The Slingshot is a unique three-wheeled powersport vehicle manufactured by Polaris Inc. You will find a 1997cc, inline-four Polaris ProStar engine under the hood delivering 178-203 HP depending on the model.
If you want to find out more about this amazing machine, this post is for you.
We at PowerSportsGuide have compiled all you need to know into this detailed Polaris Slingshot review!
Polaris Slingshot Review
Polaris is a well-known name in the powersport industry manufacturing many great off-road vehicles, snowmobiles, and snow bikes (Timbersleds). The Minnesota-based manufacturer decided to enter a new market in late 2014 when it released its first on-road vehicle.
Christened the Slingshot, this machine is a virtual blending of a motorcycle with a car, featuring two bucket seats, a car-like steering wheel, and control pedals.
From the front, it looks like a roadster without any doors and a standard windshield, but its wheel layout is borrowed from reversed trikes.
Although this machine is federally classified as a three-wheeled motorcycle, it’s actually classified as an “autocycle” in most states.
The Slingshot is offered in five different configurations from the base S to the high-end Signature LE.
Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty and talk about each in detail!
Polaris Slingshot Models
Without further ado, the five Polaris Slingshot models are as follows:
- Polaris Slingshot S: $20,799
- Polaris Slingshot SL: $26,799
- Polaris Slingshot SLR: $29,699
- Polaris Slingshot R: $33,299
- Polaris Slingshot Signature LE: $35,799
What is the difference between each of the Slingshot models?
In a nutshell, the S is the base model, which comes with the lightest curb weight and the most affordable price tag. The SL is the more featured configuration of the S and available with a wide range of color options, audio systems, and more.
Each of these models offers a performance of 178 HP and 120 ft-lb of torque.
In contrast, R and SLR models come with a more powerful 203 HP engine option and a wide range of sport features.
The flagship model in the Polaris fleet is the Signature LE, which comes with many unique features including a vented hood, limited Tri-Tone color scheme, a unique wheel design, GPS navigation, Ride Command, a special audio system, and more.
Polaris Slingshot Engine
Each Polaris Slighshot is built on the same inline four-cylinder ProStar 2.0L engine, which has the following key features:
- Cylinders: 4-cylinder, In-line
- Engine stroke: 4-stroke
- Bore x Stroke: 93 mm x 73.5 mm
- Compression Ratio: 11.5:1
- Displacement: 1,997 cc
- Peak power: 178/203 HP
- Peak torque: 120/144 lb-ft
- Valve train: DOHC
- Fuel System: Multiport Injected
- Rev limit: 8,500 RPM
- Lubrication System: Wet sump
- Fuel Type: 91 octanes or higher
However, the peak power of this power source varies depending on the model.
The engine of the Slingshot S and SL, plus the Signature LE produces 178 HP at 8,500 rpm, and 120 ft-lb of torque at 5,500 rpm.
In contrast, the engine of the much sportier R and SLR models is rated at 203 HP at 8,250 rpm and a peak torque of 144 ft-lb at 6,500 rpm. Again, each model enjoys the same engine, but the S and SLR come with unleashed performance.
This engine can be paired with a 5-speed manual or an automatic AutoDrive (Hydraulically Actuated Automated Manual) transmission. This unique automatic transmission allows you to shift gears without using a clutch.
Engine power is delivered towards the single rear wheel via a belt drive system.
Keeping safety in mind, the top speed of each Polaris Slingshot is limited to 125 mph. But don’t worry, as this is plenty of speed in this open cockpit!
As far as acceleration goes, the more powerful models can do the 0-60 mph run in just 4.9 seconds.
Polaris Slingshot Chassis
This engine is nestled in a lightweight roadster-like body featuring an aggressive, eye-catching design. So it’s no surprise that this machine gets a second look every time!
Each Slingshot shares the same open chassis, measuring 149.6 inches in length, 78 inches in width, and 51.9 inches in height.
The curb weight is about 1,363-1,694 pounds depending on the model while the load capacity is uniformly 450 pounds.
You can find two convenient sports car-like bucket seats in the interior.
The Slingshot features two wheels on the front mounted on a dual A-arm suspension (travel: 4.43 inches). These 18″ x 7.5″ rims come with 225/45 R18 KENDA KR20X tires as standard.
In contrast, the rear wheel is a single 20″ x 9″ rim paired with a 255/35 R20 tire for the most traction and power delivery. The rear suspension offers travel of 5.34 inches.
