It isn’t widely known that when the automobile was first invented, it had 3 wheels. Karl Benz called it the “Benz Patent Motorwagen” and it was first shown to the public by Mr Benz and his wife in 1885.
Since then we’ve seen a huge range of 3-wheeled vehicles, perhaps most famously the Morgan Three-Wheeler, and the slightly awkward Reliant Robin of Top Gear and Mr Bean fame. What we hadn’t seen until the Slingshot came along was a 3-wheeled design that genuinely attempted to create a modern performance roadster, using the benefits afforded by the lower weight of the 3-wheeled design.
The Polaris Slingshot is powered by a 173hp/2.4 litre DOHC engine mated to a 5-speed manual transmission, power is fed to the single rear wheel via a carbon fibre reinforced belt drive and it’s all bolted to a lightweight space-frame chassis. The seating capacity is 2, the gross weight is 1,700lbs (771kgs) and it’s licensed as a motorcycle rather than a car – due to the fact that it’s classed as a tricycle.
The Slingshot was only released yesterday, so it’s still early days for the new roadster, though it’ll be interesting to see if a dedicated track-day car will catch on in the United States. In Britain they’ve proven to be hugely popular and with a relatively low starting MSRP of $19,999 USD – the new 3-wheeled Polaris could create itself an interesting new niche.
Click to read more via Polaris.
Articles that Ben has written have been covered on CNN, Popular Mechanics, Smithsonian Magazine, Road & Track Magazine, the official Pinterest blog, the official eBay Motors blog, BuzzFeed, Autoweek Magazine, Wired Magazine, Autoblog, Gear Patrol, Jalopnik, The Verge, and many more.
Silodrome was founded by Ben back in 2010, in the years since the site has grown to become a world leader in the alternative and vintage motoring sector, with well over a million monthly readers from around the world and many hundreds of thousands of followers on social media.