First Photos of the Polaris Slingshot

07/27/2014 @ 6:19 pm, by Jensen Beeler33 COMMENTS


Polaris is about to release a three-wheeler for the sporting public (UPDATE: it’s now officially out), named the Polaris Slingshot. We’ve already gotten a pretty good look at the Slingshot ahead of its debut, and now just a few hours before its official release we have our first actual photos.

Technically a motorcycle, along the same vein as the Campagna Motors T-REX, riders will need a motorcycle or trike license (where applicable) to operate the Slingshot, despite its car-like form factor, which includes seat belts.

At $20,000 for the base model ($24,000 for the SL model), the Polaris Slingshot is either an expensive toy, or a moderately priced sport car…depending on how you look at it. Helping cloud that distinction is the 2.4L GM Ecotec four-cylinder engine, which is good for 173hp and 166 lbs•ft of torque, and is mated to a five-speed stick-shift gearbox.

Standard on both the base and SL models are anti-locking brakes, electronic stability control, and traction control, whereas the Slingshot SL comes with larger forged wheels (the base model’s are cast) and bigger low-profile tires. As such the SL weight 1684 lbs, to the base model’s 1666 lbs.

Like BRP’s Can-Am Spyder three-wheeler, what remains to be seen is how big the market is for something like the Polaris Slingshot. With the economy slowly recovering, motorcycle sales are starting to pick-up. However, we doubt many motorcyclists will accept the Slingshot as one of their own, with the machine likely to pique the interest of car enthusiasts, much like the KTM X-Bow.

How big that specialty market is remains to be seen, especially with such a hefty price tag. It does look fun to drive though, right?





Source: Polaris; Photos: Adventure Motorsports of NWF (Facebook)

  • TheSeaward

    It’s a good thing they made this instead of a decent, mass-produced non-cruiser. Certainly nobody in America wants to buy a motorcycle that’s American and weighs less than 700 lbs. Yep, nobody.

  • QualityGuy

    Looks like they’re maintaining their Side By Side models’ long built reputation of ‘hot garbage’ fit and finish levels. The floorboards and dash appearance along is enough to keep me from trusting my life to one of these piles.

  • sgt stiglitz

    $24K for three wheels, 170hp, and the fit and finish of a plastic mop-bucket?

    spend $3K more and get something like a brand new ford focus st (or hell, a used WRX?!)… 257hp cheap track car that you can drive more than twice a month (and even in the rain!)

  • proudAmerican

    Are there no more used Miata’s on Craigslist?

    I picture those Slingshots selling just as strongly as the Honda Voltus…

  • Jason

    The Focus ST weighs 3223 lbs and makes 160 hp ((20.1 lbs / hp)
    The original Miata weighed 2070 lbs and made 115 hp (18.0 lbs / hp)
    The current Miata weighs 2447 lbs and makes 170 hp (14.4 lbs / hp)
    The Slingshot weighs 1664 lbs and makes 173 hp (9.7 lbs / hp)

    The Slingshot will run circles around a Miata; talk about go-kart handling. I don’t think Polaris will have any problem selling these. They may not appeal to the typical motorcyclists but then again the Can Am spyder doesn’t either and I see quite a few Spyders on the road.

  • Mormont
  • crshnbrn

    re: “Technically a motorcycle,” “riders will need a motorcycle license to operate the Slingshot.”

    Some states have three-wheeled motorcycle licenses or endorsements for people who cannot operate a “true” motorcycle, but you are correct, a driver’s license will probably not be sufficient in most areas.

  • Sander

    You dont need 2.4 liters to make 170 hp
    Just take a brp 800 skidoo engine and put some decent pipes on it. Tweak the cilinders a little and engine management. And your good for Well over 190hp
    A propper build two stroke is better on every front than a fourstroke.
    Wake up people.

  • Judge

    How about my man in pic #4 with only 3 half fingers and a thumb! Man, what Yakuza did he offend?

  • Watch the video. the passenger does a sweet “monkey clap” HAAAAWWEEEK

  • jeram

    There are already a couple ride review videos online. Polaris allowed a few publications to test it at there track with the video release delayed until July 27th

  • Rich

    This is a natural progression for the “quad’ market. The off road market around here is mostly quaders and over the last several years side-by-sides are increasing in numbers. This looks like the next step.

  • AHA

    Oh dear, I don’t think so. If you want power:weight ratio and supreme overtaking ability, stick with two wheels.

    If you want a superior go-kart, try an Ariel Atom, KTM Crossbow or any Caterham. Admittedly not sure if any of these are available over there in the US.

    But if it has to be a trike, then go for something really fun

  • Doug

    Poser’s wet dream. Where is the Starbucks coffee cup holder? Sure is a lot of plastic on that thing.

  • buellracerx

    @Sander – while I, too, long for the revival of road-going 2-stroke madness, this ecotec was a smart choice – moderately tuned base engine that already has an expansive aftermarket parts list. Turbo kit + some forged internals and you’ve got <6 lb/hp at <$30k, better than the current Z06 at less than half the cost. Corvette killer, anyone?

    This will decimate all after you put about 15 grand in it or more. If we have to, overnight parts from (*detroit*).

