The 2020 Polaris Slingshot gets a new engine, new auto transmission option, other tweaks

The 2020 Polaris Slingshot three-wheeler has been unveiled, with a new engine, an option for an auto transmission, and many other changes.

The four-cylinder, 2-litre ProStar engine is the most significant change for 2020. It’s a proprietary Polaris motor; previously, the Slingshot used GM’s four-cylinder 2.3-litre Ecotec engine (also found in such machines as the Pontiac Sunfire).

The ProStar will be available in two versions. The engine in the Slingshot SL will make 173 hp at 8,500 rpm (and 120 lb-ft of torque), and the Slingshot R’s engine will make 203 hp at 8,250 rpm (and 144 lb-ft of torque). The Ecotec engine gave the Slingshot 164 hp, so both the standard and hot-rod versions of the new Slingshot are more powerful than the outgoing model.

Along with the five-speed manual transmission, Polaris will also offer a hydraulically-actuated auto-shifting gearbox with five speeds.

Polaris has updated suspension and chassis, although we haven’t seen the exact details of what’s been done. The bodywork has also been revised, and the interior of the cockpit.

Naturally, the Slingshot comes with schmancy electronics, including two ride modes (no doubt more will be available either from the factory, at additional cost, or from tuning shops at some point). The Ride Command system is included, same as on Polaris’s larger touring motorcycles sold under the Indian brand. There’s a 7-inch TFT screen, and 100-watt Rockford Fosgate audio system.

In all, the Slingshot is supposed to be about 70 per cent new parts, thanks to the re-design.

In Canada, pricing starts at $33,499 for the Slingshot SL, and $37,999 for the Slingshot R. More details at the Polaris website, if the thought of a fully-enclosed three-wheeler with a steering wheel is tempting to you …


  1. Don’t care what the law says, this is not a motorcycle, or even close to it. I’ll give the various trikes a pass because at least you “ride” astride them, holding onto handlebars. This thing has bucket seats, a steering wheel, and a gear shift lever like a car. Not a motorcycle, and not relevant to motorcyclists.

    • Its way too pricey but its relevant to whoever wants it to be relevant. I’m not so hung on the number of wheels or seating position that I wouldn’t try it. Every day something new.

  2. I’m holding out for one extra wheel….
    Or I could buy a lightly used BMW Z4 for less money that would likely handle and drive better.

  3. These things would be fast with the 2.3 GM motor in them, heheh… I mean fast enough to be plenty of fun (and brutal on that rear tire).
    But, what – Polaris has basically created their own 2 litre ‘car engine’ now? That revs to 8500? Excellent.
    The line between motorcycle and car engines actually becomes blurred in things like watercraft, with their too-big-for-motorcycle Kawi motors, sometimes supercharged etc. for example.
    And my little Nissan 1.6 litre car revs to 7000, which is considered high for a car. Yes manual transmission and fun, barely… (point is, something like this new Motorcycle Car motor would be a heavy upgrade! I mean forget the swap for the Nissan 1.6 litre turbo motor, y’know?)
    Polaris could have mated two FTR motors side-by-side to create a V4… strange that you never see big V-4s. I know their construction is inherently more expensive than the equivalent inline 4. But still.
    A 90 degree V-4 will have even more of that ‘big block V8’ sound than a V6 ever will! Imagine a 3 litre V4 all counterbalanced with today’s technology, that sounds like an Interceptor…

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