Arkansas joins 36 other states in classifying the Polaris Slingshot as a car rather than as a motorcycle.
Polaris Industries reports that Arkansas no longer requires Slingshot owners to have a motorcycle operators license, thus making the Natural State the 37th state to classify the three-wheeler as a car for licensing purposes.
“When Slingshot was introduced to the market in 2014, most consumers were required to hold a motorcycle endorsement or license to operate it," the company said in a recent press release. "Because Slingshot does not feature handlebars or straddle seating, but rather offers a unique three-wheel configuration with a steering wheel, five-speed manual transmission, and side-by-side bucket seats, state policymakers recognize the need to update their operator licensing laws for innovative new products like Slingshot.”
"We are proactively educating states about the innovation Slingshot delivers to consumers,” said Rachael Elia, Slingshot Marketing Manager. “As we do this, policymakers recognize that, although Slingshot resides in the motorcycle classification which has long provided for three-wheel designs and non-straddle seating, operator skills are similar to those required for passenger car," "Our goal is to gain a unified classification and operator licensing scheme across the country to provide more opportunities and driving freedom for consumers looking for the ultimate thrill experience that Slingshot offers."
We might safely assume that other manufacturers have been keeping an eye on the Slingshot story, and perhaps waiting for national uniformity in licensing requirements before finalizing any design or manufacturing decisions. Of course this may be just speculation, given the slow sales growth of Slingshots compared to other Polaris marques like Indian and RZR side-by-side off-roaders. So something like a Can-Am Spyder with car seats and a steering wheel seems unlikely. For now. No matter the configuration or operational controls, three-wheelers have always comprised a relatively small niche market among US motoring enthusiasts.