Automotive

2021 Polaris Slingshot gets the transmission we wanted

2021 Polaris Slingshot gets th...
The 2021 Polaris Slingshot debuts with a new transmission upgrade, to go with its Batmobile looks
The 2021 Polaris Slingshot debuts with a new transmission upgrade, to go with its Batmobile looks
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The 2021 Polaris Slingshot gets Apple CarPlay as an option, as well as a Rockford Fosgate stereo option
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The 2021 Polaris Slingshot gets Apple CarPlay as an option, as well as a Rockford Fosgate stereo option
New color schemes for the 2021 Polaris Slingshot add more contrast and personalization
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New color schemes for the 2021 Polaris Slingshot add more contrast and personalization
Introduced last year, the Slingshot still has a "roof" option for its touring models
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Introduced last year, the Slingshot still has a "roof" option for its touring models
Along with its new transmission, the 2021 Polaris Slingshot gets some comfort upgrade options
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Along with its new transmission, the 2021 Polaris Slingshot gets some comfort upgrade options
A new base model for the 2021 Polaris Slingshot has a starting price of $19,999
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A new base model for the 2021 Polaris Slingshot has a starting price of $19,999
The new AutoDrive transmission for the 2021 Slingshot replaces the previous automatic across the lineup
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The new AutoDrive transmission for the 2021 Slingshot replaces the previous automatic across the lineup
2021 Polaris Slingshot
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Other color schemes available for the 2021 Polaris Slingshot add a more aggressive look
The 2021 Polaris Slingshot debuts with a new transmission upgrade, to go with its Batmobile looks
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The 2021 Polaris Slingshot debuts with a new transmission upgrade, to go with its Batmobile looks
2021 Polaris Slingshot
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Even the base model 2021 Polaris Slingshot has a good look
The single rear drive wheel on the 2021 Polaris Slingshot lays down all of its 200+ horsepower to the road
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The single rear drive wheel on the 2021 Polaris Slingshot lays down all of its 200+ horsepower to the road
2021 Polaris Slingshot
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The base model 2021 Polaris Slingshot has a simpler layout and is shown here with the automatic transmission
View gallery - 11 images

Polaris has announced the 2021 model Slingshot autocycle. The Slingshot is half-motorcycle, half-car with two wheels in front and one in the rear. Propelled by a high-revving four-cylinder engine, the 2021 Slingshot now has a shiftable automatic transmission as well.

When we drove the Slingshot in 2020, we found it to be an exciting, fun vehicle that allows those without a motorcycle license – or the wish to take on the liability that having a motorcycle can entail – to experience the fun of open driving. The Polaris Slingshot is, in most US states, considered a motorcycle for registration purposes, but a car for driving requirements. It's fast, handles very well, and keeps the driver and passenger engaged at all times.

For 2021, Polaris has added a new transmission option. Originally, the Polaris had only a five-speed manual transmission, but the company found that this was slowing sales as many people were intimidated by or did not know how to operate one.

So an automatic transmission was introduced for the 2020 model year. Polaris says that this resulted in sales nearly doubling (despite the pandemic).

New color schemes for the 2021 Polaris Slingshot add more contrast and personalization
New color schemes for the 2021 Polaris Slingshot add more contrast and personalization

That automatic was a great setup, but we lamented the fact that we could not control the gearing with it. Polaris is now remedying that by adding a paddle shifter-equipped AutoDrive transmission. This transmission also includes a new hill hold feature, and it replaces the previous automatic across the lineup.

Also added to the new 2021 Slingshot are Apple CarPlay for infotainment, a Rockford Fosgate stereo upgrade option, and several accessories for customization of the autocycle. These accessories are in collections called the Excursion Series and the Drive Series. The former adds more storage and comfort options, while the latter adds driver-oriented items like a dead pedal (something we also missed in the 2020 model). Tuning to add up to 15 percent more power is also available for the 2021 Slingshot.

Polaris is additionally offering new trim levels to the Slingshot for the 2021 model year, including the R Limited as a top shelf setup, and an S model with a sport-oriented, low-cost aim. This model starts at US$19,999 and becomes the lowest cost of entry for the Slingshot.

The 2021 Polaris Slingshot is shipping to dealerships now.

Source: Polaris

View gallery - 11 images
5 comments
5 comments
Lukemaj
Some people...can't drive manual, than when get automatic complains that they can't control it manually....other people making lots of hype with new single feature on somewhat exiting but not new machine...
David V
Well they look really amazing machines and I'm sure great fun to drive. Price is about right too.
But as a long time motorcyclist, they just accumulate all the disadvantages of biking - wet in the rain, stuck in traffic etc and none of the advantages - except maybe the fun once you're out on the open road with no-one else around. They're like an open top car but you have to wear helmets. Strange.
I see you can ride/drive these beasts with just a car license. So who are they really aimed at ? Driver with no bike license ? Woman with no bike license who wants to follow her hubby who's on a bike in front ? Disabled driver ? Older couple I would guess. I've only ever seen older people on these kind of machines.
I'm curious. I love the look but they don't fall into any category that I can identify myself with.
Still, I'm getting older so maybe one day I'll be in one...
Username
Looking forward to the electric model!
David V
I think I've been looking at these machines from the wrong perspective.
They are, in fact, cars. Cars with a bike engine. So low down position and fast revving motor.
So why not.
niio
If you want a bike you should get one, not a car that pretends to be a bike. You can get an R1 with three times the performance for less money. You can get an R6 with 50% better performance for half the money. Or, if you don't want to learn how to shift, get a real car. A base Mustang is better equipped than the top end Slingshot model and costs thousands less.

This is kind of a weird vehicle. They're selling, but I'm baffled as to whom.