2023 Polaris Slingshot R Best Review for Buyers



Polaris continues to be a majority stakeholder in the US autocycle segment with its Slingshot. And the 2023 Slingshot R ($34,998 as tested) is positioned near the top of its 2023 model range. The Slingshot is categorized as a three-wheeled autocycle in the state of California. Federally, it’s known as a motorcycle. Two wheels up front and one drive wheel in the rear.

We trade two wheels for three inside Polaris’ top-spec 2023 Slingshot R autocycle. (Polaris/)

Editor’s note: We tested last year’s version in the 2022 Polaris Slingshot SL MC Commute Review. We also operated the automatic-transmission-equipped version in the 2020 Polaris Slingshot SL MC Commute Review. Legal restrictions and vehicle classification vary from state to state. Check your local laws before operating this vehicle on public roads.

Polaris says its Slingshot was designed to look like a predatory-style bird, and the Minnesota company did a marvelous job in the styling department. If you’re someone who wants to attract a lot of attention on the street, this Slingshot R is for you.

Braking performance has long been a weak link in the Slingshot’s arsenal. Thankfully, the R model boasts four-piston Brembo calipers up front. It also benefits from Polaris’ “Sport Vented Hood” that is available as an accessory. On the R model, it’s OE specification. Other differences include the fat 300-series rear Kenda meat on a 20-inch aluminum wheel.

Part car, part motorcycle, Polaris continues to offer folks something different with its Slingshot R. (Adam Waheed/)

Inside, the rider and driver sit in more premium R spec bucket seats. These seats are a huge upgrade from standard Slingshot’s. It also has electronic heating and cooling. Plus a nifty fly screen. The thing about Slingshots is that it offers lockable storage behind the seats, which is big enough to swallow full-face helmets.

The Slingshot is powered by Polaris’ ProStar 1,997cc inline-four. This was modeled after GM’s Ecotec LE9, which powered the original Slingshot (read the Polaris Introduces the Slingshot for 2015 article) for many years until the 2020 model year when it debuted its power unit. This is the same engine Polaris uses in its top-of-the-range RZR sport UTV.

Suspension consists of double-wishbone design, with forged control arms and shock absorbers. Rear suspension duties are handled by a motorcycle-type swingarm with a shock and a belt final drive.

The interior of the Polaris Slingshot R is similar to a low-slung sports car. (Polaris/)

Like most modern vehicles, the Slingshot relies on an proximity-type electronic key fob for engine start. The starting procedure consists of: Put the safety belt on for driver and passenger. Make sure the vehicle is in gear (so it doesn’t roll forward or backward). Depress the left-foot-mounted hydraulic clutch lever and press the start button. It’s always good when you’re starting this thing to press the starter button to allow the electronics to cycle on which takes a second or two. Then press the start button to fire the engine. If you’re trying to do it hastily, the electronics sometimes wig out.

Like we’ve written before, this is a three-wheeled autocycle in the state of California. To operate this vehicle in the Golden State, you have to have a Class C automobile driver’s license. No M1 endorsement is needed. You also have to wear a DOT-labeled helmet, however it doesn’t have to be a full-face design.

Hopping inside the vehicle requires some interesting body contortions. There are no doors like a UTV. Instead it has steel frame rails and bucket seats which hold you in the cockpit. Even though this vehicle is very low to the ground and has no doors, it’s difficult to get into. If you were someone who is disabled or has limited body movement, this vehicle would be a little bit tough to enter. Once seated at the controls, this bucket seat, especially the Slingshot R’s premium bucket seat, is nice. It holds you in very

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By: Adam Waheed
Title: 2023 Polaris Slingshot R Best Review for Buyers
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Published Date: Thu, 18 May 2023 16:52:22 +0000


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