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Vehicle promising 84 MPG selling for $6,800

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TEMPE, Ariz. -

With the rising cost of gas these days, we're coming up with all sorts of ways to save money and save fuel.

But a valley company believes they have the solution. They've built a car that gets over 80 miles per gallon and costs less that most other cars.

The 3-wheeled vehicle called the Elio promises up to 84 miles per gallon. That means if you drove from Phoenix to Los Angeles -- about 372 miles -- it would only take 4 and a half gallons of regular unleaded gas.

And that is the vehicle's big selling point.

It looks like something you'd see in a science fiction movie, but this 3-wheeled motorcycle/car hybrid called the "Elio" is set to go into production by this time next year.

It's on tour here in the valley.

"Now you've got the convenience of air conditioning and heat, you've got an AM/FM radio with an iPod jack, you know, all the convenience of a car wrapped around a motorcycle," says Jerome Vassallo, VP of retail sales.

Vassallo says the combination of price and fuel efficiency is why thousands of people have already placed reservations for the Elio, including Bill and Maggie Frietag from Gilbert.

"Actually I was researching online and I found it and I said Bill you got to see this -- it's an enclosed motorcycle! And I said we need to reserve one, and we did it like right away," says Maggie Frietag.

"I fit great, my wife fits in the back, and they're working so the golf clubs will go in the back, so we're good to go!" says Bill.

The Elio got a lot of attention on display on Mill Avenue in Tempe. The company says the goal is for 50 MPG in the city and up to 84 on the highway.

That was a selling point for Julie Harvey and her boyfriend, who are also on the waiting list.

"We're even looking at possibly seeing if it will tow one of those little motorcycle trailers, and then we can just go all over the place."

As for the unusual seating position -- no big deal for Julie.

"We fly gliders down in Tucson and so this will be very familiar for me. I sit behind him a lot of the time," says Julie.

The plan is to build the Elio in Louisiana in an old Hummer factory.

If you'd like to take a look at it yourself, it will be on display at the state fairgrounds Wednesday and Thursday.

By the way, in most states, including Arizona, you need a Class M motorcycle license to drive the Elio.

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