Polaris Slingshot 2016 review

Buffeting is minimised so that you can drive without a helmet (perfectly legal in the UK) – unless you’re very tall, perhaps. Why three wheels? “Why not?” replies Polaris. That was true on the dry Spanish roads of our test, at least – what it’s like on wet roads might be more interesting. The cabin is dominated by rubbery waterproof seats. You certainly won’t be disappointed by the Slingshot if you’re an exhibitionist.

The Slingshot, though, is an utterly unique proposition. Here’s a trike that’s all about extreme performance – and extreme fun. However, you need to exercise more care at low speeds, when the back end will happily slither around if you’re too enthusiastic on the throttle. It’s hardly the sportiest-sounding unit, though, and the feeling of rather agricultural mechanicals is compounded by wooden-feeling steering, non-assisted brakes and a whining noise from the rear end. But after driving the Slingshot on some very twisty high-speed roads, we can definitively put that objection to bed.

You don’t feel too exposed despite the lack of doors or roof, and only a tiny wind deflector ahead of you. There’s literally nothing else like it, both to look at or to drive. When you think of three-wheelers, do you instantly picture Del https://cars45.co.ke/listing/hyundai/elantra/1993 Boy’s yellow Reliant van?

If so, it’s time to recalibrate your instruments.

Polaris Slingshot 2016 review

Head-turning looks and a totally unique driving experience make the Slingshot the ultimate exhibitionists car, but it has its flaws

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p>The Slingshot is an hilariously outrageous machine. Moving away from standstill can be hilarious: even gentle acceleration sees the single rear tyre – driven by a carbon-reinforced belt – squeal and smoke. Ultra-stiff front suspension all but eliminates body roll, and the huge 18-inch wheels offer masses of front-end grip. You may well be thinking that the three-wheel layout is inherently unstable.

Welcome to the extraordinary Slingshot, the brainchild of Polaris – an American brand you might be familiar with if you’ve ever ridden a snowmobile, ATV or Indian motorbike. Its extraordinary mash-up of science fiction shapes turns more heads than anything we’ve driven in recent times. You’d better like red, though – the Slingshot is available in any colour you like, so long as it’s Red Pearl. As long as you adopt a ‘slow in, fast out’ cornering approach, you can place the Polaris with impressive confidence. This is the only mainstream ‘sit-in’ three-wheeler on sale in the UK, other than the Morgan – which is about as far away in character as you can get from the Slingshot.

But Polaris has got the safety side of things fundamentally right, with traction and stability control working well to rein in any nervousness. Luxuries include USB ports, Bluetooth and a reversing camera, while large lockable pods behind the seats offer enough space for squashy bags. At £22,999, it’s a lot cheaper than Morgan’s Three-Wheeler, but that doesn’t mean it makes much sense.

It’s left-hand drive only for the time being, although right-hand drive versions may arrive next year. You need to brake and change down gears gently, too, to avoid rear-end twitchiness. This is a feisty performer, thanks to very low weight (786kg) and decent power (171bhp) from the GM-sourced 2.4-litre four-cylinder petrol engine.

Unlike Del Boy’s Reliant, the Slingshot uses two wheels at the front, bringing far superior stability.

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