Every January “The New Year, New You” phrase comes up as a motto for change for most people. For the team at Polaris, this means the release of their newly redesigned 2020 Polaris Slingshot and Slingshot R. The new model brings refinement to the original low-slung and head-turning three-wheeler. With a refreshed front end, including a bold new signature look that’s unmistakably Slingshot, the 2020 options will entice old and new enthusiasts. The exterior upgrades for 2020 include: new front accent lighting, upgraded LED headlights and signature taillights, fresh wheel options and stand-out paint and graphic schemes.
Previously only available for those who already knew or were willing to learn how to drive a manual transmission vehicle, the game has changed with Slingshot’s new auto shifter version, which they call “AutoDrive.” It’s a hydraulically-actuated automated manual five-speed synchromesh transmission that’s really convenient. This opens the doors and allows almost anyone with a driver’s license and a sense of adventure to pilot the Slingshot to one of the most unique and exhilarating on-road driving experiences around. A manual transmission is still available, and both will have 2-drive modes for a customizable drive. When in “Comfort” mode, expect a leisurely ride, but if you want something with more power, “Slingshot” mode delivers a sporty, connected and high-revving ride.
“Our new AutoDrive transmission will open the door for more people to get in, stand out, and take their driving experience to a whole new level,” says Mike Dougherty, President of Polaris Slingshot. “With roughly 70% all-new content, we left no stone unturned both inside and out.”
At its core, it is powered by their new purpose-built Polaris Industries ProStar 2.0L DOHC four-cylinder engine which has been tuned precisely and tested rigorously on the track and on-road for the Slingshot. According to Dougherty, “the engine delivers more power and more fun, while the completely redesigned cockpit and interior elevates the shared experience for both the driver and their passenger.”
The SL model pushes 178 horsepower at 8,500 RPMs while the new R model redlines at 8,500 RPM and belts out an incredible 203 peak horsepower at 8,250 RPMs, which is an increase of 30 horsepower over the previous generation’s powertrain. A tuned exhaust is also mated to the ProStar engine and gives the Slingshot an unmistakable performance roar. The increased performance capabilities combined with the revised chassis and suspension greatly improves handling and vehicle dynamics which result in an incredible ride.
Creature comforts for the 2020 models are a vast improvement over the almost spartan-like cockpit of the previous years. A new premium leather-wrapped, flat-bottom steering wheel with multi-function controls and integrated cruise control immediately makes the connection between the driver and Slingshot so much more powerful. New adjustable air vents improve airflow and increase comfort for drivers and passengers during weekend trips or daily adventures. Enhanced LED interior lighting, a padded center console, more storage compartments, and bigger cup holders were repositioned for convenience. The driver and passenger were top-of-mind for the redesign and it shows.
Slingshot has also introduced updates to its Ride Command infotainment system, with a completely redesigned display featuring a new quad-core processor to provide a faster, more responsive interaction. The 7” display is brighter and has a better viewing angle so that the system can be easily viewed even during broad sunlight. Ride Command is a standard feature on both models and provides convenient access to key vehicle information and mobile phone pairing via two USB ports or via Bluetooth. Drivers can access AM/FM radio or listen to their favorite music with crystal-clear audio on its onboard 100-watt Rockford Fosgate audio system.
Standard with the Slingshot R, and an optional upgrade for the SL, are Ride Command’s connected services featuring turn-by-turn navigation with an intuitive search system. The GPS offering includes special routing options to locate the shortest, fastest or most scenic route. Drivers can also build a route with multiple waypoints and access real-time traffic and weather overlays to ensure clear roads for the most enjoyable driving experience. By utilizing the Ride Command mobile app, drivers can remotely access key vehicle data and conveniently plan ride routes ahead of time.
“The 2020 lineup embodies what Slingshot stands for – a creative escape to enjoy the road ahead,” said Dougherty. “We are unveiling a vehicle that truly embodies the adventurous spirit the brand stands for, the social nature of our customers, and the stand-out attitude only a Slingshot can deliver.”
A huge appeal to Slingshots is that they can be customized like any other vehicle, as seen at the many DUB Show Tour stops over the years. Slingshot owners want to make a vehicle that’s unique to them and their interests and preferences, choosing to take the road less traveled. That spirit of individuality is then amplified with Slingshot Engineered Accessories. These accessories really make a Slingshot stand out and new for 2020 include inspirational collections: the Design, Weekender, and Premier series. Owners can standout with colorful components with the Design series collection, while the Weekender is perfect for those that search for adventure, with overnight bags and added storage options. If you want it all, Premier series is the top-tier option, with Ride Command navigation, premier wheel set, interior LED lighting, and a rear fender. Owners can also purchase each modification individually if they’d like to create a bespoke Slingshot.