Elio offers drivers a chance to test its new prototype

Elio offers drivers a chance to test its new prototype

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - In the shadow of the former General Motors plant in Shreveport, test drivers got a chance to try out a new vehicle that scheduled be built there in 2014.

At its news conference on Friday, Elio Motors allowed motorists to get behind the wheel of its three-wheeled prototype. Drivers took turns testing the vehicle in the old GM parking lot off Bert Kouns Industrial Loop.

Elio bought the GM plant earlier this year from the Revitalizing Auto Communities Environmental Response Trust (RACER), an independent trust created by a U.S. Bankruptcy Court settlement agreement to redevelop former GM locations.

Elio builds enclosed, three-wheeled vehicles capable of attaining a highway mileage rating of more than 80 mpg. Targeting a retail cost of $6,800, the company will position the Elio vehicle as a cost-effective alternative to four-wheeled autos.

The Elio will be equipped with three airbags, power windows and air conditioning as standard features, and the company expects it to achieve a five-star safety rating. Models will be available with automatic or manual transmission.

The company says it expects to create 1,500 new direct jobs by late 2015.

Owner Paul Elio says 1,300 cars already have been reserved, one by Mayor Cedric Glover.

The cars are slated go on sale in June of 2014.

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