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Old 08-28-2014, 02:50 PM   #601 (permalink)
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The production Elio will use a proprietary 0.9 liter triple, designed by IAV, that will put out the same 55 horsepower that the Suzuki engine had when it left the factory more than 90,000 miles ago.
Why the toffee are they paying someone to a specific 3cyl engine which makes the same as the Suzuki 3cyl 1 litre (55 hp) when there are engines of the same capacity making 15hp more from, you know, small town manufacturers like Toyota, Ford and VAG ?

Well it obviously isn't because of efficiency.

Is it improved spares availability, or maybe cheaper spares costs from, er, volume manufacture ?

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The production Elio will use a proprietary 0.9 liter triple, designed by IAV
Oh, maybe not.

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Old 08-28-2014, 03:01 PM   #602 (permalink)
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Their stated reason for the proprietary engine is so they can tune it specifically for the purpose they are using it for. They know the specific size, weight, and gearing they're going to use for the final vehicle, so they're making an engine specifically to work best with it.

At least, that's the company line. I think there's probably something more to it than that, especially since they said they were devoted to using as many off the shelf parts as possible to make the thing easy to service.
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Old 08-28-2014, 03:08 PM   #603 (permalink)
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Not aimed at you, but the response here in Caledonia would be something along the lines of "aye right..." with added rolling eyes.
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Old 08-28-2014, 03:14 PM   #604 (permalink)
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Found the source I was looking for.

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The main technical reason for not using an off-the-shelf engine is that the Elio vehicle is much lighter than a standard vehicle. Meaning, the off-the-shelf OEM engine was designed to optimally operate at a different speed and load point than if it were placed into a lighter vehicle. Also, when a large carmaker designs a new engine, it is targeting multiple platforms. That often makes the engine good for all, but best for none. By having IAV design a power plant specifically for our vehicle, we can achieve our goal of 84 mpg. This is going to be a very slick engine.
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Old 08-28-2014, 03:32 PM   #605 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Arragonis View Post
Why the toffee are they paying someone to a specific 3cyl engine which makes the same as the Suzuki 3cyl 1 litre (55 hp) when there are engines of the same capacity making 15hp more from, you know, small town manufacturers like Toyota, Ford and VAG ?

Well it obviously isn't because of efficiency.

Is it improved spares availability, or maybe cheaper spares costs from, er, volume manufacture ?

Oh, maybe not.
Well... I've been following Elio closely for over a year now.

As I see it, the first and most important reason to build their own engine is to NOT be at the whim and mercy of a supplier who has no interest in the long term survival of Elio Motors. That would remove every potential supplier who also provides engines for any major automotive manufacturer, US or overseas. And for those few "independent" engine builders? If GM or Ford or anyone else really wants to, a phone call to the engine builder could cut off Elio's engine supply quickly.

Another very important reason is that the Elio engine is being built to match the Elio vehicle's purpose. It is being built with higher torque than the Geo/Suzuki engine, and a very wide power band. In other words, you won't have to get it up to 3000-4000 rpm in order to get decent power out of it. The long intake tubes visible in the shot of the mockup engine also go towards that goal.

That, in turn, goes along with the five speed manual transmission. It will not be six, due to cost and space restraints. A computer controlled gears + clutch type auto trans will also be offered, and it also will not have six speeds. I've seen conflicting reports as to whether the auto version will be single or dual clutch.

So with "only" five gears and looking for high mpg, I can see they will space those gear ratios pretty far apart, and take advantage of their engine's wide torque band to get the most out of those wide ratios.

The Geo/Suzuki engine is carbureted. Yes they could set it up with EFI but much better to start from scratch.

The Geo/Suzuki has a cast iron block. I'm not sure about the head. Maybe also heavy stuff. The Elio engine is all aluminum, with plasma spray, micons-thin, ultra hardened cylinder liners that transmit heat far better than steel sleeves pressed into aluminum. Flame-Spray_Industries,_Inc.

