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Discussion Starter #1
Not really a "performance" mod, but definitely a way to go faster. The Polaris site lists the curb weight of SS at 1743lbs. For what it is, this seems kind of high. For example, the weight of an ariel atom is about 1350lbs. Where is the weight coming from in the SS? Any of the tuners out there have any strategies to weight reduction in the Polaris machine?
 

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Read String's cold weather riding impression. He talks about feeling EVERYTHING. The road, the tranny, the gears, the pistons... everything! Solidity and rigidity at this level will have some weight to it. It's that tubular reinforced space frame, with even more reinforcements to the reinforcements! Every top-down roadster suffers the compromise of frame flex and cowl shake. Not the Slingshot. Stiffness like this usually indicates an overdose of Viagra! Some added weight would be expected in order to achieve such rigidity. Plus, the Slingshot is a Goliath compared to the cart-sized Ariel.
 

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I agree, the weight is way too high for what it is.

I also object to calling it a space frame, given the few places I see any triangulation.

I also suspect that the frame is likely where the extra weight is; the walls would have to be very thick to make up for the lack of triangulation.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Some added weight would be expected in order to achieve such rigidity. Plus, the Slingshot is a Goliath compared to the cart-sized Ariel.
I get what you're saying. But, I'm kinda not buying the argument. If this were the case, why would God make carbon fiber? I'm fully aware to construct something like this for 20 grand you'll have to use certain materials and make sacrifices. The Atom doesn't use tons of exotic materials, in terms of the performance you are getting, you're getting A LOT for the money, 2 non-obese adults could fit in it relatively comfortably with ample leg room, so not sure why you think an atom is so tiny. So where's the extra 400 pounds coming from? I also appreciate they are 2 totally different animals. Polaris doesn't even want it called a car. And it's sort of an unfair comparison because their fundamental designs are quite different. But, what I am getting at is you could have substantial rigidity without extra weight. However, that usually translates into expensive $$$. You're sorta saying Big fat sway bar = cheap good and stiff. I'm saying big fat sway bar = cheap good and stiff AND HEAVY. Where in the Polaris could individuals who want the most out of their machine trim the fat? For example, I am sure it is pretty safe to say some of the stock exhaust components are quite heavy etc. As Noah mentioned, unfortunately, just seems kinda hefty for what it is. I just hope catastrophic design flaws that will be tremendously difficult to remedy are not the culprit.
 

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I agree: It's unfair to compare these fundamentally different machines. I was just continuing with the comparative statement YOU initiated using these two very-different machines and their respective weights. You were curious as the where the weight originated as compared to the Atom...... I'm stating its due to the multiple reinforced STEEL space frame (as Polaris calls it). Plus, a GM 2.4L powerplant is probably quite heftier than a Honda 2.0L. Sure, Polaris could use carbon fiber and other lightweight materials/alloys.... but then you would have to forgo the $19,999 entry-level price point. I like the way you think..... faster is better! I love the Ariel Atom too. But it's exotic price allows me to only drive one via YouTube. And I bet there's not one Ariel dealership in my state.
 

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I get what you're saying. But, I'm kinda not buying the argument. If this were the case, why would God make carbon fiber? I'm fully aware to construct something like this for 20 grand you'll have to use certain materials and make sacrifices. The Atom doesn't use tons of exotic materials, in terms of the performance you are getting, you're getting A LOT for the money, 2 non-obese adults could fit in it relatively comfortably with ample leg room, so not sure why you think an atom is so tiny. So where's the extra 400 pounds coming from? I also appreciate they are 2 totally different animals. Polaris doesn't even want it called a car. And it's sort of an unfair comparison because their fundamental designs are quite different. But, what I am getting at is you could have substantial rigidity without extra weight. However, that usually translates into expensive $$$. You're sorta saying Big fat sway bar = cheap good and stiff. I'm saying big fat sway bar = cheap good and stiff AND HEAVY. Where in the Polaris could individuals who want the most out of their machine trim the fat? For example, I am sure it is pretty safe to say some of the stock exhaust components are quite heavy etc. As Noah mentioned, unfortunately, just seems kinda hefty for what it is. I just hope catastrophic design flaws that will be tremendously difficult to remedy are not the culprit.
"Catastrophic design flaws"....WTF!!
 

