By Ryan Adams
In the wake of our 2020 Polaris Slingshot SL Review, we present the latest Sean Matic production delivering moving pictures straight to your autocycle-loving eyes. It was an interesting experience, my few weeks with the Slingshot SL. Out of all of the expensive, exotic, and high-performance machines I’ve had the opportunity to scoot around on, none have elicited the inquisitive stares, hurried cell phone pictures, and general curiosity of the Slingshot. As a motorcyclist, it makes me kind of sad, but I get it, the thing looks like the Batmobile – at least from the front. The greater population can relate to this thing more than some red sportbike – even if that red sportbike is a Ducati Panigale V4 that’ll blow the doors off of most production vehicles you’re likely to find cruising the city streets.
That greater population is precisely why Polaris came out with its AutoDrive transmission. The company wants its three-wheeler to be accessible to a larger swath of drivers who don’t care for, or never learned, to drive a vehicle with a manual transmission. While we can’t knock them for that, we can knock the AutoDrive itself. The hydraulically actuated transmission needs some refinement and (please, please, please) paddle shifters wouldn’t hurt either.
The all-new Prostar 2.0 L Inline Four screams its way up to a claimed 178 hp at 8,500 rpm and delivers 120 lb-ft of torque at 5,500. Although that torque figure is significantly lower (46 lb-ft from the previous GM power plant), it’s not really missed, as the rear tire still lights up quicker than your chain-smoking Aunt Linda. Smoothing out power delivery to the rear wheel would likely net better performance gains than just cranking up the torque figure anyway. Included …read more