Motorcycles

Part car, part motorcycle, Polaris Slingshot is the inverted trike every kid dreams of

Part car, part motorcycle, Pol...
Polaris touts the cornering prowess of the Slingshot
Polaris touts the cornering prowess of the Slingshot
View 38 Images
The guts of the Slingshot
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The guts of the Slingshot
The Slingshot comes in two trims
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The Slingshot comes in two trims
The Slingshot comes in two trims
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The Slingshot comes in two trims
The Slingshot is a three-wheeled, two-seater with a broad stance
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The Slingshot is a three-wheeled, two-seater with a broad stance
Titanium metallic and red pearl finishes are available
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Titanium metallic and red pearl finishes are available
Polaris touts the cornering prowess of the Slingshot
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Polaris touts the cornering prowess of the Slingshot
The Slingshot requires a motorcycle endorsement
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The Slingshot requires a motorcycle endorsement
The Slingshot goes on sale in North America in a few months
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The Slingshot goes on sale in North America in a few months
The steel chassis rides just five inches off the ground
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The steel chassis rides just five inches off the ground
Part car, part motorocycle, plenty of power
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Part car, part motorocycle, plenty of power
Polaris touts the cornering prowess of the Slingshot
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Polaris touts the cornering prowess of the Slingshot
The Slingshot has a dry weight around 1,700 pounds
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The Slingshot has a dry weight around 1,700 pounds
Part car, part motorocycle, plenty of power
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Part car, part motorocycle, plenty of power
The basic Slingshot starts at US $19,999
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The basic Slingshot starts at US $19,999
The premium Slingshot adds color, larger wheels and an LCD panel among other features
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The premium Slingshot adds color, larger wheels and an LCD panel among other features
Polaris is best known for its ATVs and snowmobiles
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Polaris is best known for its ATVs and snowmobiles
Polaris is best known for its ATVs and snowmobiles
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Polaris is best known for its ATVs and snowmobiles
Front detail
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Front detail
Polaris is best known for its ATVs and snowmobiles
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Polaris is best known for its ATVs and snowmobiles
Polaris is best known for its ATVs and snowmobiles
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Polaris is best known for its ATVs and snowmobiles
Wheel detail
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Wheel detail
5-speed manual transmission
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5-speed manual transmission
Suspension detail
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Suspension detail
Suspension detail
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Suspension detail
Suspension detail
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Suspension detail
The Slingshot's steel frame skeleton
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The Slingshot's steel frame skeleton
Wheel detail
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Wheel detail
The Slingshot's steel frame skeleton
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The Slingshot's steel frame skeleton
The Slingshot's steel frame skeleton
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The Slingshot's steel frame skeleton
The Slingshot's steel frame skeleton
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The Slingshot's steel frame skeleton
The Slingshot's steel frame skeleton
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The Slingshot's steel frame skeleton
Suspension detail
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Suspension detail
The two-seater cockpit
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The two-seater cockpit
The premium trim features LCD panel and Bluetooth sound
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The premium trim features LCD panel and Bluetooth sound
A broad stance and low center of gravity
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A broad stance and low center of gravity
Passenger view
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Passenger view
Front detail
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Front detail
The 2.4-liter engine at the center of the action
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The 2.4-liter engine at the center of the action
View gallery - 38 images

Take your favorite three-wheeler from childhood, flip it around, give it the power and handling of a motorcycle with the comfort and stability of a car, and the look of something out of a futuristic comic book. The result is the brand new Polaris Slingshot.

The noted Minnesota-based maker of all-terrain vehicles and snowmobiles officially unveiled the new three-wheeled roadster this week in the United States and Canada. Because of its open cockpit, this two-seater reversed trike is officially classified as a motorcycle rather than a car, meaning you'll need a helmet and a motorcycle endorsement on your license to drive one.

The unique combination of car and motorbike offers a driving experience that's also different from both, thanks to its broad stance, sport-tuned suspension and a chassis that rides just five inches above the road. Polaris' marketing materials make a great deal of the Slingshot's hard-charging design that corners aggressively all day long.

Rather than an elastic band and a little bit of potential energy, this Slingshot is powered by a 2.4-liter DOHC Ecoboost engine producing 173 horses mated to a 5-speed manual transmission. There's storage behind the two waterproof seats and in the locked glove box.

