The Polaris Slingshot is one of the strangest (looking) automotive success stories in recent years.
The powersports company has sold over 40,000 of the three-wheel “autocycles” since it first shocked the market with its dramatic styling in 2015. The oddball auto becoming a favorite of celebrities and superstar athletes, despite being priced like an economy car.
It’s done so well that Polaris has given it a major update for 2020 that includes an all-new engine and the addition of an automatic transmission option to help broaden its appeal.
The new ProStar 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine was designed in house and replaces the GM-sourced 2.4-liter four-cylinder that was previously used. The new motor cranks out 186 hp as it screams to a sky-high 8,500 rpm redline, up from the GM engine’s more pedestrian 6,200 rpm. A high-performance Slingshot R model increases the output to 203 hp.
All of it goes to the single rear wheel through either a five-speed manual transmission, or one equipped with an automated hydraulically-actuated clutch that’s operated by pushbutton controls on the center console. Polaris says the Slingshot can accelerate to 60 mph in under five seconds.
The new Slingshot also gets a standard keyless ignition and an updated passenger compartment with additional padding and storage that retains its water-resistant design and drain plugs in the floor. Exterior changes are mostly limited to new lighting and colors, but a new selection of accessories allows for an extensive variety of personalization options.
The 2020 Slingshot starts at $26,499 and is set to hit dealers this Spring, while the outgoing model is still available for a starting price of $20,999. Regulations on its operation differ from state to state, with various licensing and helmet rules.