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I get what you're saying. But, I'm kinda not buying the argument. If this were the case, why would God make carbon fiber? I'm fully aware to construct something like this for 20 grand you'll have to use certain materials and make sacrifices. The Atom doesn't use tons of exotic materials, in terms of the performance you are getting, you're getting A LOT for the money, 2 non-obese adults could fit in it relatively comfortably with ample leg room, so not sure why you think an atom is so tiny. So where's the extra 400 pounds coming from? I also appreciate they are 2 totally different animals. Polaris doesn't even want it called a car. And it's sort of an unfair comparison because their fundamental designs are quite different. But, what I am getting at is you could have substantial rigidity without extra weight. However, that usually translates into expensive $$$. You're sorta saying Big fat sway bar = cheap good and stiff. I'm saying big fat sway bar = cheap good and stiff AND HEAVY. Where in the Polaris could individuals who want the most out of their machine trim the fat? For example, I am sure it is pretty safe to say some of the stock exhaust components are quite heavy etc. As Noah mentioned, unfortunately, just seems kinda hefty for what it is. I just hope catastrophic design flaws that will be tremendously difficult to remedy are not the culprit.
Ariel Atom -
Dimensions:
  • Length 3410mm (134 inches)
  • Width 1798mm (70.5 inches)
  • Track 1600mm (63 inches)
  • Wheelbase 2345mm (92.3 inches
Polaris Slingshot -
Overall Length (in/mm)149.6 in/3800 mm
Overall Width (in/mm)77.6 in/1960 mm
Overall Height (in/mm)51.9 in/1318 mm
Track Width (in/mm)69.1 in/1755 mm
Wheelbase (in/mm)105.0 in/2667 mm

The Ariel Atom is quite a bit smaller, as you can see from above.

If you want to make it lighter here is what I would change/remove....
1. Wheels
2. Exhaust
3. Mirrors
4. Fuel :shamefullyembarrased:
5. People weight :eek:
6. Helium in storage compartments ;)

I would guess that those massive tail lights (which I like) have quite a bit of weight to them.

It is important to keep in mind that weight is probably not the big enemy here. Traction will continue to be the biggest challenge with making this thing quicker.




 

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If money is no issue for you and you live near the auto bond
I'm quite sure that you could reverse engineer using aluminum tubing and carbon fiber with a lotus engine.
But this is America where the mentality is I got I have it now better not be expensive! Kudos Polaris.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
To be fair, I believe the sway bar is hollow.
just trying to make example. :) Just saying the Atom did it right from day one. I just hope it wasn't rushed to market because some small engineering changes could have been made. Sure, it's Polaris' first crack at this. FINALLY, the rzr 1000 is to the point where it's fast enough to require some skill to operate to it's full potential. So, yes, they offer a great product. BUT, the fact remains. You see a SS in a parking lot. you see 2 mickey mouse seats(said with the utmost respect). plastic interior, engine, only 3 wheels, and a couple body panels. i still ask myself why is it nearly a ton? Heck, for the cost in weight of about 1.5-2 typical patrons of the golden corral buffet your weight is right at a Mazda Miata. Steel body real doors etc. What gives? did they cheap out on the wheels? do they weigh a ton? Where can you save weight. Lets be real, the engines not THAT powerful. So, you need to save weight. Sure, add power, that one tire isn't gonna hold...
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Ariel Atom -
Dimensions:



    • Length 3410mm (134 inches)
    • Width 1798mm (70.5 inches)
    • Track 1600mm (63 inches)
    • Wheelbase 2345mm (92.3 inches
Polaris Slingshot -
Overall Length (in/mm)149.6 in/3800 mm
Overall Width (in/mm)77.6 in/1960 mm
Overall Height (in/mm)51.9 in/1318 mm
Track Width (in/mm)69.1 in/1755 mm
Wheelbase (in/mm)105.0 in/2667 mm

The Ariel Atom is quite a bit smaller, as you can see from above.

If you want to make it lighter here is what I would change/remove....
1. Wheels
2. Exhaust
3. Mirrors
4. Fuel :shamefullyembarrased:
5. People weight :eek:
6. Helium in storage compartments ;)

I would guess that those massive tail lights (which I like) have quite a bit of weight to them.

It is important to keep in mind that weight is probably not the big enemy here. Traction will continue to be the biggest challenge with making this thing quicker.



But, you still fit 2 adults comfortably. So for what its meant to do (be fun, more importantly, be fast) who cares? No one is buying an Atom or Slingshot for its headroom, trunk space, or opulent interior. It's still hitting their target audience, just at a much leaner weight.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Plus, a GM 2.4L powerplant is probably quite heftier than a Honda 2.0L. .
They're currently also utilizing a 2.4L power plant. I guess I'll just have to see what kinda of lightweight high-powered bad a** machine Alpha Powersports comes up with once they are done with the slingshot. Patiently waiting for pricing and performance reports.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Listen guys, the slingshot is pretty effin awesome just like me. It offers cheap thrills, but maybe could lose a few pounds(just like me too) :wideyed:
 

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Since the SS is at the maximum weight allowed for an MC my guess is that Polaris would agree with you that shedding a few pounds will not hurt. I will personally refrain from making any judgements on it until I can actually get my hands on it and drive it. That will speak volumes as to whether it actually feels and handles heavy. So far the majority of reports coming in have not pointed to weight as being a deterrent to its overall fun factor.

