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Polaris Slingshot Drive


Frisky Dingo

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Unfortunately not long enough to do a full on review of it, but enough to get some quick impressions.

So I sold a customer a new Equinox the other day, and while waiting he told me he was awaiting his new Slingshot.  I told him to bring by sometime, and lo and behold he did. He came by the dealer after having picked it up about an hour earlier, and let me take it for a quick spin.

The thing really looks cool in person. It's wide and all edges and hard angles and just looks super aggressive. I thought we were going to cause a wreck driving it through town.

Ergonomics are surprisingly good. It's fairly easy to get into, and decently comfortable once you do. You sit upright in a firm seat with your legs pretty much straight out ahead of you. Road visibility everywhere but straight back is obviously awesome. 

It goes without saying that the driving experience is what's selling these things, and I have to say, it delivers on that front. The clutch is really light, but smooth and progressive. In contrast to that is the brake and throttle pedal, which are both firm, and have short travel. It took a little bit to get the hang of getting away from a stop smoothly without bogging it. The shifter is just fantastic, with super precise gates, and a quick, light action.

Cornering ability is predictably immense. The steering is quick and accurate with virtually no slop. It is rather heavy, though. Very BMW-ish heft to it. My shivering from the cold was actually causing minute directional changes it's so sensitive. Body roll is totally absent, which is an oddity. There's just a load of g's pressing against you body. The ride was firm, but not bad.

The engine was the surprise for me, as I expected it to feel lethargic and coarse as it does in the Kappa cars. It really doesn't though. Idk if there's some specific clutch/flywheel/engine tuning/combo-of-those-things going on or what, but the engine wasn't the letdown that I feared. Response was good, sound was surprisingly good, and it struck a nice balance of willingness to rev and low-end torque to get away from a stop. It pushed it down the road pretty quickly, as one might imagine. There was little to no driveline lash which was a big plus.

Overall, it was a really fun vehicle to drive. What amazed me was just how complete of a package it felt like. It didn't feel like it was cobbled together in a shop, but rather like an R&D team really worked to get this thing right. Wind buffeting was very minimal, even at highway speeds, and it's easy to hold a conversation with your passenger at anything below.

The one I drove was the loaded model and was something like $24,000. It's hard to judge the value of such a vehicle when viewed objectively. It's of course possible to buy a used Miata or even S2000 for much less, but even they are lacking the directness and purity of the Slingshot. Which of course calls into question it's place vs a motorcycle. The thing here is that it still functions and drives like a car, not a bike. The concept may be similar between the two, but they go about it completely differently. It really is a very unique driving experience that offers a lot of fun for what is ultimately not an outrageous amount of coin.   

 

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