mainly be in the mountainous west were there very few (relatively speaking) people.

          In most places east of the Mississippi, there are very few places that would experience 3 weeks of bad snowy/icy road conditions (and that would be in a non average year).

          Most places that experience snow/ice are usually good enough to clear roads most of the time. Only during uncommonly large snow fall is there difficulty in prompt clearing of roads.

          • Hi Mith,

            I think 4WD/AWD and “snow capability” is to a great extent oversold. Even if there’s a blizzard, the roads are usually plowed with 24 hours and once they are, a FWD car with good winter tires usually has enough traction to handle getting around.

            And how many parts of the area have more than 2-3 big snows in a given season?

  17. I could use this- not getting rid of the old 6.2 diesel blazer though- that is real insurance. I wonder if it can be ordered without airbags? It needs a steel rear bumper too. This is a modern version of the old postwar German messerschmitt 3 wheel KR200 ‘cars’- but those had aircraft style bubble canopy for vision on incoming f250s on your 6.

    • I agree. It would be great commuting back and forth to work. I would think twice about using it on the interstate, but then again it would be safer than a motorcycle.

  18. I’ve followed Elio since day one. It would seem to be a great answer to single or double people commute with all its safety bs(the reason everybody’s so miffed I’d bet) Under 7 grand for the basic car and huge fuel economy. I envision one with an attachment point I could just pull up under a trailer being pulled at high speed and latch on after speaking with the big rig driver via CB. Now that’s really cheap running and he wouldn’t even notice the extra strain, whatever.

  19. It is ugly, but no more so than most of the economy minded cars these days.

    It also makes me wonder how many really good cars could be brought to market using the loophole of calling it a UTV. There are a lot of older guys around here that have dumped the headaches and own nothing but Polaris Rangers, Deere Gators or similar.

    My Model A isn’t a whole hell of a lot bigger than most of these side by sides (even smaller than some of them), so what is there to stop an enterprising company from putting a prewar type car into production? I’d wager that something along the lines of a late Model T with a modern 2 or 3 cylinder engine would sell like hotcakes and be a hell of a lot of fun too.

    • Those google electric cars are an insult to even horribly bad painters, and should be run off the road at the first opportunity, as being responsible to preserve good taste. Better to run them off a cliff when googlecars are occupied by politicians.

  20. I’m wondering about the “auto-cycle” designation. Does that apply the same way to all states? I assume that there are significantly less regs. for this designation than for a vehicle with 4 wheels, until they become more commonplace. At which point the people who know what’s good for us will catch on and end that loophole.

    • Me too. The big Three OWN the Government and EVERYONE even elio knows the Govt will NEVER allow these on the road en mass. This is a Musk type scam by Elio to take your “reservation” money and then “oops the Government outlawed them – sorry for you”.

  21. Another problem may be the name. You can’t get away with naming a car after yourself these days. Forget Ford, Studebaker, Olds, etc.
    How about the ‘Smarter (for 2)’ – or maybe the ‘Brilliant.’

  22. One thing that can’t be overlooked is it’s aesthetics. In my opinion, it’s ugly. I can see young, trendy hipsters driving this thing, but the average American, I can’t see it. You have to appeal to the mainstream if you want media exposure.

    • “young, trendy hipsters” – well none of those adjectives apply to me. How about ‘cheap.’
      I don’t find it ugly, in fact it is more appealing than most of the current “How can I tell them apart without badging” crop. I still remember fondly the 50s and 60s. Even the ugly ones, like the 59 Chevy and Ford, had a certain style.

      • PtB, I just can’t believe what you said about 59 Chevy and Ford. They had “panache”…..and lots of metal and chrome. You could see the Chevy was built for much power with a short runway for takeoff and the Ford was made for high speed maneuvers once airborne but the 57 Chevy could take them all out with it’s missiles in the hood. As a kid I used to beg my dad to replace those fakes with the real things so we could just blast black and whites. My dad liked the idea but thought it a bit unrealistic. See man, you need to dream more and follow that dream. A hidden flap with a red button under it on the shifter knob, that’s what I’m talking about. At least it amused my dad and probably gave him some thoughts too.

        • I never cared much for Mopars, but the 59 Plymouth was probably the best looking car that year (except maybe the Karmann Ghia). The Ford and Chevy both in particular were major departures from the year before and the year after. I had a 60 Ford that I liked the style.
          57 Chev was not a bad looking car, but I preferred the 56 and even more the 55. The 57 Ford, now that’s a car I still drool over – except the T-Bird, where again I prefer the 55 and 56.

          • One of my best paint jobs was on a 60 Fury….the model. I liked it since I wouldn’t have bought it. Remember the Savoy? The Valiant was a neat car and a good one too.

