"We can do it, these three-wheelers are all a bit crappy", i answered my colleague florian’s question as to whether we should present polaris’ new truck called "slingshot" should bring. My experience with "two wheels in the front, one wheel in the back" have been rather disappointing. Can-am’s spyder, for example, combined the disadvantages of cars with those of motorcycles and mixed in its own disadvantages as well. The result was a vehicle that was tricky to control, slower than a motorcycle in corners, as slow as a car when accelerating, and so wide you couldn’t cut through traffic. It was almost as physically handicapped as driving a sidecar. "Now drive it first", said the polaris man to my tricycle experiences calmly. And after three turns it was clear that polaris had somehow managed to build a tricycle that could handle car cornering speeds.
In the width
How polaris has managed to do this quickly becomes clear when you stand in front of the vehicle or the technical data. The track is simply brutally wide at the front at 1755 mm. The overall width of the slingshot is 1971 mm, which is close to the maximum permitted for this class of vehicle. The main weight of the engine, transmission, tubular steel frame and even a good part of the passenger weight rests on this wide axle. Even with two din passengers, over 60 percent of the weight is still on the front axle. The servo-assisted steered wheels are guided by double wishbones. A bus-sized stabilizer bar cushions against chassis roll in curves. The rear wheel is mounted on a cast aluminum swingarm and is driven by a toothed belt. Polaris has mounted the pulley on a pulley shaft at the end of the cardan shaft. Kenda, the korean tire manufacturer, has supplied strabensport tires for this purpose, and although everyone doubted whether they had the necessary experience to do so: these tires work very well. They build sport tire grip and facilitate trial and error actions with their soft limit range.
Polaris buys the engine and funfgang transmission from gm: 2.4 liter displacement, naturally aspirated, in-line four-cylinder, 175 hp, 227 nm. So, because of the engine one buys the part in any case not. It is just any drive. No, the reason polaris says it’s been running since its september 2014 launch is between 15.000 and 20.The best-selling car in the u.S. Is the toyota gt86: there is no other vehicle that is so fast and so easy to control. Even with all driving aids switched on, polaris allows significant swerves, which it catches with amazing smoothness. When the traction control is switched off, the wheel travels really far and leaves scent trails of rubber smoke in the small aisles of the cornering landscape. Although the vehicle has such a simple design, the control goodness impressed all test drivers. My personal theory is that the esp rate-of-turn sensors receive very clear, unambiguous signal deflections due to the very short vehicle and the control software can correct the practically massless rear axle from this by very small interventions at the front.
You drive this tricycle completely over the front axle. The rear axle pushes at the back tailing like those hyperactive children who accelerate their parents’ shopping carts into the sausage counter. From the seat, the rider can tell the position of both wheels by their sail-like, coarse fenders. A standard low window sits in front of the passengers. It can be removed or exchanged for a double bubble. Since there are three-point belts and roll bars, you can choose whether to ride with or without a helmet. Personally, i had to remove the windshield, because its upper edge cuts my field of vision exactly in the middle, and from about 110 km. Then better to have a motorcycle helmet on directly. You can of course ride without a helmet, just as you can ride a motorcycle with an open helmet. In practice, people who ride relevant distances will wear full-face helmets, because wind that kneads the cheeks and stings them with wasps is perceived as somewhat uncomfortable in the long run. Like the seats, the cockpit has water drains. The slingshot can therefore be completely carted off like polaris’ landing thing and stand around like a motorcycle in the rain.