The Polaris Slingshot Is One of the Craziest Vehicles On Sale

published on July 18, 2020

This is a 2018 Polaris slingshot and it really is one of the craziest vehicles you can buy for one thing just look at it they call it a motorcycle but you can sit in it and it has a steering wheel and seatbelts but it's not a car because it has no doors and no roof and only

Three wheels what it really is is insane and today I'm going to review it I've borrowed this slingshot from CNC motors which is an exotic car dealership here in Southern California that has a truly amazing inventory of everything from old

Vintage SUVs and trucks to multi-million dollar exotic super cars to weird stuff like the slingshot they have an incredible showroom and you can check out their inventory by clicking the link in the description below so let's talk

Slingshot these came out for the 2015 moly year and the starting price is around twenty thousand dollars if you buy one new it's sort of a cross between a car and a motorcycle and in fact in most states it's classified as an auto

Cycle which means you can drive it with a regular driver's license and you don't need a special motorcycle license that makes sense because it certainly isn't operated like a traditional motorcycle for one thing yes it in it although in

Is a bit of a stretch because it doesn't have doors or windows or a roof but it is set up like a car with a steering wheel and seats and pedals and it even has a car engine a 175 horsepower 24 liter four-cylinder borrowed from

General Motors the same engine and the Chevy Cobalt and the Pontiac Solstice but I wouldn't exactly call it a car either because it is three wheels and I mean look at it I don't really know how to classify this thing which is

Precisely why I need to review it so today I'm going to do just that first I'm gonna take you on a tour of slingshot and I'm going to show you all of its interesting quirks and features then I'm gonna get it out on the road

And drive it and then I'm going to give it a dug score alright I'm gonna start the quicksand features of the slingshot with a brief discussion of what it is now it's manufactured by Polaris which is a

Company that's mainly known for snowmobiles ATVs off-roaders that sort of thing but now they have this which is a little bit more suitable to driving on the street now the slingshot has two seats as you can see and it has three

Wheels you have two wheels up front and one Center mounted wheel in the back and of course you also have this daring kind of attention-grabbing styling which is pretty cool or kind of excessive depending on your point of view

Now these slingshots have become popular in warm areas that don't get much weather they sell a roof but it's not how this should be enjoyed so you see them a lot in Southern California and then the winter in Florida Arizona that

Kind of thing that's where they're most common as for how the slingshot is used I think the theory is it's more practical than a motorcycle but it still gives you kind of the same open air fast driving thrill and they're not all that

Expensive like I said they start at 20 grand new this one is a couple years old and it's even cheaper it's a pretty good bargain for something that's so fun and so head-turning but moving on from a general overview to a few the basics of

The slingshot one is the fact that it's rear-wheel drive even though there's only a single wheel back here this is the drive wheel it is very much rear-wheel drive and not rear wheels drive and next up we move on to the

Front and I want to talk about the powertrain but first I want to talk about opening the hood because it's a rather unusual process right here under the slingshot logo in front you have a little latch you push that latch down

And then the hood the engine cover is released now it's forward hinge so usually that means you go to the back and open it up but not in the case of the slingshot instead you pull from the front and then you can kind of pull it

Down and forward and that opens it up and gives you access to the engine very unusual for a front hinged hood and next up now that we're under the hood I want to talk about the engine because this is a rather odd one like I mentioned this

Is a 24 liter 4 cylinder that was borrowed from General Motors this is the same engine in the Chevy Cobalt and in the base model version of the Saturn Sky and the Pontiac Solstice and it makes about a hundred and

Seventy-five horsepower now that may not sound all that impressive because the cobalt versions that use this engine weren't exactly high performance exciting cars but this weighs only about seventeen hundred and fifty pounds so

It's a lot lighter than the Cobalt and that very much transforms the driving experience even if you have the cobalt engine and next up before I climb inside another rather important detail like I mentioned this is classified as an auto