            My best friend’s grandmother had a ’68 Belvedere, fairly much a stripper but one probably ordered that way. I don’t even know where she bought it but brand new it had some performance 383 in it with a pushbutton TorqFlite and all the right goodies for racing. She was really old, late 80’s probably, with so little vision she served us strawberry jam that wasn’t strawberry and the little seed were sugar ants. We picked around the edges and said yum yum. She made meatload with ground pork she’d pulled out of the freezer in a barely labeled package from the private packer.
            But her Belvedere was a huge HP, LSD and all and she’d start it up, not put her foot on the brake and with that thing on high idle(really high)she’d punch that button that said R and come boiling out backward. Her drive was big black streaks that started in the garage. We’d stay well away from her and watch her and laugh our asses off. Back in those days dealers would foist things they couldn’t sell off onto unsuspecting people and she fit the bill. Little old lady from Newman could have been another song.

            • “Little old lady from Newman” – hey, but there’s a Pasadena, TX too. Long ways from EP to Houston though.

              • Pasadena, down on the Carcinogenic Coast. In the movie Bernie, a guy has a state of Texas divided into regions, and Pasadena was in the carcinogenic coast. It’s pretty funny since he says “Oh, and then there’s the Panhandle. Lots of people forget about it” and continues on with no description as if he never mentioned it . He’s dead on with his description of the various parts and labels Austin the People’s Republic of Austin with those strange guys and hairy-legged women.

                Jack Black plays the main character and the movie is pretty good, esp. if you ever lived in Tx. since people actually speak Texanese with lots of “fixin to” and “thangs”.

                • One Texanese phrase that still has me baffled, “I was just fixin’ to think about …” If you haven’t thought about it, how could you know you were ‘fixin’ to’ think about it?

                  But how would you describe the Panhandle, anyway? Only thing I remember is “There’s nuthin’ between Amarillo and the North Pole but a barbwire fence, and sometimes that gets left open.

                  • Panhandle, dirt and oil and some of the weirdest, but good, mainly, people you ever met. Laws are for others and that’s one thing I like. They are independent as hell except for the religious crowd and even those used to be independent. You’ll find some people who have been there over a century and English is their third language although they do speak it. They speak German to each other and on the phone, Spanish to most everyone else and English to those who can’t speak either of the other two. You won’t see cowboy boots or hats in that crowd. They wear some strange straw hats that people call strawtops or something similar. You see them on tractors with those ridiculous hats like something orthodox Jews wear. You have to live and work with them a while before you really get a grasp of their mindset. Men take their boys out to wheel and deal all day and the women take the girls out to hoe cotton fields and evidently, wash and wax cars since no matter the weather, their cars look like they just came off the showroom floor, pickups too. They drive almost exclusively GM products, pickups, Suburbans, Tahoes and Traverses. If you want to see what any model vehicle looked like the day it was on the showroom floor, just wait around at a busy intersection a while. And the women are tall and blonde and hot hot hot. I’d need a step stool to see the top of most of the women’s heads but I didn’t carry one since that was a view I could wait for. Oh, and you wouldn’t see the top of their heads, just the top of their bonnets.

                    Texans have a sixth sense about what they might soon be thinking about ha ha.

      • Aesthetics are subjective. But in today’s America price rules, well because it has too, people just don’t make the money they once did and things are far more expensive then they used to be. If its affordable enough people will look past the looks.

        A prime example. In my corner of Chicagoland there is a tract home builder who is often derided by certain people for building cheap ugly crap. The call them vinyl villages (since they are sided with builder grade vinyl). But they are hugely successful because they are the only ones building in the affordable price range. So they sell them as fast as they can build them, they even managed to keep building even through the worst of the recession (most national home builders stopped building, some for years). Many people are going to pick the new house over the forty year old that needs work. Even if the forty year old house could be nicer in the long run. Because people don’t see the could, they see the one that already is. And they look good enough for most people.

        Commuter cars generally fail because they are too expensive and are generally unusable for any other purpose. So they end up driving their regular car to work.

      • eric, not to change the subject but did you see where Britain voted to withdraw from the EU? The pundits and press don’t know how to spin it since they were all in for the controllers who wanted them to stay in.

        Tenth Amendment Center has a good take on it and one on that is eventually going to be submitted for Tx.

        #Brexit won by more than a million votes with 72% voter turnout! The political power of the people of Britain declared their independence from the EU on June 23rd! The media is frantically asking what now? What is next? Who is next? Will it be a Nexit (Netherlands)? Frexit (France)? Dexit (Denmark)? Grexit (Greece)? or Texit (Texas)?

        Yes. #Texit is in the air! The time is now for Texas to have a referendum and as TNM, the resources, the time, the energy you and I have been putting in have been towards this ultimate goal. The 5th largest economy in the world just proved it is possible to GET and WIN a referendum on independence. It’s now time for the 9th largest economy in the world to GET and WIN a referendum on Texas Independence.

