2015 Polaris Slingshot Proves Trike Makes Right [w/ Videos]
It didn’t take very long for a carriage-style four-wheeled layout to become part of automotive design orthodoxy. Yes, Morgan, Reliant and a few others have dabbled in the world of three-wheeled cars in the last century-plus, but such vehicles have never really enjoyed mainstream status, and likely won’t anytime soon.
That doesn’t matter to Polaris, because it knows that its new big-kid trike – the Slingshot – isn’t everybody’s cup of tea. Rather than create a machine that follows the same pattern established by rival Bombardier’s Can-Am Spyder, the Minnesota-based builder of ATVs, UTVs, power equipment, snowmobiles, Indian and Victory motorcycles and GEM low-speed electric cars created a trike with the engine out front, a car-style side-by-side seating arrangement, and a steering wheel. In short, it reminds us of a front-engine KTM X-Bow with one less wheel.
That engine, incidentally, is a humble GM Ecotec 2.4L inline-four rated at 173 horsepower and 166 lb.-ft of torque. Power is sent to the lone 255/35R20 rear tire through a 5-speed manual transmission (with reverse, so you don’t have to get out and push to perform a three-point turn) and a carbon fiber reinforced belt drive. Polaris claims the Slingshot will have a 1,743 lbs. curb weight, which should make it a rather snappy performer (though the company hasn’t released any definitive performance figures yet), particularly when you factor in the base model’s $19,999 asking price; the more feature-packed SL model will retail for $23,999.