Startup car company Elio Motors built its fifth prototype. The P5 uses the Geo-derived, 993cc liter 3-cylinder engine and a manual transmission.

While Elio claims to have 42,913 reservations on their three-wheeler as of right now, the P5 is being developed using funds raised in a recent 506(c) offering made possible by the Jobs Act of 2012, allowing accredited investors to buy into the company with a minimum investment of $15,000.

The company plans to do 26 prototypes, starting from P5, all the way to P30 before production could start in the first half of next year. That’s less than 364 days from now. Oh boy.

But founder Paul Elio remains positive:

The P5 build is another important step in our march toward production and is the culmination of several important strategic initiatives we have completed or launched in the past several months. The completion of our engine prototype, our offering to accredited investors and our recent supplier summit are all excellent examples of the progress we continue to make every day.

The engine and transmission are key elements in creating driving characteristics that consumers demand. Fuel economy is obviously important, but we still need speed and acceleration that are comparable to today’s passenger vehicles. Both the engine and transmission put us well on this path.

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Compared to the P4 that’s we’ve seen driving before, the P5 features updated styling that improves its aerodynamics, the new-old engine developed by IAV and a “multi-mode” manual gearbox built by Japanese engineering firm Aisin.

If the super cheap three-wheeler makes it into production next year, the car will be built in Shreveport, La., the birthplace of GM’s Hummer H3 and Chevy Colorado.

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Will you keep your fingers crossed?

Photo credit: Elio Motors

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