aNewDomain – At CES 2015 I had the awesome pleasure of meeting, hanging out with and going for extended rides in Scott Jordan’s Polaris Slingshot. Scott is the CEO of SCOTTeVESTS and author of Pocket Man, and he took CES as an opportunity to market his book to the people. I wrote an article in BreakingModern about that process, but here I’ll talk about my experience in Scott’s roaring Slingshot.
I met Scott on Monday, and by Wednesday he had given me keys to the car so I could take my girlfriend out on the town for a few hours. This was the best experience I’ve ever had at CES. Granted, it was only my second time there, but it’s definitely going to be hard to beat.
Before I get into the vehicle itself, I want to say a few words about SCOTTeVESTS. If you are any kind of a tech person, these are the jackets you want to be wearing. I had a SCOTTeVEST hoodie back before I knew what TWiT or SCOTTeVEST even was. It was something I found on ThinkGeek that looked awesome — it had lots of pockets for all my nerdy tech stuff. Little did I know the logo on that original jacket was from the tech show TWiT, and that the CEO of SCOTTeVEST would eventually get me behind the wheel of a new Polaris Slingshot.
So here’s how it started out on that Monday — the day after I flew into Las Vegas for CES 2015. My girlfriend and I were walking the strip, taking some pictures after a long-delayed flight full of snow, ice and crying children. We were by the Luxor, and I noticed a crazy looking three-wheeled vehicle sitting in the road at a stop light. I pulled out my Canon EOS and snapped a couple of shots, which got the driver and passenger’s attention — they threw up a couple of signs and were on their way. I didn’t think anything of it until I got back and looked at the pictures. That’s when I saw the Pocket Man logo.
I looked it up and saw that Pocket Man was none other than Scott Jordan, CEO of SCOTTeVEST, and that he was offering rides in the Polaris Slingshot at CES. So, I thought what the heck. I emailed him and said I was also in town covering CES and I would love a ride in the Slingshot.
He wrote me back and asked why he should let me cruise around in it with him. I replied: Because I’m awesome and I ride a Polaris triple pipe XLT mod for my snowmobile. That was enough, I guess, because the next day I met him at the Las Vegas Convention Center.
He was running to get on a TechCrunch panel that was doing some startup judging, sort of like Shark Tank. This was amusing to me, since Scott was actually on an episode of Shark Tank. It’s season three episode 307, if you want to check it out.
So, after his TechCrunch panel, we went out to the parking lot of the convention center where the Slingshot was parked, and he asked me if I wanted to drive. I thought he was joking, but then he tossed me the keys and off we went. I was a little nervous at first, but since I drive for my day job, I was well prepared.
The Slingshot has a five speed manual transmission, and driving it felt like second nature after we left the parking lot. This thing shifted so smoothly, you have no idea.
I’ve got to say, I’ve driven a lot of fun stuff – snowmobiles, dirt bikes, jet skis and even a canard — but the Polaris Slingshot is definitely at the top of my list as far as fun gas-powered toys go.
Polaris Slingshot Specs
Let’s talk specs. The Polaris Slingshot is powered by a GM-sourced, 2.4 liter, Ecotec four-cylinder engine that outputs 173 horsepower at 6,200 rpm and 166 ft/lb of torque at 4,700 rpm directly to the rear tire.
It’s a sporty, light, rear-wheel drive motorcycle-class vehicle weighing in at 1,743 pounds. It looks like a mix between a mean looking sports car from the front, and a Can-Am in the back. The wheelbase on this thing is 105 inches, which makes it corner very nice and feel quite stable on the straights. If you are curious about the rest of the technical specs, I’ll refer you to the Polaris Slingshot page.
Driving this thing is a dream. It slides around corners if you give it a little more gas than you maybe should, and on the highway it definitely cruises. I wouldn’t want to drive the Slingshot around in the rain or snow without the proper clothing, though. I got caught in a tiny rainstorm on the freeway, and the raindrops stung my eyes. I had to drive ducked down behind the little windscreen. Other than that, no complaints.
The Slingshot also has a sport-tuned, double wishbone independent suspension with gas shocks. It does sit quite low, with five inches of ground clearance. It handled speed bumps fine, but there are certain dips in the road and driveway entrances that you definitely want to take it slow over. Just make sure to maneuver in a way that won’t grind the bottom. But flying down the highway and in town, the Slingshot gave a very smooth ride, even at high speeds.
The tires consist of a 20-inch Kenda low profile in the rear and two 18-inch wheels in the front. This thing will go from 0 to 60 mph in just under five seconds, depending on the driver and their ability to shift and keep the Slingshot from wastefully burning rubber. It will slip in second gear if you wait until redline to shift, and even chirp the tires in third. It has a 5-Speed Synchromesh transmission with fantastic gear ratios.
It’s got a top speed of 130 mph, but I was only able to allegedly get it up just over 90 mph, which, being so close to the ground and not having a roof, is screaming fast. I kept running out of road whenever I would try to max it out, which is probably a good thing since I definitely would have gotten myself pulled over.
The fuel tank holds 9.77 gallons according to the Polaris Slingshot spec page, and it seemed to get really decent gas mileage, especially considering how we were driving it. All in all, if I had an extra $20,000 or $25,000 lying around, it would definitely be my next toy. I would recommend the SL model if you are going to get one.
In closing, if you want something that’s not only a blast to drive, but also gets a little attention, this is definitely the ride for you. I just want to personally thank Polaris for making a bunch of awesomely fun stuff to ride, and Scott Jordan for taking me with him on his Las Vegas Pocket Man adventure.
All images/screenshots: Mat Lee