Polaris Looking to Broaden Appeal of Slingshot

Company expanding line-up of three-wheelers.

by on Feb.08, 2018

Polaris is expanding its line-up of its three-wheeled Slingshot with the Grand Touring edition.

The Slingshot built by Minneapolis, Minnesota-based Polaris Inc. occupies a unique segment all of its own.

Polaris has sold more than 25,000 three-wheeled Slingshots since it was introduced three years ago and its plans to show off the newest addition to the product line, the Slingshot Grand Touring version, which sells for just under $30,000 at the Chicago Auto Show press preview.

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The Slingshot is technically classified as a motorcycle but it as large and as rugged as some small automobiles since it weighs 1,700 pounds and is equipped with a 2.5-liter General Motors engine that produces 173 horsepower.

The engine is matched up with a five-speed manual transmission with an automotive style clutch and comes equipped with two comfortable automobile type seats, according Garrett Moore, manager of the Slingshot product line at Polaris. The emissions meet the EPA’s standards for motorcycles.

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The new Slingshot offers some protection from the elements with new roof panels.

“It’s classified as a motorcycle,” said Moore. “But we fell it’s a white space vehicle all by itself.”

The biggest markets since it launched are in Florida and Texas, but it also does well in the New York metropolitan area, Moore said. The owners generally have multiple vehicles and the Slingshot has had to compete for toy money with sports cars, motorcycles and boats, he said.

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But Polaris has done well enough with the vehicle with its three wheels that it has expanded the product line with features such as an automotive-style touchscreen that can be used for entertainment, navigation and a Bluetooth connection. However, it doesn’t have a heater making it tough to drive in winter weather.

Nonetheless, some Slingshot owners are using it as their daily commuter, Moore said.

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The Slingshot is built in a new plant in Huntsville, Alabama, right alongside the Polaris Ranger a small, pickup truck like utility vehicle that competes with John Deere’s popular Gator. Polaris itself is a $5 billion company with more than 10,000 employees worldwide now that builds a variety of vehicles such as snowmobiles, ATV and Indian Motorcycles.

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