For 2020, Polaris is giving its three-wheeled roadster its first major update since the vehicle’s introduction in 2015. Called the 2020 Polaris Slingshot Pro Star 2.0L R, the new trike represents a 70 percent overhaul of the uniquely-equipped ride, delivering changes that make it more accessible to a wider demographic of drivers.
Chief among the updates is the outfit’s AutoDrive, a hydraulically-actuated automatic transmission, which eliminates the clutch pedal and manual shifting found in its predecessors, allowing you to drive one without having to learn how to operate a stick shift. That means, practically anyone, skilled driver or not, can now operate a trike that looks like a barebones track racer.
The 2020 Polaris Slingshot ProStar 2.0L R is powered by the outfit’s first four-cylinder engine, which puts out a whopping 203 horsepower and 120 pound-feet of torque, all while redlining at 8500 RPM, making it quite the step up from its predecessor’s powerplant. While the engine sounds like it’s capable of making this thing fly (we mean, it’s light and all), they did electronically-limit the top speed to 125 mph, which should offer a satisfying drive without turning you into an absolute menace on the road. Being a race-focused recreation machine, it’s not quiet, either, with an all-new tuned exhaust ensuring you’re going to annoy everyone within earshot while you drive through a quiet neighborhood.
It has adjustable air vents for improved airflow and increased comfort, while the independent double-wishbone suspension, twin-tube gas-charged coilover shocks, and carbon-reinforced fiber belt should give you the necessary confidence to take this goofy-looking thing all around the city. Both electronic power steering and electronic stability control are standard, making this every bit a modern ride, while vented cast iron rotors provide the stopping power on both ends of the vehicle.
The 2020 Polaris Slingshot ProStar 2.0L R offers two rides: Comfort and Slingshot. The former is for those times you just want to take your odd-looking trike for a leisurely ride around town, while the latter is for those times you want to enjoy a much sportier experience. Both modes are accessible from the Ride Command infotainment system, which is available from the 7-inch touchscreen display, along with turn-by-turn navigation (it has built-in GPS) and Bluetooth connectivity, so you can pump out your tunes from the 100-watt Rockford Fosgate speaker setup.
The entire front end of the vehicle has been refreshed, from the front accent lighting and LED headlights to the color schemes to the overall aesthetic. It has a 7.5-inch tall windscreen, which should provide enough height to keep the wind off your face, given the cockpit’s low-slung position, while it retains the open-cockpit side-by-side seating that’s been the vehicle’s trademark. Other features include integrated steering wheel controls, full-grain leather on the steering wheel with Euro stitching, two USB ports, keyless start via a proximity key, 18-inch front wheels, and a 20-inch wheel in the rear.
The 2020 Polaris Slingshot ProStar 2.0L R is priced at $26,499. We know, that’s the price of a decent car and all, but you have to admit, this looks a heck of a lot more fun.