For the first time since the Polaris Slingshot was introduced in 2014, the three-wheeled autocycle is available with a true automatic transmission.
The 2020 Slingshot is now equipped with AutoDrive, which functions exactly like an automatic gearbox in car. The Minnesota-based ATV manufacturer describes AutoDrive as a clutch-less "hydraulically actuated automated manual five-speed synchromesh transmission."
While the latest 'Shot looks similar to past models, Polaris says that 70 percent of the latest iteration's components are brand new. As Jalopnik notes, GM's Ecotec 2.4-liter in-line four has been replaced with a ProStar 2.0-liter in-line four that's built by Polaris Industries and tuned for more power.
In the sporty R model, the new engine produces a zippy 203 hp at 8,250 RPM—30 hp more than was available from the previous powertrain. If you prefer a stick, the R is also available as a manual. The same engine produces a still-ample 178 horsepower in the base SL model, which is only available with AutoDrive.
A few exterior changes add extra flash, including a refreshed front end with a new LED headlight and ccent lighting, as well as all-new wheels and graphic schemes. The cockpit, however, has been totally revamped with a premium leather-wrapped, flat-bottom steering wheel, multi-function controls and integrated cruise control, a padded center console, and added storage compartments.
The standard Ride Command infotainment system has also been updated with a new quad-core processor for faster interaction, while the seven-inch display sits at an improved viewing angle. Ride Command can also pair with a smartphone via two USB ports or Bluetooth to bump tunes through a 100-watt Rockford Fosgate audio system.
Available in "Stealth Black" or "Miami Blue" paint coats, the Polaris Slingshot R is priced at $30,999 as a manual and $32,699 with AutoDrive. The SL starts at $26,499 and is available in "Red Pearl" or "Blue Steel." Both hit dealers this spring.