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.