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Radical Polaris Slingshot is part car, part motorcycle, all excitement

  • slingshot-876.jpg

     (Polaris)

  • slingshot-side-876.jpg

     (Polaris)

  • slingshot-front-876.jpg

     (Polaris)

  • slingshot-frame-876.jpg

     (Polaris)

The three-wheeled Slingshot is a daring new machine, seemingly crafted from DNA drawn from Polaris’ extensive recreation-focused portfolio of ATVs, motorcycles, side-by-sides, and snowmobiles. The result is a street machine that blurs the lines between cars and motorcycles.

Targeted at thrill seekers and those who crave a bit more safety than a motorcycle provides, the Slingshot wraps edgy, anime-like body panels around a tube-framed chassis. Up front is a double-wishbone suspension with coil-over shocks and a sway bar. Out back is a single aluminum swing arm.

Power comes from a 2.4-liter, four-cylinder engine delivering 173 hp to the rear wheel. The driver commands the distinctive machine with a power-assisted steering wheel and rows the five gears with a manual shifter.

Learn more about riding in our motorcycle hub, buying guide, and in our reliability and owner satisfaction report.

Although it is driven like a car, a motorcycle license will be needed to drive it in your state, along with a helmet. It is not a car, and as such, it does not meet crash test standards nor include air bags. That said, the $19,999 Slingshot comes with several key automotive conveniences, such as the lateral seating, stability control, antilock brakes, and a glove box.

The SL trim adds a wind screen, larger wheels, and entertainment system, with Bluetooth connectivity and a backup camera. Price for the SL is a hefty $23,999.

The Slingshot is strictly a topless roadster, making it a fair-weather ride. But, just in case, the seats are waterproof and there are lockable bins in the rear for storage.

Tipping the scales at over 1,700 lbs., the Slingshot outweighs the increasingly popular, three-wheeled Can-Am Spyder by about 700 lbs. It also stretches 45 inches longer, putting the size more on par with a Mazda MX-5 Miata. The Slingshot is a few inches wider than that beloved roadster, and the wheelbase is likewise greater.

Ultimately, this is a unique creation—one that promises to deliver an inimitable thrill ride when it goes on sale this fall.

Jeff Bartlett


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