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Brian Champagne's One Word For The Polaris Slingshot

Brian Champagne

With summer in full swing, you may have seen a futuristic three-wheeler on the roads and were at a loss for words to describe it. 

UPR Contributor Brian Champagne got some test time in one and thinks he can boil it down to one word.


You get in it like a canoe, stepping over a small rail and sitting way down. Put on a seat belt, and let the fuel system pressurize while you put on your helmet. Push the gear selector on the automatic, and the craziness starts.


Two of you sit side-by-side. There’s a steering wheel, a windscreen with no wipers, no doors, no roof, no A/C, no heater, no airbags. It weighs 1,300 pounds less than a Honda Civic, the feds call it a motorcycle, but in Utah you don’t have to wear a helmet or have a motorcycle license.183 horsepower from an engine up front goes through an automatic transmission to a single car wheel in back that will spin on gravel.


It goes 0-60 in about five seconds while letting you file your nails on the asphalt racing by if you want.

Crazy. That’s our word for the Slingshot. It’s made by Polaris, the company that makes snowmobiles and A-TVs, and when their PR people hear we called it crazy, they probably won’t loan us one of those, either.



Credit Brian Champagne

Prices start at 20,000, but you can get this crazy three-wheeler with navigation, a backup camera, anda stereo that lets everyone else know you like ABBA. Two storage compartments behind the seats hold helmets or overnight bags.


Kids look up and smile when you pass by. You get a lot of thumbs-up. 


It is crazy to drive so in touch with your surroundings that you actually pay attention to them. As a motorcyle, you can get better parking some places and use the carpool lane. But that’s not crazy. And this is.


Editor's Note: The text of this story has been updated to more accurately explain the motorcycle designation of the Slingshot.

Brian Champagne grew up in the less-famous Central California but left after starting his television news career there. He worked 22 years in news for NBC, ABC, Fox, and CBS affiliates in four markets. He served as chief photographer for KTXL-TV in Sacramento, but worked in front of the camera, too.