Part car, part motorcycle, Polaris Slingshot is the inverted trike every kid dreams of
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 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.
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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.
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.
Anybody else care to weigh in here?