Just a few info bits here, to show some of the good reasons for Elio's proprietary purpose-built engine.
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Old 08-28-2014, 03:46 PM   #606 (permalink)
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MetroMPG posted the link to this same article earlier today, but I'll post it again here because I think the article is that good. This is not your usual fluff-loaded, PR release inspired quickie:

Exclusive Capsule Review: Elio Motors P4 Prototype
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Old 08-28-2014, 03:52 PM   #607 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MetroMPG
Exclusive Capsule Review: Elio Motors P4 Prototype | The Truth About Cars
Ragged edits, creaking noises, no scripting and all for the same 20 seconds of action repeated over and over for five minutes. Wow. Maybe better:


Great staging and production values. Except for the disembodied interviewer phoning it in from who knows where. He's billed as David Hurth (World's Worst Interviewer)—so what are the comments all about? The interviewer.

I prefer the styling of the VW Nils, imagine this as a 3-wheeler:


Edit: brucepick -- OK, the article is better.

2nd Edit:
Quote:
The engine has been designed by IAV with a turbocharger in mind. Paul Elio told me that Comau, which is providing the machinery and automation for the assembly lines at the Shreveport plant, has left a spot on the line empty for the time being so that a turbo installation station can be added later.
30 prototypes for testing, just like VW in the '30s.

Last edited by freebeard; 08-28-2014 at 04:27 PM..
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Old 08-28-2014, 05:08 PM   #608 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by brucepick View Post
Well... I've been following Elio closely for over a year now.
There are a number of issues here.

Firstly the engine spec - 55hp from a 1.0 is pish poor - no, it really really is these days. E.g. the Toyota 1KRFE engine is 1.0 litres and has VVTI which means it pulls from low revs - I know, I used to drive one. It makes 68hp. It also happens to be the lightest car engine in the world. It was engine of the year a few years ago too. I doubt this specialist unit will make that.

Secondly having a specialist engine sucks in terms of parts to fix it, either in retail form or from scrap yards - have you heard ecomodders are cheap ? Using the above engine again as an example I can find 3 on ebay.co.uk right now, all less that 500 and with warranties. There are also about 800K cars with the same engine running around - some of them crash, a shame but their engine is then spare.

Thirdly a specialist maker is less likely to be able to respond to global regulations, like ECE (Europe) or Japan - as quickly or as completely as VAG, Toyota, Nissan etc. These emissions limits are being unified too which means we all might have to meet Japanese standards some day.

Mind you this vehicle wouldn't pass EU safety tests anyway.

And finally using a single maker who doesn't really care about your product as a supplier is no worse than putting your eggs in one risky financial basket. A worked example - the Lotus 7 is still being made today. At launch it used a UK only Ford sidevalve engine or the UK only A-Series. Neither engine is made today, but I can still buy a Caterham. Similar rule applies to Morgan...
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Old 08-29-2014, 10:15 AM   #609 (permalink)
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Motorcycles do not need to achieve the same emissions as a normal car, cat yes, same emissions levels no.

Hopefully its a low HP lean burn unit
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Old 08-29-2014, 10:59 AM   #610 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arragonis View Post
There are a number of issues here.

Firstly the engine spec - 55hp from a 1.0 is pish poor - no, it really really is these days. E.g. the Toyota 1KRFE engine is 1.0 litres and has VVTI which means it pulls from low revs - I know, I used to drive one. It makes 68hp. It also happens to be the lightest car engine in the world. It was engine of the year a few years ago too. I doubt this specialist unit will make that.

Secondly having a specialist engine sucks in terms of parts to fix it, either in retail form or from scrap yards - have you heard ecomodders are cheap ? Using the above engine again as an example I can find 3 on ebay.co.uk right now, all less that 500 and with warranties. There are also about 800K cars with the same engine running around - some of them crash, a shame but their engine is then spare.

Thirdly a specialist maker is less likely to be able to respond to global regulations, like ECE (Europe) or Japan - as quickly or as completely as VAG, Toyota, Nissan etc. These emissions limits are being unified too which means we all might have to meet Japanese standards some day.

Mind you this vehicle wouldn't pass EU safety tests anyway.

And finally using a single maker who doesn't really care about your product as a supplier is no worse than putting your eggs in one risky financial basket. A worked example - the Lotus 7 is still being made today. At launch it used a UK only Ford sidevalve engine or the UK only A-Series. Neither engine is made today, but I can still buy a Caterham. Similar rule applies to Morgan...
I myself, wouldn't mind finding a wrecked Scion iQ and pulling the power train out of it. I'm sure with a little fabrication you could fit it into just about any small/lightweight car.

While the Elio is a fantastic option, I'd love to see a high-milage and low cost 4 or 5 passenger vehicle!

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