Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Not QUITE It...

Saw this the other day. It's not what I'm looking for, but it's still pretty damn neat.

Polaris Slingshot.

(I linked to the "Customize" section because the main section is some autoplay bulls**t.)

Now, it's slick-looking as hell. With a 173 horsepower, 2.4L engine coupled to a five-speed manual transmission-and a dry weight of only 1700 pounds-I suspect it ought to move pretty well (I thought I saw a 0-60 time of 6 seconds, but I can't confirm. If that's the case, it's rather disappointing - the Mustang 5.0 could do that in the late 1980s). With rear wheel drive and a near-perfect weight distribution, I'll bet it handles like a dream.

But it has drawbacks, and lots of them. First and foremost, the price. $24K, not counting extras, and it's not even covered. Second, since it's an open cockpit design, it requires a helmet in most states that mandate them for motorcycles. Third, I mentioned the open cockpit - kinda negates the year-round aspect if you're going to freeze in the winter and drown in the rain. There's a disturbing lack of specs - I don't see the 0-60 times nor the fuel economy listed. I would imagine both would be robust, but still...

For my needs, the Slingshot doesn't work.

Now, if you think it's cool, and you want something different than the Camaro convertible that set your 50-something neighbor back $45K, this may very well be it. I'm sure it's got power in spades and can carve corners like there's no tomorrow. The minimalist roadster look means you'll spend a lot less time washing it, and with the windscreen and low profile, even if you are out in the rain, it won't be that bad. At $24K, it's moderately cheap for a mid-life crisis sports car, and it has the cachet of being much different than the Mustang or Corvette.

But again, this is not what I am looking for. If I wanted something that moved and handled well but still got me wet in the rain, I'd get a Ducati or CBR at half the price. The beauty of the Elio is that I can drive it year-round and in the rain - oh, and I can buy a new one, with a three year warranty, for less than the price of a decent used car. Is that worth risking a less-than-carlike safety rating? Heck yeah. I ride an actual motorcycle. I know risk.

The Slingshot is cool as heck, but I'll wait a bit longer for my Elio...

That is all.


libertyman said...

I am doubtful the Elio will see the light of day. The investment to manufacture any quantity of card requires someone like Elon Musk and his billions with a bunch of gazillionaire friends.
A few deposits from an eager customer base won't pay for the tooling to mass produce, well, anything.
I think a used Civic would meet your commuter needs, and it is a real car made by a real company.

libertyman said...

"a quantity of cars"
Damned iPhone & eyesight.

Ted said...

Looks to me like they said "well if KTM can build a track day toy like the crossbow then we can too. Then the marketing department and the legal team got involved and they wound up with this underpowered compromise --- good luck finding a market for that

Dave H said...

Looks to me like they're trying to fill the niche between "Can-Am Spyder" and "real car." I never saw much need for the Spyder in the first place - it looks like a motorcycle with training wheels to me - but there are plenty on the road around here so somebody must find them appealing.

Differnt strokes I guess.