The Slingshot gets about 25-30 MPG so its 9.8-gallon fuel tank offers a cruising range of 250 miles.
Polaris Slingshot Comparison Chart
For a better comparison, we’ve listed the key specs of the different Slingshot models in one chart:
|Specs||Slingshot S||Slingshot SL||Slingshot SLR||Slingshot R||Slingshot Singature LE|
|MSRP||$20 799||$26 799||$29 699||$33 299||$35 799|
|Power to Weight Ratio (lb/hp)||9.2||9.3||8.2||8.1||9.3|
|Top Speed (mph)||125||125||125||125||125|
|Curb Weight (lbs)||1 363||1 694||1 668||1 651||1 647|
Disclaimer: This chart is for informational purposes only. For more information, please check the official factory manuals!
Polaris Slingshot Specs Charts
As a reference, we’ve compiled the Polaris Slingshot specifications into these charts: (base S model, 2022)
Polaris Slingshot S Dimensions
|Overall Length||149.6 in. (3800 mm)|
|Overall Width||78 in. (1980 mm)|
|Overall Height||51.9 in. (1318 mm)|
|Track Width||69.1 in. (1755 mm)|
|Wheel Base||105 in. (2667 mm)|
|Ground Clearance||5.4 in. (137 mm)|
Polaris Slingshot S Weight
|Maximum Wet Weight (including options and accessories)||1749 lbs. (793 kg)|
|Maximum Load Capacity (including riders and cargo)||450 lbs. (204 kg)|
|Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR)||2199 lbs. (997 kg)|
|Gross Axle Weight Rating (GAWR)|
|Front Axle||1321 lbs. (599 kg)|
|Rear Axle||878 lbs. (398 kg)|
Polaris Slingshot S Capacities
|Seating||Two (2) Occupants|
|Engine Oil with Filter||6 qts. (5.68 l) with 6 qts. (5.68 l) at oil and filter change|
|Fuel||9.8 gallons (37.1 l)|
|Fuel Remaining at “Empty” on Gauge||Approximately 1.5 gallon (5.6 l)|
|Coolant||6.6 qts. (6.2 l) Dry fill, 4.75 qts. (4.5 l) Drain and Fill|
Polaris Slingshot S Engine
|Engine Type||POLARIS ProStar 2.0L DOHC I4|
|Displacement||122 cubic inches (1997 cc)|
|Valve Train||DOHC, Direct Acting|
|Bore & Stroke||93 x 73.5 mm|
|Throttle Body Bore||62 mm|
|Electronic Fuel Injection System||Bosch® ME17|
|Spark Plug Type / Gap||NGK® ZMR7A-10 / 0.035-0.039 inch (0.9-1.0 mm)|
|Exhaust Control System||Closed-Loop, Single O2 Sensor|
|Exhaust System||4-Chamber Muffler|
|Cooling System||SLINGSHOT Extended Life Coolant, 50/50 Pre-Mixed, For Prostar 2.0 DOHC I4 Engines|
|Lubrication System||Wet Sump|
|Oil Type||SLINGSHOT PS-4 Full Synthetic 5W-50 4-Cycle Oil|
Polaris Slingshot S Chassis
|Front Suspension Type / Travel||Dual A-Arm / 4.43 in. (112.6 mm)|
|Rear Suspension Type / Travel||Swingarm / 5.23 in. (132.8 mm)|
|Front Brakes||Disc / Dual-Rotor / 2 Piston Calipers|
|Rear Brakes||Disc / Dual-Rotor / IPB|
Polaris Slingshot S Wheels and Tires
|Wheels And Tires||SLINGSHOT S|
|Front Tire Type||KENDA® KR20X|
|Front Tire Size||225/45 R18|
|Front Tire Pressure||28 PSI (193 kPa)|
|Front Tire Rims||18″ x 7.5″|
|Rear Tire Type||KENDA® KR20Y|
|Rear Tire Size||255/35 R20|
|Rear Tire Pressure||32 PSI (221 kPa)|
|Rear Tire Rims||20″ x 9″|
Polaris Slingshot S Drive System (Manual)
|Drive System (Manual Transmission)||SLINGSHOT S|
|Final Drive Type||Right Angle Drive (48/17) Carbon Fiber Reinforced Belt (62:35)|
|Transmission Type||5 Speed with Overdrive|
|Gear Shift Pattern||5-Speed H-Gate Pattern with Reverse Down-Right|
|Right Angle Drive Ratio||2.824:1|
|Final Drive Ratio||1.771:1|
|Clutch Type||Single Plate, Diaphragm Spring,Dry|
Polaris Slingshot S Drive System (AutoDrive)
|Drive System (AutoDrive Transmission)||SLINGSHOT S|
|Final Drive Type||Right Angle Drive (48/17) Carbon Fiber Reinforced Belt (62:35)|
|Hydraulic Fluid Type||Pentosin® CHF 11S|
Polaris Slingshot S Lights and Electrical Features
|Electrical and Lights||SLINGSHOT S|
|Alternator||140 Amp Maximum Output|
|Battery||12 Volt / 30 Amp Hour / 400 CCA|
|Center Headlights (USA)||Non-Serviceable LED|
|Accent Lights (USA)||Non-Serviceable LED|
|Headlights (Canada)||High/Low H3 55W|
|Turn Signals / Taillight / Brake Light||Non-Serviceable LED|
|License Plate Light||Non-Serviceable LED|
|Speedometer / Indicator Lights||Non-Serviceable LED|
Disclaimer: These charts are for informational purposes only! For more information, please check the official factory manuals!