Track monsters will understandably want to push the SS to its limits. Both in adding additional HP and possibly through some weight reduction. The good news is that the SS platform is a very solid one for adding some extra horses under the hood. How that get's to the ground and how useful it really becomes for everyday use is what remains to be seen. Reducing weight may actually be contradictory to gaining good results with more HP.
 

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Actually performance will ultimately be limited by traction.

Even if you went to the extreme measure of replacing the frame with something a couple or even several hundred pounds lighter, you'd be increasing the unsprung/sprung weight ratio, which would adversely affect ride quality and rough road handling.

To counter that you'd then have to start working on expensive/custom lightweight suspension and brake components.

So the path of least resistance to max performance is to turbo the engine.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Since the SS is at the maximum weight allowed for an MC my guess is that Polaris would agree with you that shedding a few pounds will not hurt. I will personally refrain from making any judgements on it until I can actually get my hands on it and drive it. That will speak volumes as to whether it actually feels and handles heavy. So far the majority of reports coming in have not pointed to weight as being a deterrent to its overall fun factor.

Track monsters will understandably want to push the SS to its limits. Both in adding additional HP and possibly through some weight reduction. The good news is that the SS platform is a very solid one for adding some extra horses under the hood. How that get's to the ground and how useful it really becomes for everyday use is what remains to be seen.
Not gonna lie I just wanna make one fun, semi comfortable, open air vehicle where it offers a great sensation of acceleration in its sweet spot from XXmph to XXmph. So, not gonna beat it up too bad when it comes to certain things. If someone could make it go 11s in the 1/4. Im down for that...
 

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I too share this concern. Keep in mind, I'm coming from a Lotus Elise (1,950# curb weight) so that's the frame of reference. To be honest, at 1,750, this thing is a pig. Seeing one in the flesh yesterday helped me realize why. It's actually quite big. It's much bigger in person than in photos. For example, it's INCREDIBLY wide at the front. I can't help but thing that a significant clip of weight can be shaved there. The hood would be smaller, so that would mean lighter.

Compare to a Lotus Elise - a small vehicle but has a complete glassfibre body, doors, hinges, windows, a windshield, crash structures, 2 axles and a 4th wheel. Granted, it's a bonded aluminum tub.

I look at the SS and outside of the size, I just can't envision where the weight is. Many cars have tube frame construction - Ariel Atom (1300#), Beck Porsche 550 Spyder (1300#), Morgan Three Wheeler (1,175#) - but are significantly lighter. And it doesn't have a 4th wheel, and no doors, and no windows/glass. The lump can't be that heavy. The panels (save the hood) can't be that heavy.

Perhaps the wheels are heavy? Perhaps the exhaust? Hell, swapping out the OEM Lotus exhaust to an aftermarket affair saves 20 pounds.

I'm sure there will be approaches to save weight - aftermarket carbon fiber panels, exhaust, wheels, etc.

Won't prevent me from buying it or enjoying the shib out of it, but my concern is the 'coulda shoulda' factor - kinda like when I bought my first naturally aspirated Elise and DIDN'T get the supercharged model. I had to change for it later.

I'm sure the SS will handle well and accelerate adequately, but there may always be a part of me that says 'man, I could have handled even MORE effectively if they reduced weight to the 1,500# mark'. The power to weight of a Lotus Elise is what makes it arguably the greatest handling road car of all time. If it weighed 2,600# and not 1,950#, that thrill would be diminished significantly.
 

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Another thread got me thinking - we saw the 'demographics' poll. Surprised to see that the lion's share of buyers are well north of 50 and frankly, many north of 65.

Perhaps that explains the size and the power to weight (10). Let's face it, the older we get, the less agile and the less, um, svelte. This isn't a Lotus being made by a company that is none for making small lightweight (simplify, add lightness) cars. It's a company that makes ATVs and Snowmobiles and such. Lightweight is just not their thing.

And so, if that market research bears out to what we see hear, the vehicle needs to be bigger for occupants to be more comfortable and ingress/egress easier to appeal to a wider range of body types/ages versus say, a Morgan Three Wheeler, which is torture for anyone bigger than one of the Olsen twins.

Bigger = heavier.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Another thread got me thinking - we saw the 'demographics' poll. Surprised to see that the lion's share of buyers are well north of 50 and frankly, many north of 65.

Perhaps that explains the size and the power to weight (10). Let's face it, the older we get, the less agile and the less, um, svelte. This isn't a Lotus being made by a company that is none for making small lightweight (simplify, add lightness) cars. It's a company that makes ATVs and Snowmobiles and such. Lightweight is just not their thing.

And so, if that market research bears out to what we see hear, the vehicle needs to be bigger for occupants to be more comfortable and ingress/egress easier to appeal to a wider range of body types/ages versus say, a Morgan Three Wheeler, which is torture for anyone bigger than one of the Olsen twins.

Bigger = heavier.
TOTALLY TRUE. For example, the latest bmw 3 series has lost the essence of what a 3 series is because people are becoming colossal.
 
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