When building an off-road vehicle, two of the critical elements you want include stability and ground clearance. To be clear, the Polaris Slingshot doesn’t really offer either attribute. Sure, on smooth pavement it probably won’t tip over, but try driving one over a rock or any uneven surface and those three wheels become a huge liability. Same goes for the low-slung ride height that normally allows what’s considered in some states a motorcycle to hug turns.
Learn about the dangers of overlanding through Honduras here.
There are other perhaps not quite as obvious problems for anyone who wants to turn their Slingshot into an off-road machine. Despite it being a completely bad idea, the allure of rocking it on a trail using three wheels is just too tempting for some people.
Polaris has carefully engineered the Slingshot to be stable as drivers rip through turns. The problem some have noticed is when owners start modifying them, like this one who added a luggage rack and loaded it, throwing off the weight distribution of the vehicle so it was no longer stable going through a turn at highway speeds.
For the 2021 SEMA Show in Las Vegas, Gas Monkey Garage built an off-road Polaris Slingshot which is perhaps the best example to date. For starters, it’s lifted so the thing could in theory roll over obstacles like rocks, deep ruts, etc. without getting hung up. Tires with chunky lugs and deep voids help with traction on less-than-ideal surfaces, while a skid plate guards against underbody damage.
There are also auxiliary lights along the roof rack and a jerrycan holder on the rear, although we question the wisdom of adding so much weight up high after seeing what happened with the one Slingshot. Perhaps the beefier and reconfigured suspension, which includes shock towers and hoops you see coming through the hood, on the Gas Monkey build compensates for that?
Unfortunately, we can find zero video footage of this build being driven on anything but pavement, so we can only speculate about its trail capabilities. Even with all those mods, we’re thinking this is a groomed trail vehicle, not something you’d want to take rock crawling.
To see someone put the bad idea of off-roading a Polaris Slingshot into practice we have to turn to a YouTube influencer known for converting street vehicles into questionable off-road builds. For this crazy venture, all they did was add some crazy aggressive off-road tires. Spoiler: it didn’t go well.
They didn’t exactly take the three-wheeler on the Rubicon Trailer or anything nearly that stupid, but they did add a spare tire to the roof rack just to make the thing more tipsy. With one-wheel drive, it got stuck easily, plus the tires really didn’t add a lift so the chassis was hung up on pretty much any uneven portions of the trail.
Off-roading a Polaris Slingshot has got to be one of the dumbest, most fun activities out there we’ll tell you to only do at your own risk.
Images via YouTube, Gas Monkey Garage