By Ryan Adams
Here we are again. Every few years Polaris (or its PR rep) rings up Motorcycle.com with the opportunity of reviewing the latest Slingshot, a vehicle now designated as an auto-cycle in most US states. It’s not a motorcycle, we know (and I’m sure there will be folks reminding us of that in every comment section available online). For 2020, Polaris tells us its three-wheeler is 70% new with upgrades spanning from the cockpit to the all-new Polaris-built Prostar four-cylinder engine and the AutoDrive “automatic” transmission mated to it. With such substantial upgrades to the machine, we were happy to flog the Slingshot SL for a couple of weeks to give our take on the new machine. This will be a motorcyclist’s perspective of the 2020 Polaris Slingshot SL.
No, For Real
I know. I know! “It’s not a motorcycle, blah, blah, blah.” Can we get past that? You know what it is? Fun. What kind of powersports enthusiast turns down the opportunity to test something… interesting. That’s not to say the Slingshot doesn’t have its disadvantages. But mostly, I learned to enjoy my time spent with the 2020 Slingshot SL.
70% All New!
What Polaris is most interested in telling you about is the all new AutoDrive “automatic” transmission. Well, it’s not actually a traditional automatic transmission, but rather a Magneti Marelli single-clutch hydraulically actuated system fitted to the standard five-speed manual transmission. What this does, of course, is offer prospective Slingshot owners the chance to experience the three-wheeled open-air world of the Slingshot without the previously required knowledge of how to operate a manual transmission. Replacing the standard stick shift in the center of the machine are three buttons labeled R, N, and D. Simple as that.