TodayApril 15, 2022

Sling around a sweeper and repeat – Slingshot

Driving the redesigned 2018 Slingshot models through iconic Malibu canyons of southern California reminds me of how my smile correlates to a sweeper’s apex and my right foot’s whooping rhythm of repeat and return driving cadence.

Polaris began their three wheeled Slingshot adventure in 2014, sling forward to 2018 and you can reflect on the initial design’s upgrades.

Racer heritage Sparco® steering wheel, shifter, and pedal covers are standard for all SLR and SLR LE Slingshot models. The power plant is GM’s 2.4-liter, 2384 CC, 5-speed transmission, delivering 173horsepower @ 7300rpm, with 166 ft-lbs @ 4700 RPM across the Slingshot model lineup.

Upfront is forged aluminum, 18.7x7.5 J wheels (17x7 J for the entry level model S) while the single rear wheel is either a forged aluminum, 20x11 J (models SLR LE, SLR) or 20x09 J (models SL, S) size.

The single power wheel behind the two bucket seat shell connects the transmission to a driving belt with an aluminum center and cast iron brake rotors for the stoppage.

cast iron brake rotors

cast iron brake rotors

All models come standard with ABS disk brakes; software assisted speed sensing electronic power steering combined with rocker switch controlled traction & stability control for amped-up driving dynamics.

Driving Dynamics

I come from a motorbike, aviator background. Four wheel land vehicle functionality is synonymous with transportation after the thrill of inherent always-in-motion motorbike two wheels or aviation tail-wheel landing dynamics. The Slingshot concept bridges these worlds. Polaris claims their design won’t roll over versus a leaned over motorbike in a sweeper on the edge of a tire’s wall, or the tail-wheel aircraft’s desire to switch sides and ground loop.

All machines are compromised for levels of skill, comfort, and physics. Polaris offers the enthusiast a land transport model that is unique. A go-cart experience without the ubiquitous cart. A motorbike with a wheel, pedal, and stability with giggles of in-the-world presence.

Top of the line model Slingshot SLR LE

The Slingshot SLR LE starts at $30,999, (California MSRP $31,299) and has the massive 305mm wide rear tire and 10-way adjustable Bilstein shock. “Inside” the topless cabin hear the sweet sounds of a 200-Watt Rockford Fosgate® Audio, seven-inch glove capable display with GPS navigation called Ride Command. Also in the SLR model, Bluetooth/USB with the twentieth century AM/FM and bonus Weather channel. Top of the line Slingshot also contains a backup Camera and “Projector beam headlights and LED taillights.”

NAV system in slingshot

NAV system in slingshot

Next in line, Slingshot SLR model

Slingshot SLR starts at $28,999 (California MSRP $29,299) and has SLR LE components including the 305mm wide rear tire and the Ride Command with Navigation

Slingshot SL model with top of the line options offered

Slingshot SL starts at $25,499 (California MSRP $25,799) offers the 7″ screen as an optional accessory, and replacing the 20x11 J rear wheel with a cast aluminum, 20x9 J, with optional Ride Command with Navigation. The Navigation software upgrade is an added accessory package.

Slingshot S model entry level

Slingshot S starts at $19,999 (California MSRP $20,299) with a modest 17x7 J front wheels and cast aluminum, 18x9.5 J power wheel.

Slingshot Accessories for all

Rear fenders, 265mm $699.99 US (not available in Canada)
305mm $799.99 US (not available in Canada), 200-Watt Rockford Fosgate® Audio, $799.99 US $999.99 CAN (standard in SLR LE, and SLR models), and quilted “comfort seat” $799.99 US $999.99 Canada plus the just released hatch cover option.

Slingshot baby

Slingshot baby

Lou Ann Hammond

Lou Ann Hammond is the CEO of Carlist and Driving the Nation. She is the co-host of Real Wheels Washington Post carchat every Friday morning and is the Automotive, energy correspondent for The John Batchelor Show and a Contributor to Automotive Electronics magazine headquartered in Korea. Hammond is a founding member of the Women's World Car of the Year #WWCOTY, and board member of the Women in Automotive.

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