Cycle in most states meaning you don't need a motorcycle license to drive it but that also means that it kind of bridges the gap between automobile and motorcycle in terms of regulations and it doesn't have to qualify for all the

Same regulations a typical car does for instance there's no windshield well there is kind of a windshield but not really that's all you get in this thing there's also no airbags because an auto cycle apparently doesn't need airbags

Even though they're mandatory on cars sold here in North America and next up here's another one that I love I've told you in many videos that headlights in taillights on North American cars have to be on a fixed piece they can't be on

Something moveable because then when you move it you won't be able to see them in the slingshot that remains true the headlights are on a fixed piece but you can see that when the hood is open the hood is blocking the headlights

Completely which kind of defeats the spirit of that regulation but nonetheless this thing complies technically but there are many more regulations that the slingshot doesn't comply with and that's proven the moment

You get inside because there's a decal right in the center console that specifically says this vehicle does not conform to the requirements of the dynamic or static test set out in this motor vehicle safety standard now I

Don't know what exactly that safety standard is but it's a little disconcerting when you get into a vehicle and the very most prominent label is one that tells you it doesn't comply with certain safety standards

Interesting now next up another thing you notice immediately when you climb inside in that area is the transmission because this is a manual now this sunshine came out for the 2015 model year like I mentioned and they were all

Manuals until now they are just finally coming out with an automatic for 2020 but all the earlier slingshots you needed three petals and a true manual transmission but anyway next it comes time to start the slingshot and the key

Is rather unusual it looks like a regular key but the slingshot logo is this absurd like triangle thing it looks like an 80s metal band logo but that's what they've gone with here very strange key but the starting

Procedure is relatively similar to a lot of other cars you just stick the key in in the steering column in the normal place you turn it and then you have to push the starter button in this vehicle the starter button is rather unusually

Labeled it's this big red button in the center with an arrow and a lightning bolt on it for some reason and it lights up when you turn the car into the accessories position so you know what to press anyway you press that and the

Slingshot comes to life and next up another interesting control in the slingshot is over to the left of the steering wheel where you have the turn signal stalk interesting for two reasons one is because it's borrowed from the

Volvo 850 th was sold from 93 to 97 here in North America and for some reason the slingshot carries on its legacy with the same signal stock the other interesting thing about this signal stalk is then it

Has controls on it for cruise control you can see on/off resumes set all your cruise controls are on there so does the slingshot actually have cruise control yes it does not adaptive cruise control won't speed up or slow down but there's

Cruise control in this little thing pretty crazy and next up another notable item in here is another warning label that I absolutely love it's in the middle between the seats and it says warning this is a motorcycle you keep

Going down and it says driver must be at least 16 occupants must be able to sit with back against the seat and feet firmly on the floorboards this is the equivalent of a you must be at least this tall to ride this ride sign that

You see it amusement parks except here it is inside the vehicle that you own I find that to be hilarious but I guess they had to put it in there for safety reasons still pretty funny now the next thing you know

When you're sitting in this cart motorcycle auto vehicle is that everything in here is pretty crappy nothing is really all that nice in this interior but there's a reason for that this is open topped and

Even though they sell one with a roof it still isn't exactly enclosed so everything here has to be durable enough to get rained on if you accidentally leave it outside or you get caught in a rainstorm so everything is kind of a

Durable plastic you have a plastic steering wheel in here you have a plastic gear lever doesn't really feel as nice as a leather one but it's necessary for the type of vehicle this is and the parking brake is also

Plastic kind of crappy looking but again it's essential for what this is and it's the same deal with the seats you don't have nice leather seats with power adjustment in here instead you have these fairly simple seats with this

Durable fabric on them in case you get caught out in a rainstorm in this seats get wet you wouldn't want them to get damaged now as for the technology in this vehicle there's not really all that much although you do have a center

Screen you can see it's flanked by four buttons on the Left four on the right and it says slingshot in huge print on the bottom but this screen has pretty limited functionality you can see over on the right the button on the bottom