        This is victory for Britain. This is victory for freedom and sovereignty of all people who desire it.

        Those that contributed this past week helped us reach many Texans through social media ads and have our message carry on through mainstream media. Thank you!

        Right now is the incredible opportunity for this message to resonate. Right now our message is amplified. Right now the media is listening, the world is watching, and your fellow Texans want to know if they are alone in their belief that Texas would be better off as a sovereign nation.

        This next week is crucial. Britain celebrates its independence from Europe only days before the US celebrates its independence and secession from the former British empire. This message needs to get out now. We are inundated with media and Texans are flooding the website, but we need to identify more “yes” votes. We need to reach more Texans and you can help.

        We are just over 261,000 votes pledged at Together we can cross the 270,000 mark in the next week. Let’s tell our friends and family. Let’s share, like and retweet on social media to get the word out. Let’s work local events and get pledge vote cards filled out.

        What else can we do? In celebration of this victory for the people of Britain on June 23rd join me in giving $23 to spread the word of Texas Independence. We will fight to Let Texas Decide as we build support from Texans and the legislature to give Texas a referendum on independence.

        You can go here: for Tx. secession.

        • Hey 8, I know the original TX admission to the ‘Union’ specifically allowed for secession, but I’m not sure how that may have been affected by the ‘re-admission’ following the War. Any thoughts?
          btw, even the ‘books,’ who have a much better record than the pollsters, got it wrong on Brexit.

    • Brian L,

      I like the aesthetics. I am mainly concerned if it will meet my needs at a fair price.

      Hopefully it succeeds. If successful, I hope it will encourage others to build more affordable vehicles.

    • Old fart here who loved the late ’50s machines. I have said for years that a 3/4 scale ’57 Chevy would sell like hotcakes. Chrysler tried some retro, but think about it….. Chrysler. The company whose starter motors could be heard from 3 blocks away for most of my driving lifetime. And how many bankruptcies? The next time we will also bail out Fiat, of course, since they have strategically changed their corporate address to Uncle Sugar Area.

      I do think maybe they should put a couple Elios on the circuit in other than the garish colors. There are a couple colors on their web site ( that I think are more appealing. I feel the front view is sufficiently Gina Lollobrigida, but the back side falls far short. And I like it better without the skirts.

      If they ever jump all the hurdles thrown at them, including The Feds and The Greens (who should be jumping with joy over them, but Al would frown) I’ll likely own one.

      But I like the Elio so much, and admire Paul Elio so much for even trying, that I bought some Elio stock a few months back. The first speculative stock I have ever bought. Sometimes you just have to vote for the good guy with good ideas even if it may cost you. Then again, a success might get me a new car in profits alone.

      • Hi Arylioa,

        Ditto all that. I’m trying to swing a trip up to Michigan to test drive a pre-production example and – if it works put – will file a road test review. Stay tuned!

      • A couple weeks ago driving on I-20 I spied a ’57 Chevy, red and white, that looked like it was fresh off the showroom floor except for the SS Cragar mags. It as impressive. Then I spied an older 30’s sedan of some sort with an exotic paint job that changed colors from different angles and then some more old cars. There was a local show that week-end I hadn’t heard about. I didn’t go since it was quite a way from my house but I’m sure it was excellent just from the cars I saw here and there near that town.

        • My brother owned a 57 Chevy Nomad in black and red, beautiful car but it was a cop magnet everywhere he drove it back in the day; looked like it was speeding even standing still. At least back then they didn’t shoot you on sight, some of them just wanted a closer look and he only got a few speeding tickets over the years he drove it. Sigh….I miss those days ????

          • Us old farts from back in the day remember 57 Chevy’s of all flavors and radical engines(for then). I was surprised to learn from the Chevy dealer 20 years later that ’57 was the only year Ford outsold Chevy for decades. You rarely see a 57 Ford. Back then GM didn’t make much that didn’t pass the Harley Earl test and he was mighty picky. The lines on the side and the way the chrome was used really set them off. Back then if you wanted a special model of something you just went to the chrome shop. I recall lots of cars back then with “Continental” spares on the back, plenty of chrome on those.

            I don’t think GM ever offered one as an option but a local young guy had one on the back of his 58 Bel-Air Impala and if you recall that particular model(only year to be a Bel Air Impala and it wasn’t the same body as the lower priced cars either with a shorter greenhouse and a longer trunk but the same length as the other cars. It had a 315 HP 348 with a Turboglide 4 speed OD auto. I think it may have been one with airbag suspension since it was low low from day one. It sat in the drive and I’d just sit and stare at it. I was a gearhead from day one. My bike was a double hump body with dual headlights and a chrome “pumper” rack on the back. Clip some playing cards on the wheel supports and it sounded bad to the bone. I used to come flying into the yard and slide it 180 degrees digging out a rut and throwing dirt. My mother didn’t think it all that great but my dad seemed amused. vroom vroom

            I get the strangest looks when my phone rings with a guitar riff and then the lyrics start on Hot Rod Lincoln.

