Whether driving the three-wheel Polaris Slingshot through the Garden of the Gods or the suburbs to run daily errands — let it be known — you are making a statement. A loud one.
Polaris’ 2023 Slingshot model year lineup unleashes an army of neon-painted, three-wheeler autocycles, starting with its base model, the Slingshot S, followed by the Slingshot SL, Slingshot SLR and Slingshot R. The Slingshot’s appeal — aside from its superhero-esque appearance — is its synergy with the elements and proximity to nature: pebbles flying just a few centimeters below the windshield, the scent of passing environments, like the BBQ joint on the corner or the smell of engine smoke, and the exposed road, merely inches away from your body, suddenly an optical illusion at 70 mph. A tight turn in its open-air cockpit feels reminiscent of driving go-karts or the stomach-dropping sensation of inertia on a plummeting rollercoaster. It’s the closest thing to merging the riding experience of a motorcycle with the style of a sports car and the entertainment value of the Batmobile. Simply put, the Slingshot is fun.
With good old-fashioned fun arises the question of practicality, but for Slingshot, practicality is personalized. Each model is a starting canvas and customizable depending on your lifestyle needs. If you’re among the 35% of consumers that have integrated the vehicle as their daily driver, Slingshot’s plethora of customizable add-ons and technology packages render the autocycle reasonably versatile.
The Slingshot invites impromptu weekend getaways and cross-country tours in the heat of summer. Part of the magic is reveling in the Slingshot’s excess, queuing your favorite playlist to drown the streets in bass as you accelerate down the highway. With a passenger, the experience is all the more immersive. Out on the road, the vehicle commands attention as pedestrians wave and shout at you from afar. Driving through the city, the roadster causes a commotion and turns heads; winding down scenic back roads, it’s what most adventurers envision when they set out to Burning Man or Coachella. You get behind the wheel of the Slingshot because you intend to feel the sun on your skin, to hear nature at play and experience what would otherwise feel beyond reach in a traditional cabin. The car next to you is watching, of course, because the vehicle’s amusement factor is contagious. If you already own one, you’re familiar with the camaraderie amongst Slingshot drivers and the pride of having traded your beloved Prius for a whimsical riding experience.
As a quick overview, the Slingshot roadster has an entry-level MSRP of $20,799 and is fitted with manual or AutoDrive transmissions and a ProStar 2.0 liter 4-cylinder engine. The 2023 lineup emphasizes personalization, as each line is replete with all-new colorways and a sleek, aerodynamic rollout of stock accessories that can also equip earlier 2020 models. For the S and SL, the engine produces 178 horsepower at 8,500 rpm and 120 lb-ft of torque at 5500 rpm, while the SLR and R rev to 203 horsepower at 8,250 rpm and 144 ft-lbs of torque at 6500 rpm. Inside the Slingshot, consumers can customize familiar amenities to suit their driving needs.
For convenient personalization, Polaris segments its factory accesories by driving series: Escape (storage- and travel-focused optimization), Drive (experiential tech packages), Show (light/audio) and Design (interior/exterior). For example, your chosen ride can be upgraded with Heated and Cooled Seats, an Excursion Top or Slingshade and armed with a premium Brembo® braking system if the mood fits. The XKGlow Interior Light Kit ups the ante with incandescent footwells, under seats, left- and right-hand side tubs and center console LED lighting — especially eye-catching in the evenings. These features are whatever you make them, and the 2023 lineup equally improves upon aesthetics and performance.
Behind the wheel of the Slingshot, the everyday becomes extraordinary and, most of all, memorable. Due for a much-needed adventure? Get a helmet and buckle up. Visit Polaris’ website for a full breakdown of each model, specs, tech packages and Slingshot accessories.