Takeaways – FAQs About the Polaris Slingshot
As a takeaway, we’ve answered the most common questions about the Polaris Slingshot!
What is a Polaris Slingshot?
The Polaris Slingshot is a unique three-wheeled powersport vehicle. Although it looks like a three-wheeled car, it’s different from a car in many ways.
As described by the manufacturer:
“Slingshot is a three-wheeled sensation that re-ignites your love for driving. Not a car and certainly not a motorcycle, Slingshot melds the best of both worlds for a whole new way to feel the rush of the road below and the sky above.”
What brand owns Slingshot?
The Slingshot brand is owned by the American Polaris Inc.
When did the Polaris Slingshot come out?
Polaris revealed the Slingshot in late 2014 and the first models hit dealerships in the 2015 model year.
Is a Polaris Slingshot a motorcycle or a car?
When it comes to the classification of the Slighshot there’s a huge misunderstanding out there.
This is no surprise since the classification of this unique vehicle depends on which state it’s in.
As a rule of thumb, the Slingshot is classified as a three-wheeled motorcycle by federal law, but most states classify it as an autocycle.
Do you need a motorcycle license to drive a Slingshot?
You can drive a Polaris Slingshot in most states with a standard state driver’s license. Keep in mind that certain states consider this machine to be a motorcycle and thus require a motorcycle license.
You can find more information about Slingshot’s license requirements here.
Also, check local laws to stay safe and legal before you hit the road with a Slingshot!
How safe is the Polaris Slingshot?
There’s no question that a Polaris Slingshot offers less safety and protection than a regular car. It lacks many safety features including an enclosed chassis and airbags.
Keep in mind that the Slingshot is federally classified as a three-wheeled motorcycle, meaning that it doesn’t have to meet auto safety standards.
Due to its three-wheeled architecture and special chassis, it handles differently than standard cars, especially in wet conditions.
Do you need a helmet to ride a Polaris Slingshot?
Some states require you to wear a helmet while driving a Polaris Slingshot, while others do not. This is because the regulations of autocycles vary from one state to the next.
In many states, you don’t need a motorcycle license to drive a Slingshot but have to wear a helmet.
The manufacturer also recommends Slingshot drivers and passengers always wear a full-face, DOT-approved helmet and to fasten seatbelts while driving.
It makes sense since the open cockpit of this machine offers much less protection than a regular car or truck.
But even if your state doesn’t require you to wear a helmet, eye or full-face protection in a Slingshot, it is highly recommended. Without them, other vehicles may deliver dirt, gravel, and other debris toward your face, which is never pleasant!
Do you have to wear a seatbelt in a Slingshot?
The legal requirements of seatbelts in a Slingshot are dependent again on the state. However, the manufacturer highly recommends using them for safety reasons, regardless of local regulations.
Do Slingshots have speakers?
Yes, more advanced Polaris Slingshots come with a complete audio system as standard.
What size speakers are in a Polaris Slingshot?
You can find three different speakers in upper-end Polaris Slingshots, the dimensions of which are as follows: 5.25″ shallow depth, 3.5″, and 1″.
Are Polaris slingshots electric?
