There is a new Polaris Slingshot on the scene, and it has a bunch of improvements on a similar formula. Polaris says the new autocycle is 70% new parts, despite looking largely similar to the model it replaces. One of those parts really matters; the new engine. Gone is the GM Ecotec 2.4-liter that has powered the ‘Shot since 2014. It’s been replaced with a brand new Polaris-specific unit with more power and torque.
The new Polaris ProStar engine is a 2-liter inline four that is available in two different power outputs. The entry model Slingshot SL will only come with the new automated manual transmission tossing 173 horsepower at 8500 rpm (!) and 120 lb-ft of torque to the single rear wheel. The high power three-wheeled sporty model, the Slingshot R will be powered by the 203 horsepower version of the ProStar with 144 lb-ft of torque. R buyers will have a choice of automated manual or 5-speed manual.
Pricing for the 2020 Slingshot starts at $26,499 for the SL model. If you want an R it’ll cost you $30,999 for the manual, and $32,699 for the AutoDrive transmission. The 2020 Slingshot goes on sale this spring.
The outgoing Slingshot’s biggest boon was its entry level S model which started at just $20,999. In my opinion, that’s the best bang-for-the-buck in brand new performance cars. That’s almost five grand cheaper than an MX-5 Sport. If that entry level model doesn’t make an appearance in the lineup for 2021, I’ll be seriously disappointed.
I’ll end this by saying that I am one of the very few automotive enthusiasts who adored the old Slingshot. It was a very fun car-ish thing, and hustling it down a curvy mountain road is a whole lot of fun. It’s a lightweight sports car with a manual transmission, rear wheel drive, and a tendancy toward oversteer. What could be better? It feels a lot like a cyberpunk reinterpretation of a vintage British sports car like an MGB [only reliable] which is why it’s great.
If the new car has improved infotainment, steering, braking, and power it can only be a better driving experience, and I look forward to testing that theory.