  • Jason

    Motorcycles have excellent power to weight ratios. However, they also have limitations in using that power. The short wheelbase means too much power or braking and they flip over. Cornering is limited by lean angle and small contact patches. On the same track F1 cars go faster than MotoGP bikes. It will be interesting to see what the Slingshot will do on a track, I’m sure various magazines are testing it as we speak.

    The Ariel Atom is nice but starts at $56,500. The KTM X-Bow isn’t sold in the US but starts at $78.000 in Austria. Caterham is sold in the US and the entry level 140hp version is $34,000, the 180 hp version is $45,000. A T-Rex trike starts at $54,000. This is why the Polaris will sell, it is orders of magnitude less expensive than similar vehicles. It will also appeal to people that want something small and light but don’t want a motorcycle.

  • JW

    Of all the 4 pot engines to choose from, they throw a GM engine in it..

  • Justaguy

    I’m on my 2nd Victory and while news of this ‘thing’ is old to me, I am surprised that a GM engine was used. as Polaris has done a lot of acquisition over the last few years. Personally it’s ugly as hell and I don’t know how people can get in/out of it…… is the world made up of Hobbit’s or something?

    Oh, and the 2015 Victory’s are out: they killed off a bunch of bikes a and bought into the big front wheel trend. Unless there is more (a liquid cooled bike?) coming at Sturgis it is truly a sad year for Victory.

    If the liquid cooled Victory bike that was outed by MCN is real then getting myself banned from a big name cruiser guy’s blog by outing it there was worth it (yes, I was banned for daring to reiterate news Polaris was piss poor at keeping under wraps, proving the scam that goes on amongst some blogs and the manufacturers when it comes to who can say what when)

  • Jake F.

    I’m all for greater diversity in vehicular transportation. While I don’t know that I would buy one of these, I look forward to seeing them out on the roads. Anyone who doesn’t think this would be fun to drive should probably have their pulse checked, they may be dead.

  • Richard Gozinya

    I’ll wait for the hoverbike.

  • j.davis

    Does this thing have lab or shoulder belts? Will those twin crash-bars above the seats afford any real protection or are they just for looks?

  • Justaguy

    I think if you pause the video at the last second it says it in the beginning of the disclaimer that there are no belts.

    Also….. since that is a car tire in back and this is by law a ‘motorcycle’, is this the first factory ‘darkside’ bike ever?

  • Justaguy

    My bad, it specifically says that riders must wear seat belts in the ‘3 wheeled motorcycle’.

    So maybe lap belts?

  • Peter D

    Jason’s number are wrong. A stock Focus ST make 254 hp, so 12.7 lbs/hp. Not quite as good as this thing, but I can carry 4 folks and some luggage in the rain.

  • Jason

    My bad. I rechecked the Ford site and noticed even though I was on the Ford Focus ST page, when I clicked “Specs” it lists the specs for all models. The ST was off my screen to the right. So standard Focus is 160 hp, and the ST is 252 hp.

  • Jason

    The Slingshot has 3-point seat belts. If you look at reviews from the launch you can see journalists wearing seat belts. However they are opposite of most cars. The shoulder strap comes from the centerline of the car and buckles on outside.

  • paulus

    There are plenty of super-rich in the world. Even if they only sell to a fraction of the buyers of X-Bow and Spyder owners… Polaris will be OK.

    Also, think of it as a marketing tool… It has been a long time since Polaris got this amount of interest ;)

  • Agent55

    A moronic creation from a company that only exists because it’s “made in America” and relies on that as a major selling point, quality or innovation be damned. Also, anyone curious how the driver/passenger might fare in an accident considering it meets no crash regulations? I’m guessing not very well.

    A silly niche creation that’s missing a 4th wheel to be relevant

  • kevin

    holllllly bat turd robin!

  • Westward

    Is someone looking for a M I A T A ? I have one that’s in good shape runs, and am willing to part with…

  • Slangbuster

    Pretty expensive lawn mover.

  • Saul

    A lot of haters here. Just because it’s not for you now, don’t crap on it. I have ridden for over thirty years, street bikes, snow machines (snow mobiles), atv’s, atc’s, and dirt bikes. I became disabled due to a work place incident and can not physically ride on two wheels now. I’ve been looking at harley trikes, and can ams, lately because I miss being in the wind and am limited. Then I saw these. I put a deposit on one yesterday. It will be here soon. What ever it is, it’s better then riding the couch. When you see me out riding it, I triple dog dare you key board warriors and posers to talk smack. My balance and legs may not be what they once were, but that will be the way to see what the rest of me can do.

  • Justaguy

    Hate? Man you just challenged everyone to a fight and you talk about hate?

    I’m damn near crippled myself (spinal fusion, 3 knee surgeries, hip surgery), it’s the only reason I moved from sport bikes to Victory’s and judging by my inability to lift my left leg very well at stop signs today I don’t know how much longer I’ll be able to ride that, but I know there is no way in holy high heck that I could get down into and up out of this machine.
    After you beat me up for mocking how ugly your (very fast) Slingshot is I hope you will be decent enough to help me get back up on my feet so I can go get medical attention. I’d hate to have to low crawl again…….. low crawling sucks.