Polaris Slingshot – Less than 2 tons, only 3 Wheels

Track weapons, if you need one, it’s a great time to be alive.  Well, nobody needs one, but we all want one and Minnesota based Polaris Industries is bringing you an interesting alternative.  Assuming you don’t believe you need four wheels.  Oddly enough, Polaris has had joint ventures with KTM, maker of the X-Bow, and Brammo, former maker of the Ariel Atom here in the States.  So in theory, they have learned a thing or two over the years and decided to bring their own vehicle to market.  But before we get started, let’s take a moment to read the disclaimer as it says a lot about today’s featured, um, vehicle.

Sound advice, all of it.  Stay safe folks.

Meet the Slingshot, the latest in personal fun vehicles from Polaris.  Maker of ATVs, snowmobilPolaris Slingshot SLes, and other small, fun vehicles, Polaris have historically sourced engines for their craft (which are all land based now, no more watercraft) to a Fuji Heavy Industries subsidiary called Robin.  So there is a very strange linkage to Subaru going on in this story, which may make you ask if this thing has a Boxer engine.  Nope!  It sports a 176-horsepower 2.4L EcoTec engine.  Nothing groundbreaking from the power standpoint, the Atom we just previewed has just over twice that.  However, just like the Atom, the Slingshot is light.  Not quite the 1400 super light weight the Ariel is, but at just under 1750lbs. the Polaris is no heavyweight.

Polaris SlingshotAnd it’s not that expensive either.  While the Atom comes in at over $60K, the base Slingshot starts at $19,999 with the SL model starting with an MSRP of $23,999.  They’ll even finance it for you.  That’s entry level track day fun for entry level sports car money.  Base model Slingshots will come with the basics, no frills, no heated seats or navigation.  The SL gets you some electronics including bluetooth, back-up camera, a media console w/USB, bigger wheels (18″ vs. 17″, forged vs. cast), and…paint!  I could see Slingshot buyers falling into two camps, track rats who want the bare bones model and motorcycle riders who want something larger then their bike but want some creature comforts to help on a longer ride.  So it makes sense to cater to a variety of buyers.

Polaris Slingshot

As you can see above, it’s elemental, but you get two bins that will each fit a helmet and a bag.  So if you pack light for your track weekend, you and your wife, husband, partner, friend, can drive there together and spend the weekend.  Damn thing even has a lockable glove box.  For your fucking driving gloves.  That’s great.

Polaris Slingshot

I used the “customize” function and built my own.  I started elemental, I’m a track guy after all, and went with the base model.  No frills.  Well, maybe a windscreen.  Bigger wheels look nice.  Oh, I’ve gone and spent almost as much as the SL model.  Interesting, maybe that’s a good deal after all.

So it’s a motorcycle, sort of.  That’s good news from a registration and certification standpoint, much less hoops for Polaris and the buyer to jump through.  But is it worth your $20K?  We think yes, you can’t get this much curb presence and raw power to weight for $20K in many other vehicles.  However, as with the Atom we would love a chance to try it for ourselves.  Polaris, you know how to reach us!