Buying a motorcycle makes for an exciting time — there’s no denying that. But it’s also incredibly important to do the “upfront” work.
That is, educating yourself before making such a purchase. Taking the time to research and read everything there is to know about the autocycle you’re considering might sound tedious, but it’s a necessary next step in shopping for these vehicles.
For example, aspects like longevity, features, specifications, and overall reliability are especially important when considering buying any vehicle, including motorcycles.
The Polaris Slingshot, in particular, is one of the most popular autocycles of our time. Its popularity stems from not only its attractive designs but also all the impressive features and specs offered through its various models. The Slingshot’s longevity, for one, is notable at around 70,000 miles. With a top speed of 125 miles per hour, you’ll be able to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in five seconds in this open-air, three-wheeled autocycle.
We’ll cover everything you need to know about Polaris Slingshots so you can make an informed decision. From its cost and longevity to its features, specs, and resale value, we’ll dig into the details of what makes this autocycle stand out from the rest.
The history of the Polaris Slingshot is also worth digging into, as the ever-changing models can be hard to keep up with.
First and foremost, let’s start by taking a look at the features and specifications of the Polaris Slingshot.
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The Polaris Slingshot has a multitude of exciting features, from LED headlights to Apple CarPlay. They can vary by model, but the possible features include the following:
- Audio system
- Proximity key with keyless start ignition
- Three-point seatbelts
- Two 12 DC outlets
- Apple CarPlay
- Weather-proof interior
- Two passenger seating
- Electronic stability control (ESC)
- Integrated steering wheel controls
- Cruise control
- Connected services
- A 2-year factory warranty
- LED headlights (as well as LED turn signals, indicator, main brake light, and license plate)
- Traction control
- Infotainment display
- Vehicle hill hold
- ABS brakes
- Turn by turn navigation
- Leather wrapped steering wheel
- USB ports
- Passive security system
The specifications of Polaris Slingshots are pretty cut and dry. Here are the specs to be aware of:
- Curb weight: 1,636 lbs
- Max wet weight: 1,749 lbs
- Battery: 30AH, 12V, 400 CCA
- Vehicle height: 51.9 inches (1,318 mm)
- Vehicle length: 149.6 inches (3,800 mm)
- Vehicle width: 77.9 (1,980 mm)
- Ground clearance: 5.4 inches (137.3 mm)
- Bore x Stroke: 93 mm x 73.5 mm
- Top speed: Limited to 125 MPH
- Fuel capacity: 9.77 gallons
- Fuel system: Multiport injected
- Fuel type: 91 octane or higher
- Compression ratio: 11.5:1
- Power to weight ratio: 9.2lb/hp
- Engine type: Prostar 2.0L 4 cylinder
- Engine displacement: 1,997 cc
- Peak lateral grip: 1.02 g
- Peak power: 178 HP at 8,500 RPM
- Peak torque: 120 ft lbs at 5,500 RPM
- Rev limit: 8,500 RPM
- Valve train: DOHC
- Track width: 69.1 inches (1,755 mm)
- Wheelbase: 105 inches (2,667 mm)
- Anti lock braking system
- Front brake rotors: vented cast iron, 298 mm diameter
- Front calipers: aluminum 1 piston
- Rear brake rotors: vented cast iron, 298 mm diameter
- Rear calipers: aluminum 1 piston
- Front brake rotors: vented cast iron, 298 mm diameter
Cost of the Polaris Slingshot
The cost of the Polaris Slingshot will vary by model and version. Manual versions are the least expensive. You can expect a $19,999 base price for an entry-level Slingshot S.
If the vehicle has a technology package, the cost will run around $22,799. The base price of an SL is $25,999, and the SLR isn’t far behind at $28,899. From there, the R model runs for $32,499, and the Signature LE starts at $34,999.
If you want an automatic transmission, the price can increase from around $1,750 to $2,000, depending on the model (source).
A used Polaris Slingshot is another option, and these can run between $16,000 and $20,000.
For an added cost, there are some popular accessories you can include for your Slingshot. For example, a vented sport hood would be an added $3,200 charge, whereas an excursion top would be $1,899.
A Slingshade top runs between $1,900 and $3,500. Other add-ons that could raise the price include seat additions, audio and electronics, covers, storage space, and wind deflectors.
In general, Polaris Slingshots will retain some of their original value as long as they’re well-kept and in good condition. However, the resale price will be significantly lower than the price for which you bought the autocycle. It’s hard to predict an exact resale price as they can differ dramatically, but there are a few factors that can preserve or improve the resale value.
Your Polaris Slingshot will usually have a higher resale value if its service records are well-kept. For example, an autocycle whose owner has a clear, documented history of their Slingshot, along with any necessary service receipts, is more likely to have a higher value since this is evidence of a well taken care of autocycle.
Mileage can be a good indicator of a Polaris Slingshot’s resale value. The higher the mileage, the lower the resale price. For reference, high mileage refers to more than 35,000 miles, whereas low is under 10,000 miles. Still, mileage is just one factor that’s considered for the Polaris Slingshot’s resale value.
Although you might be tempted not to drive it as often in order to keep the mileage down, keep in mind that it’s still important to drive your Polaris Slingshot regularly. This will make sure its battery is charged, its fluids are fresh, and its engine is well lubricated. Not driving your Slingshot as much can actually do more harm than good.
