Polaris teases new Slingshot again, and an automatic transmission

Might get a new four-cylinder engine, too

Six days after Polaris teased the new headlights of the coming Slingshot three-wheeler, the company's put out two teaser videos, shown above and below. Based on what we can see of the bodywork, exterior changes appear to be superficial. Slingshot's front end has been revised, with two ducts on either side of the nose set into a fairing that partially obscures the front suspension and wheels. The inlets don't appear to serve any purpose. However, Polaris did file a patent application in November 2018 that Motorcycle reported on, describing a new cooling system that uses two radiator fans instead of one fan. More important, the subtle redesign outside hides a lot of work done inside, like the new engine and automatic transmission. 

One of the videos shows what looks like a much more steeply angled center console, at the base of which is a pushbutton gear selector with the letters R, N and D. According to a forum thread at Slingshot Info, Polaris will drop the 2.4-liter GM EcoTec four-cylinder with 173 horsepower and 166 pound-feet of torque. That engine has served the three-wheeler since launch in 2014. In its place will come a Polaris-designed four-cylinder with as-yet-unknown output figures. A patent from 2017 that Motorcycle covered revealed the new engine, while a trademark application sought to protect the word "Autodrive" for use on "transmissions for three-wheeled motor vehicles for on road use." One Slingshot Info forum poster said he believes Polaris will offer two engines, the in-house design a premium offering, and a base offering below. The automatic transmission is Polaris' play to expand appeal to younger and aging buyers, but we'd expect to see the current Slingshot's five-speed transmission continue.

The cockpit features a new, two-spoke steering wheel with multifunction buttons on the spokes, a new gauge cluster, and a pushbutton start instead of a key lock.

The full reveal comes January 14. Slingshot Info posters say the new model isn't due on sale until March, though, the rumor being that Polaris is working to move old inventory before releasing the 2020 three-wheeler.


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