    • The over 50,000 reservation holders would beg to differ with you Brian L. Their ages range from 16 to 89+. While your opinion is important and valid, it is your opinion. Please don’t presuppose that others share it.

    • Dear Brian,

      Aesthetics is to some degree subjective, so I won’t argue too hard about whether the Elio is ugly.

      I would say that it’s better looking than many current sedans, specifically those with a pronounced forward rake that unwittingly makes the tail section look like a fat lady’s ass.

      By the way, I stumbled across this test drive of the Elio on YouTube that provides a pretty good overview of the car.


  23. Besides the sin of the internal combustion engine, it commits the sin of being very inexpensive. We aren’t going to get America out of its cars if we have cheap new cars to buy.

    As far as the elite and the regulators are concerned the era of the model T and the VW bug (the original one that is) is long past, the era of the affordable car is history. The American buying public would love to bring back affordable for a change.

    Eric, do you think the delays are the result of uncles dragging his feet on trying to regulate it away via the loss of time? Meaning making him wait so long his pockets go empty and the cars business plan goes out of date.

  24. “the thing the media finds abhorrent – an internal combustion engine”
    But why? Because most (if not all) of them worship at the temple of Gaia, under the high priest Algore. They can’t help it. They were trained in the GICs and know not how to think for themselves.

  25. Sonnents about the Elio?! That would be fun.

    I cannot think of a sonnet, but how about a limerick.

    There once was an engineer called Elio
    Planning a practical fuel efficient car
    Just needed cash to start
    building for masses
    But Uncle fancies the impractical car.

    I have been waiting for a car with qualities similar to the Elio.
    Low cost to buy/operate and fun to drive (based on its reported specs, I expect it to be fun to drive).

    The car is ideal for moving 1-2 people with limited cargo in a fuel efficient manner. If one often needs to move more people and/or materials, then a car similar to the Elio is not for you. (Neither is a Miata or other small 2 seater.)

  26. My $4,000 (used) 500cc Aprilia scooter costs me $125 / year for full coverage insurance in the state of FL and averages 60 mpg.

    • My main form of transportation these days is a BMW scooter. 650cc, goes fast and handles great, ~50mpg. Best thing is how clovers don’t seem to care when I pass them, anywhere and everywhere that is safe, and I don’t mean only where there is a broken line down the middle of the road.

    • I have always wondered why motorcycles get such poor mileage. You have a scooter, but some motorcycles also come with that size of engine. If a Geo Metro gets around 55 mpg, then a bike ought to get at least 80 mpg. I haven’t check the fuel mileage of my Virago 1100 yet, but I have read that they usually get about 45 mpg. I am sure that one of the reasons for the low mpg is that bikes run with high rpm engines.

      • Hi Brian,

        It very much depends on the bike.

        My 1200 cc high-performance sport bike averages 40 or so.

        But a 250 cc “standard” (or even a dual sport, something like a Suzuki DR250) will approach 80.

        In the middle are bikes like my Honda GL650, which routinely gets 60.

        Bike engines vary in type/tune as well as size, much more than car engines do. I’ve got DOHC in-line fours, pushrod twins, a triple with no valves at all (two stroke)… etc.

      • Taking performance tuning out of the equation, aerodynamic drag is the culprit that kills motorcycle MPG efficiencies.

        • “aerodynamic drag is the culprit” – and didn’t I read somewhere that one of the main factors is spoked wheels?

        • I had already considered the reduced aerodynamics of most motorcycles as compared to a Geo Metro or other cars with even better aerodynamics before I made my comment. I do not have access to a wind tunnel, but my intuition tells me that the narrowness of non-touring bikes would offset the gain of an aerodynamic, but much wider car. 3 guys having a death wish and driving 3 250 cc bikes abreast with no gap between them (by staggering the handle bars) would have the same width as the Metro. The 3 bikers combined would have terrible aerodynamics in total as compared to the Metro, but 1 biker should produce roughly the same drag as a Metro.
          One MC would have half the tires of a Metro and the tires, being narrower, would produce less drag and friction. A Metro probably weighs as much as 4 250’s.
          I had already mentioned high rpms as being a culprit, but it seems to me that if modern efficient induction system principles were also used by MC manufactures, small bikes like the 250 should attain 80-90 mpg.
          I even considered building a motorcycle with an efficient diesel engine in it a few years ago. I was happy to learn that others had come up with the same idea. Sadly, the price of those engines were high enough for me to dismiss it. Further, a low rpm diesel engine motorcycle would probably need a 12-15+ speed tranny. City boys probably would not like having to shift it that often.


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