No, Polaris Slingshots are exclusively manufactured with internal-combustion engines.
What type of engine does a Polaris Slingshot have?
Polaris Slingshots are powered by a Polaris ProStar 2.0L engine. This 1997cc, 4-stroke, DOHC, in-line 4-cylinder power mill comes with many advanced features including liquid-cooling, and multiport fuel injection.
Who makes the engine in a Polaris Slingshot?
The engine of the early models was made by GM, but since 2020 the engine of Slingshots are manufactured by Polaris.
How much HP does the Polaris Slingshot have?
Polaris Slingshot S, SL, and Signature LE models produce 178 HP at 8,500 rpm while the R and SLR offer 203 HP at 8,250 rpm.
How fast are Polaris slingshots?
The top speed of each Polaris Slingshot is electronically limited to 125 mph.
Is the Polaris Slingshot fast?
Yes, Polaris Slingshots are not only very fast (125 mph) but the speed also seems much faster than in a standard car thanks to the open cockpit.
How many MPG does a Slingshot get?
Polaris Slingshots typically get 25-30 MPG depending on your riding style and environmental conditions.
What kind of gas does the Polaris Slingshot take?
According to the owner’s manual, the Slingshot takes 91 octane gas or higher.
Can you supercharge a Slingshot?
You can supercharge a Slingshot by installing an aftermarket supercharger kit. This mod can boost the performance of the engine above a whopping 300 HP.
Are Polaris Slingshots manual or automatic?
Polaris Slingshots are available with both AutoDrive “automatic manual” and real manual transmissions.
What kind of transmission does a Slingshot have?
The manual Slingshots house a regular 5-speed “H-pattern” transmission with reverse down-right, while their automatic manual siblings are designed with a unique AutoDrive transmission. The latter is a “Hydraulically Actuated Automated Manual Transmission,” which doesn’t require you to actuate a clutch when shifting gears.
Is driving a Slingshot like driving a car?
Although Slingshots look like three-wheeled cars, they offer a different driving experience, especially on wet roads!
Can you put a roof and doors on a Slingshot?
Yes, you can turn a Slingshot into an enclosed vehicle by installing an aftermarket body kit. These kits involve a roof, doors, windows, and the mounting hardware needed for the installation.
How many miles does a Slingshot last?
As reported by EnginePatrol, a well-kept Slingshot can last over 70,000 miles.
Can you drive a Slingshot in the rain?
According to rental services, a Slingshot can be driven in the rain since it features waterproof bucket seats and interiors. But let’s face it, driving a completely open vehicle in wet weather conditions is never pleasant!
Do Slingshots have AC?
Slingshots are manufactured without AC since they utilize a completely open cockpit. However, the good news is that Slingshots can be ordered with cooled seats from the factory.
Do Polaris Slingshots have heaters in them?
Just like the AC system, cockpit heating is still not available on Polaris Slingshots. The only thing the machine offers to keep you warm is an optional heated seat.
Do Slingshots have a trunk?
Although Slingshots don’t have a regular car-like trunk, they feature two lockable waterproof storage bins behind the seats.
Where is the Polaris Slingshot made?
Polaris Slingshots are proudly manufactured in the US (Hunstville, AL).
What’s the difference between Slingshot S and SL?
The Slingshot S is the base model in the fleet while the SL is the more featured version of the S. It comes with more color options, an audio system, and more.
How fast can the Polaris Slingshot go from 0 to 60?
The claimed acceleration of the 203 HP Polaris Slingshot is 4.9 seconds in the 0-60 mph run. Unfortunately, the manufacturer is reluctant to reveal the same spec on base models.
How much does a Polaris Slingshot weigh?
The curb weight of Polaris Slingshots varies between 1,363 and 1,694 pounds depending on the model.
How much weight can a Polaris Slingshot carry?
The load limit of the Polaris Slingshot is 450 pounds.
What are the dimensions of the Polaris Slingshot?
The Slingshot measures 149.6 inches in length, 78 inches in width, and 51.9 inches in height, while its wheelbase is 105 inches.
How much fuel can the Polaris Slingshot hold?
The fuel capacity of the Slingshot is 9.8 US gallons.
How much is a Polaris Slingshot?
The price tags of Polaris Slingshots start at $20,799 and go up to $35,799.
Can a Slingshot be financed?
Yes, you can choose from many financing options if you are considering buying a Slingshot. You can find the manufacturer’s special offers here.