Will change the mode you're in so AM FM Bluetooth the stereo mode that sort of thing above that you have a few other buttons to adjust the radio you can see tune plus or minus to scroll through different radio stations and you can

Also scroll through presets below that now over on the left a few more buttons also fairly simple on the bottom you have the phone you could hook up bluetooth to this and then talk on the phone while you're driving in your open

Air slingshot I'm sure that will be very pleasant for whoever you're calling you also have your volume controls here unfortunately if volume is buttons that you tap rather than a dial which is very annoying but that's what they've decided

To do now below that screen in the center I already showed you the engines starter button but below that you have four switches two of which are blank which makes me wonder what kind of luxuries are we missing out on

In this slingshot but below that the other two switches are active the one on the left will turn on and off traction control pretty standard and the one on the right will turn on and off the hazard lights in case you become a

Hazard in your slingshot and next up another interesting item in this center console area you have cupholders and not just one but two plural cupholders so you can drive around with a nice little beverage as you drive your slingshot

They've really thought of all the stuff that truly matter strangely though there is a warning label that says you need to wear a full helmet while driving this vehicle you can clearly see there's even an image of what the helmet should look

Like when you're wearing one of those you can't easily drink so why include cup holders I think Polaris realizes most people are gonna ignore that Pole helmet thing and next up we move on to the gauge cluster a

Couple of notable items in here one is this little black button kind of on the top of the steering column if you press that it will cycle through various different vehicle information displays on your left gauge cluster screen it'll

Show you your mileage your fuel economy your range all that sort of stuff in case you want to check on any of those things while you're driving to me though the more interesting and hilarious item in the gauge cluster is the fact that

This speedometer goes up to 220 miles an hour admittedly the numbers above 120 start to get smaller but still that's probably the most optimistic speedometer I've ever seen can you imagine going to 20 in a three-wheeled vehicle with no

Windshield and the engine from a Chevy Cobalt it's probably not gonna happen and next up another interesting item in the slingshot if you're thinking interior storage there's really not much and you

Wouldn't really expect that because all the usual places like door panels don't exist in here but you do have a glove box over on the passenger side right where the glove box isn't basically every other car you can open this up and

Put documents or paperwork in there that you need and next up what other item you don't have in here is a rear view mirror you do have rear view mirrors on the outside just like basically every other vehicle there manual

Kind of just press on them to adjust them but you don't have a center rearview mirror since there's no windshield or ceiling to mount it on so you really have to come to rely on those wing mirrors on the outside or just kind

Of looking over your shoulder since it's not like there's much bodywork blocking your visibility and next up moving back outside the slingshot there are a few more notable items I want to point out in back one of which is the brake lights

They just looked so cool and distinctive and interesting kind of coming off of the bodywork like this and you can also see the turn signals here right next to the brake lights also have a very distinctive look

You won't mistake this for anything else not that you would anyway my very favorite piece of lighting back here though is the third brake light it's right in the middle and you can see unlike other third brake lights it's

Vertical it kind of points straight up from the back of the vehicle towards the passenger compartment and it just looks really cool it's a nice creative way to get a third brake light into this rather in the hospitable design and by the way

Since I'm around back it's worth noting that the fuel cap is back here it's on this piece of bodywork behind the driver seat this little circle you just twist this little cap it opens up and that's where you put fuel in your slingshot by

The way one other interesting lighting related item with the slingshot you go into the interior and you won't find a switch to turn on the headlights there's no button no switch no lever nothing this baffled me how do you turn the

Headlights in this thing and then I realized they're always on every time you turn on the slingshot the lights go on with it and actually you can see the headlights are labeled next to the ignition switch showing which headlight

Turns on with which ignition switch position it's rather interesting now as for the headlights themselves there are four of them you have two on the outsides like a normal car and then you have two more circles in the middle so

We have kind of four headlights in a very distinctive headlight shape if you want the brights to come on the high beams you pull back on the turn signal stalk and that lights up the middle headlights even more for a high beam