However, anything you can do to preserve the autocycle’s condition will help in the long run, as it’ll have a higher resale value. Simple practices like safe driving techniques and regular washes and maintenance can certainly help keep the Polaris Slingshot’s value.
Overdue repairs or obvious signs of neglect can decrease your Polaris Slingshot’s value.
You can expect a Polaris Slingshot to last more than 70,000 miles as long as it’s kept up well, has been stored appropriately, and is driven responsibly. However, this isn’t a set expiration date; some drivers report their Polaris Slingshot still riding strong at over 70,000 miles and have never had any serious issues.
Following the Polaris Slingshot’s break instructions is also a surefire way to extend its lifeline. This autocycle needs to be broken in via this procedure, found in its manual. If these engine break-in processes aren’t followed properly, the Polaris Slingshot’s engine could become seriously damaged.
If you want to preserve this autocycle’s life, follow all these instructions to a T. During the break-in period, you’ll also want to make sure to steer clear of full-throttled operations and any other practices that might put any extra weight on the engine.
To prolong the life of a Polaris Slingshot, you’ll want to conduct regular maintenance. You can find out what that entails via the manual you’ll receive at a certified auto dealership. This can include regular washes, as that will help the autocycle not to rust and will keep the engine free of grime and dirt. In the same vein, Polaris Slingshots that are stored properly will last longer. For example, storage options like garages should be out of direct sunlight, as well as well-ventilated and dry.
You can also prevent extra wear and tear on the autocycle and its parts by using smooth braking and acceleration practices.
On 2022 Polaris Slingshot models, the top speed is 125 mph. You’ll be able to go 0-60 mph in five seconds on average.
For example, one model, the Slingshot Signature LE, uses a Prostar 2.0L 4-cylinder engine that features 120 lb-ft of torque at 5,500 RPM and 178 HP at 8,500 RPM. Its power-to-weight ratio comes out to be 8.1 lbs per horsepower.
But speed aside, is the Polaris Slingshot even worth it?
Is the Polaris Slingshot a Good Purchase?
Overall, the Polaris Slingshot is a good purchase. It’s a fun autocycle to drive, with a good resale value as long as it’s well taken care of.
It’s also reasonably priced and has a cost range so as to make it slightly more affordable. For example, you can find a Polaris Slingshot (depending on the model) for anywhere from about $20,000 to over $35,000.
It’s a very reliable autocycle as long as it’s treated right. Reliability can depend on how often your Slingshot is serviced. For example, having your Slingshot regularly serviced by a mechanic that’s Polaris authorized can extend its reliability.
Keeping the Slingshot protected from the outside environment and elements is also critical in ensuring its reliability. It’s essential to store this autocycle inside, and putting a quality tarp on top of it can give your Slingshot extra protection.
Rain and other participation can lead to a rusty recreational ripper. Even something as simple as the sun’s UV rays can wreak havoc on your Slingshot, particularly on its adhesive parts, leather, seals, and grips.
Be mindful of airborne corrosive chemicals as well. These can be even more harmful than outside elements.
Not only do these practices improve its reliability, but they also ensure a good resale value for your Slingshot. Anything that can harm your autocycle — from the outdoor elements to unsafe driving practices — will decrease the resale value quickly.
As long as you plan to take care of your Slingshot in such a way, this autocycle is a good purchase to make.
The Polaris Slingshot has a rich, interesting history that began in 2010. Its prototype was designed by a group of engineers before collaborating with designers to create the Polaris Slingshot.
In 2014, the Slingshot progressed from prototype to production, and later that year, dealers began receiving these autocycles. The very first Slingshot models were the 2015 Slingshot S and SL models.
The Slingshot S descended from the original Slingshot design and was available for purchase in 2015. The second model — the SL — was designed for drivers looking for enhanced performance as well as features that went beyond the basics of the original Slingshot. These features included larger custom wheels, a 7-inch multi-touch display, and a backup camera.
New models with upgrades like new colors and turn-by-turn navigation became available in 2016. A year later, the SLR arrived with its sports seats, two-tone paint, and forged wheels. The Grand Touring, in all its glory, followed quickly behind in 2018, with quilted comfort seats, color-matched fenders, and metallic paint.
The 2020 models offered fresh features, from a brand new interior and exterior styling to new drive modes to AutoDrive transmission. The new R Limited Edition Slingshot launched in 2021 and expanded the options for customization via new accessories and color accent options.
Described as the “ultimate three-wheel adventure,” the Polaris Slingshot’s classic design stands out as one of the most impressive in the autocycle industry.
Polaris still manufactures the Slingshot in the United States today.
The Polaris Slingshot is a fun, affordable adventure autocycle. It’s a reliable vehicle with a plethora of various features and specs that can vary by model. All the different models and price ranges provide offerings for every type of driver.
They’re also very customizable — especially the newest versions — so you can drive in comfort and style your way.
You can’t go wrong with a Polaris Slingshot, especially if you’re dedicated to its maintenance and upkeep, which will help preserve its resale value as well as keep your autocycle in top shape.
Polaris has certainly made a name for itself, especially with the Slingshot design, and it continues to upgrade, improve, and build upon its current models. We can only dream about what the next Polaris Slingshot iteration will look like.
I’m William Guzenski, ASE certified master automobile technician & automotive expert. I love to attend race events and car shows throughout the country. I also loves to travel 40-foot motorhome, exploring abandoned mines and ghost towns. I’m currently building another car for Bonneville Salt Flats and will be campaigning a drag car at several events.