Ever since the Polaris Slingshot hit the scene five years ago, we’ve been taken with its wild looks and memorable driving experience. For 2020, the three-wheeled auto-cycle received a major update with goodies like a new engine and redesigned interior. Although the model was previously offered only in a five-speed manual, the 2020 iteration can now be equipped with a five-speed automatic. Earlier this year, we got a chance to test the updated Slingshot, and we came away pleased with its added refinement and performance.
So far, the 2020 Slingshot has been offered in two trims: the SL and R, with starting prices of $26,499 and $30,999, respectively. Now there’s a third variant, the Grand Touring LE, which starts at $33,999 everywhere but California, where the base is $34,299.
But the Grand Touring LE isn’t just a nicer variant than the SL and R below it. This is a limited-edition Slingshot, of which fewer than 300 will be built. First off, the Grand Touring LE will only come with the five-speed automated manual transmission. This is great for Slingshot fans who can’t drive stick, but when I tested AutoDrive late last year, I wasn’t so happy with it. The transmission, which lacks paddle shifters, is fine when you’re driving slow or really fast, but at a medium pace, AutoDrive comes off confused, kind of like someone you’ve just woken up at 3 am. The five-speed manual, on the other hand, is terrific, but is only available on the R edition.
Other Grand Touring LE features include an exclusive Fairway Green paint scheme with bronze accents. The wheels, measuring 18 inches up front and 20 inches in back, are also bronze. With Grand Touring in its name, this Slingshot is positioned for longer journeys and features a taller wind deflector and a color-matched Slingshade roof.
Inside, you’ll find quilted seats, interior accent lighting and the make’s easy-to-use 7-inch Ride Command infotainment system. The latter has embedded navigation, but Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are not supported. A 100-watt Rockford Fosgate audio system also comes standard. One notable extra is the $2,400 choice to add heated and cooled seats, but you can also select the option for just one seat if you want to save half of that.
The Slingshot Grand Touring LE is powered by Polaris’ new 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine making 178 hp and 120 ft lbs of torque, but $600 extra will buy you a Stage 1 Tune upgrade good for 203 hp and 144 ft lbs of torque. That’s enough to get the Slingshot to 60 mph in 4.9 seconds on the way to a 125 mph top speed.
The Grand Touring LE version of the Polaris Slingshot is currently headed to dealers, so if you’re aiming to get one, don’t hold back too long or they’ll be gone.