The Campagna T-Rex finally has a worthy competitor in this, the 173-horsepower Polaris Slingshot. Yes, do be afraid. Very afraid.
Up until now, there was barely anything in the world of high-performance three-wheelers that could challenge the mighty Campagna T-Rex. That might just have changed though, with Polaris having unveiled the badass Slingshot, which is powered by a DOHC, 16-valve, 2.4-litre four-cylinder engine (an 'EcoTec' engine, sourced from General Motors) that produces 173 horsepower at 6200rpm, and 225Nm of torque at 4700 revs. With a kerb weight of 790 kilos, the Slingshot's power-to-weight ratio is definitely not comparable to that of a contemporary litre-class superbike. But if nothing else, the Slingshot should at least be able to corner harder and faster than almost any two-wheeled motorcycle...
Noteworthy bits on the new Polaris Slingshot include its light and stiff steel spaceframe, aluminum swingarm, carbonfibre-reinforced drive belt, forged aluminum roll hoops, electronic stability and traction control, ABS (on all three wheels) and 3-point seatbelts. "The Slingshot was designed to deliver head turning exhilaration on two dimensions. First is the exhilaration that you can see, hear, and feel while riding in it. And second is the exhilaration you feel when people turn their heads to stare at the Slingshot's unique and exotic styling," says Mike Jonikas, a Vice President at Polaris.
With side-by-side seating for two, including the driver (rider?), the US$19,999 Slingshot rolls on 17-inch (front) and 18-inch (rear) wheels, while the more expensive (US$23,999) Slingshot SL gets 18-inch forged aluminium wheels at the front, a 20-inch rear wheel, a windscreen for some wind protection, a 'media console' with a 4.3-inch LCD screen, back-up camera, Bluetooth integration, and a 6-speaker audio system.
For anyone who might be wondering, yes, the Polaris Slingshot definitely is a motorcycle - albeit one with three wheels rather than the usual two. "The Slingshot is a 3-wheeled motorcycle. It is not an automobile, it does not have airbags, and it does not meet automotive safety standards. Three-wheel vehicles may handle differently than other vehicles, especially in wet conditions. Always wear helmets and fasten seat belts. Drivers may need a valid motorcycle endorsement," says a press note from Polaris.
Hmmm. We think the Polaris Slingshot is cool. Very, very cool. And should be an absolute blast to ride. Can't wait for Tiff Needell & Co. to get their hands on this one!