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If twice is nice, then what is thrice? Before you ding me for bad grammar, thrice is a real world that means three times. So what’s all the obscure references to three all about?

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This week’s tester is quite interesting in that it has three wheels. Is it a motorcycle or a car? Well, in all but three states, the Polaris Slingshot is considered an autocycle and therefore doesn’t require a motorcycle license. New York, Massachusetts and Rhode Island, sorry about your luck as you may be missing out on a vehicle that’s a blast to drive, even if it has some peculiar tendencies.

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The 2021 Polaris Slingshot R will go down as one of the most memorable vehicles I’ve driven – in both looks and performance.

On looks it’s quite an odd bird, but with a really bold color combination. My blue and orange tester almost looked like Denver Broncos colors. It lacks a roof (although one can be accessorized/purchased through the Polaris website) and lacks doors and has a teeny tiny windshield. The windshield is just big enough to keep the bugs out of your face and any road debris from flying in. You get to be like the Dukes Hazard and climb into the Slingshot by easily stepping in over the side wall.

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Truth be told it’s actually quite easy to get in and out of. With one big wheel in the back and two smaller wheels in the front, it gives it a unique shape where you can’t tell which is the front and which is the back. That alone gives the Slingshot a lot of styling personality.

It garnered plenty of eyeballs and attention from my neighbors and everyone I went, people stopped to take a second look.

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Driving the Slingshot is memorable too and also requires a little learning curve. With a fuel pump, there’s a slight hesitation upon firing up and you can’t be subtle with the accelerator. This thing wants to go, so don’t pussyfoot around with the gas, and just let it go (like a slingshot).

It’s powered by a 2.0-liter I-4 engine that makes 203 horsepower and 144 lb./ft. of torque.

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The appropriately-named Slingshot has a 0-60 mph time of 4.9 seconds. The wheels are chain driven and the rear-wheel drive system works in a quirky way with the six-speed sequential transmission (no clutch). There are available paddle shifters which are recommended, as when it’s in automatic mode there are unusual shifting habits and shifts are left to rev up, noisily at times. Plus some of the shifts are quite jerky and noticeable.

You will not get a smooth ride in this vehicle, which stands to reason since you sit mere inches from the ground. I could literally touch the ground while driving.

As such, I chose not to drive it on the highways and left it to be a highly-enjoyable around-town cruiser. The 35-50 mph range is where the Slingshot is ideal. That’s the sweet spot for this vehicle, although it is highway capable and rated at 120 mph.

Personally, I have yet to hit my mid-life crisis, so I wasn’t going to find out about those higher speed capabilities.

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Inside, the Slingshot seats two people. It’s not nearly as clumsy to get in nor as uncomfortable as you’d think. I chose to wear a helmet during my rides, but many states don’t require it. I found the helmet helped reduce the road noise that was pervasive.

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I was highly impressed that there was a modified version of Apple CarPlay available and I was able to stream playlists from my IPhone to the system. There are speakers behind the headrest and the sound system was really good and once again helped take away some of the road noise and loudness of the chain-driven wheels.

The price of the Polaris Slingshot R is $33,299. There is no official EPA rating for this vehicle, but I averaged around 24 mpg in mostly suburban/city driving.

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Yes the Slingshot is a toy. No it’s not practical (what are you going to do in rain or snow?). But we need joys in life, especially in today’s world. You often see these three-wheeled vehicles rented in tourist areas, for good reason. They are fun to drive. That’s the point of the Slingshot and it accomplishes that three times over.

This article originally ran on thecheyennepost.com.

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