The Slingshot's steel frame skeleton
The Slingshot's steel frame skeleton

The vehicle clocks in at a dry weight below 1,700 pounds (771 kg), heavier than competitors like the Campagna T-Rex or the much more motorcycle-like Can-Am Spyder. The Slingshot is priced competitively, just a bit higher than the Spyder, and way below the luxury toy price tag that comes with the T-Rex, starting at US$19,999.

The base model gets titanium metallic paint, 17-inch alloy wheels in front, and an 18-inch rear wheel. An upgrade to the SL trim for $23,999 adds red pearl paint, larger 18-inch forged aluminum front wheels and a 20-inch rear wheel, a blade windscreen for wind protection, an LCD media console with back-up camera, Bluetooth, and a 6-speaker audio system. Both models will be available in a few months at North American Polaris dealerships.

The Slingshot can be seen in action, in the video below.

Source: Polaris

View gallery - 38 images
20 comments
Daishi
Where has this been all my life? At $20k it's only about $5k more than a base Spyder and $45k cheaper than a base T-Rex. You could buy a pair of SL's for the price of a T-Rex and have $17k left over.
One minor correction though is I think they are using the Ecotec engine rather than Ecoboost. They are both Ford but the Ecoboost is the name for the tubro charged version
I'm kind of looking forward to see what some of the modders do with it. A batmobile or mad max theme would probably be easy. They could probably fund a design competition for a lot cheaper than a marketing campaign. They should probably donate one to aero3s to have a kit built for it.
Matt Sanders
I'm a bit disappointed with this. I was hoping for a potentially affordable track car. Ideally something closer to a BAC Mono, KTM XBow or Ariel atom. This meets the cheap requirements, but is overweight, under powered and seemingly lacks grip in the corners. They should look into adding another wheel on the back and find a way to drop 300 - 500 lbs.
Rehab
would a 4th wheel mean you could ditch the helmet? Gee buy an old Miata add some extra power and you'd have 5 times the machine at about the same dollar.
T N Args
So, if you already own a motorbike, as you would need to in order to be a licence holder, you can now 'progress' to half a car?
Mel Tisdale
Heaven help any pedestrian who has the misfortune to be hit by one of these. No matter where it hits them, any speed above a gentle trot is going to do a lot of damage, with amputation being the likely outcome if it is being driven in the manner it has been designed for.
The problem with reverse trikes is that if you lose the back end on a corner, the weight distribution and relative contact area means it will most likely come out of the spin traveling backwards, which is not the best way to crash into anything if you would like to avoid becoming para/quadriplegic.
All in all, not this week's winner of the safest vehicle design prize.
yrag
I have a question. You write: "Because of its open cockpit, this two-seater reversed trike is officially classified as a motorcycle". My understanding (such as it is), is that it is the three-wheeled nature of an automated trike that allows it to be LEGALLY classified as a motorcycle, not that it has an open cockpit. Otherwise, by your definition, couldn't a soft top convertible with the top down also be classified as a motorcycle?
Anybody else care to weigh in here?
Mike Barnett
REVERSE Trike, not INVERTED Trike - nobody wants to invert the thing! And for all of you decrying the lack of a 4th wheel, you are missing the entire point of this vehicle. Reverse trike history goes back to the beginnings of the Morgan Car company, and some of us just absolutely love 'em. Combined with the reduced costs of having a vehicle that is legally a motorcycle, the fun of being totally and completely exposed to the elements, and the exclusivity of the design, it's exactly what many of us want. Want an Ariel Atom? Well heck, go get one, because this ain't the same thing, isn't supposed to be the same thing, and I'm damn glad it's NOT the same thing! Now all I need is one of these, an Elio, and a decent Range Rover, and I'll be set...
Andy Marocco
Actually for clarification, the ECOTEC engine, used on the Slingshot is made by GM, not Ford.
Jeff Goldstein
That fact that it has 3 wheels not 4 is what classifies it as a motorcycle. I would be very tempted to buy one to replace our second car if it was a year round vehicle with a weatherproof soft top, heat and A/C. It would be a lot more fun to drive than any Miata and would cost a lot less.
Bruce H. Anderson
The styling is a little overwrought for my taste, and aerodynamics are bound to suffer, but there are those who will like it despite its impracticality. It will probably handle quite well, although I get the sense that the owner will be buying lots of rear tires.