Cannondale have never been afraid to innovate. The Slate is different, that's easy to see, but it has also been a real success over the past few years.
The most striking feature is of course the Lefty Oliver fork, with just one leg. A closer look reveals 650B wheels - smaller diameter than a traditional road bike, but when fitted with these chunky 42c tyres they have a similar rolling diameter to a traditional 700x23c wheel. So you have a bike that can handle rough terrain whilst still travelling fast.
In fact, contrary to appearances, this has a lot more road bike DNA than many of its gravel/adventure cousins. Geometry is very similar to the Cannondale road range, just tweaked slightly for extra ground clearance and a slightly shorter wheelbase.
The rear triangle uses Cannondale's specially shaped "SAVE Plus" tube profiles to provide an extra bit of shock absorption, and combined with those large-volume tyres this opens up a whole new world of trails to explore.
So, it's unconventional, certainly, but also a pretty good example of "road plus"... fast on the tarmac, fast off it too.
photos by Bence Bujaki