The Early Death of the 3-Wheeled Car?

Elio_Motors

Starting a car company is probably one of the most difficult of all business ventures. Even the best ideas can fail due to a lack of funds or stifling government regulatory requirements.

And yet, people still try.

The people who start car companies do so because they believe they can change, or improve upon, the current state of automobile design, functionality, and performance. Starting a car company can cost hundreds of millions of dollars, though, and most who try eventually fall short of their goals because they simply run out of money.

One company, Elio Motors, wants to introduce an 84-mpg 2-seater that costs just $6,800 and is powered by a 3-cylinder gas engine. Sounds great, right?

Consider this: The Elio has only three wheels, meaning the company is trying to classify the car as a motorcycle to avoid the stricter safety and efficiency regulations that govern cars.

The government, though, has other plans, which could send Elio into the history books.

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Slingshot Blurs Line Between Sports Car and Motorcycle

Polaris Slingshot

Described as a sports car, it sounds wildly unsafe.

There’s not a real windshield, no doors, no roof, no airbags, and it rides just 5 inches off the ground. It weighs under 2,000 pounds, has a weight distribution of 66/34 percent front/rear and is powered by a 2.4-liter GM engine with a 5-speed transmission sending power to the rear wheels.

Or shall I say wheel.

The Polaris Slingshot isn’t a car we’d normally cover on this blog, because it isn’t a car at all. The Slingshot is a three-wheeled motorcycle, but it’s the most car-like motorcycle ever made.

Which isn’t a good thing.

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