Projection like in a normal car except in the center and finally one more notable item are back is the license plate now like I keep saying this is classified as an auto cycle in most states but it gets a

Motorcycle license plate but like I've been saying most states you don't need a motorcycle license to drive it it's a bit of a conundrum in terms of regulation but even a regular person like me can drive this thing so time to

Do that but first I have to get inside although I will say getting in and out of this is a lot easier than some of the other open cockpit racing road cars I've reviewed like the Ariel Atom and the BAC mono allow me to demonstrate

Getting in is really pretty simply you just kind of put your feet over put your butt down and you're in you're sitting on the seat and you're ready to go getting out is a little bit more difficult but really not all that much

Harder you just kind of climb out and you're ready it's pretty simple getting in and out of this thing really not that big of a deal and so those are the quicksand features of the Polaris slingshot now it's time to get it out on

The road and see how it drives aren't like driving the slingshot now you're supposed to wear a helmet in this thing for two reasons one is a safety reason because it's very open and it's kind of like a motorcycle and the other is just

Pure comfort because there's no and so there's a lot of wind but I would say where I live I leave every week or so and most people aren't wearing elements you're supposed to but and plus I think they drive my convertible Land

Rover with not much safety protection over me I feel okay about it I wouldn't drive this more than a little bit with no helmet no for the comfort issue alone it feels nice and usable and fun easy-to-read match easy to clutch in and

Out shifter doesn't feel rubbery nice you do feel unusually open in this thing which is of course because you are I mean no doors you can see the road right next to you can just kind of reach out and the whole world is around it's a

Little bit of a disconcerting feeling to be totally honest a lot of wind it might be nice if you plan on I'm only gonna drive this thing a little bit around sort of low-speed roads if you plan on actually driving it

My helmet is absolutely crucial I think the experience in terms of steering and handling this is actually more exciting than I was expecting it to be it's a lot of fun to throw it around the steering is pretty tight there's a little more

Body roll than I was thinking there would be given its size and weight and I suspect that's because there's no two back wheels to stabilize it so the car kind of moves a little bit more than you think it would I actually find this to

Be a ton of fun it's not something I would want to do often and I don't love being so exposed there's certainly a safety risk there especially in a vehicle that'll do 220 I will say one downside for me is the powertrain even

Though 170 horsepower in a vehicle this size should make it move pretty well and it does it's pretty quick the engine is not an aggressive one this was not a sports car motor it's a kind of average force

And so it's not like you access more power by getting high on the rev range it's not like it's tremendously exciting or aggressive or thrilling as you accelerate it's fine it's relatively quick but there's just not that much

Drama to sitting in here is not as uncomfortable as I expected it to be because no helmet getting a lot of wind ROG but the seat actually feels nice you have a good amount of room my legs are okay my fees are okay and getting in and

Out as I demonstrate it is not really all that it's not a really a daily useable vehicle and so that's the Polaris slingshot call it a car call it a motorcycle whatever it's ridiculous it's open it's

Crazy-looking it's uncomfortable it's bizarre I would never own this thing but for the right person it is absolutely perfect and I'm glad they made it because I love weird stuff like this and I'm thrilled I

Finally got the chance to check out the slingshot and now it's time to give this thing a dug score and the dug score is 51 out of 100 with a much higher showing in the weekend categories than the daily scores is expected here's the slingshot

Compared to rivals and you can see where it lands far behind the BAC mono and the Ariel Atom which are considerably more focused track cars the slingshot is really just for fun and it's good at that earning a fun factor of nine out of

Ten higher than the n/a Mazda Miata wear the slingshot falters of course is practicality features comfort but that's to be expected no one is gonna use one of these as their only vehicle as a fun weekend toy however it's surprisingly

Quick and really exciting given the top-down open-air driving experience personally I would rather have a Miata considering that it's more usable but the slingshot is definitely more thrilling giving them it's faster and

Just more insane and weird and head-turning overall this is a cool car motorcycle thing that's a lot of fun in very limited circumstances

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