Polaris Slingshot

It’s a motorbike with cupholderspolaris-slingshot

And now for something completely different. The Polaris Slingshot (great name, eh?) isn’t technically a car, nor is it a bike, but a trike; a sort of unidentified three-wheeled object you can legally drive on either a car or motorcycle licence, and without a helmet if you’re not particularly sentimental about your face. (Its American makers, who describe the Slingshot as a three-wheeled motorcycle, sensibly advise a full-face lid, however.)

Resembling a partially dismembered KTM X-Bow, it’s powered by a GM-sourced 2.4-litre car engine, rigged to the solitary rear wheel by a belt and a five-speed H-pattern gearbox.

The hose-downable interior, mostly made from adventure playground-spec plastics, includes a (surprisingly audible) radio with Bluetooth, luggage lockers behind the seats, even cupholders. (You can tell it’s American).

If you’re expecting a Caterham-sharp drive you’ll be disappointed; the power-assisted steering is vague and the Slingshot isn’t all that fussed about changing direction quickly. But it is a huge amount of fun. Ambling along in the open air of a balmy summer’s day, even Thom Yorke could crack a smile behind the Slingshot’s wheel.

It’s not quite as quick as you might expect, and could do with a more charismatic engine, but the rear tyre (and hard-working traction control system) can easily be overwhelmed. Braver souls tell me burnouts and powerslides are there for the taking.

Price? Far cheaper than a Morgan 3 Wheeler, if less charming. As a summer weekend toy for the head case who has everything, there’s undeniable appeal here. Put that in the brochure!

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