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2021 Polaris Slingshot adds refinement but keeps it outrageous

Just one year after a major overhaul, this singular-looking three-wheeler gets a slew of welcome improvements.

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Chris Paukert

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Building on the strength of last year's major overhaul, the 2021 Polaris Slingshot is getting a bevy of improvements, including a reprogramed AutoDrive transmission, paddle shifters and Apple CarPlay integration.

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Additional changes include a new automatic hill-hold feature, improved Rockford Fosgate audio and new LED interior lighting options that can be choreographed to whatever music is playing.

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Lookie! You can now get Apple CarPlay in a side-by-side autocycle. What a world.

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Like last year, the Slingshot's base inline four-cylinder engine is tipped to put out 180 horsepower and 120 pound-feet of torque on high-octane fuel. 

Uplevel R-Spec models get 203 hp and 144 pound-feet of torque.

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That may not sound like a ton of power, but remember, the Slingshot only weighs around 1,650 pounds in base spec. A Mazda MX-5 Miata -- as light a modern car as you'll find -- tips the scales at over 2,300 pounds. 

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This is the new range-topping Polaris Slingshot R Limited Edition. This particular example has been fitted with a range of factory accessories, including flip-up roof panels.

Subtle, eh?

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Hey, ma! Paddle shifters!

(The optional AutoShift box desperately needed these.)

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Polaris hopes you really, really like attention.

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Polaris claims the R spec hits 60 mph in 4.9 seconds, and I can verify that it'll do a nice burnout, too. One-tire fire!

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Despite the AutoShift gearbox's reprogramming for slicker gear changes, I'm willing to bet that the six-speed manual will still be both more fun and make for smoother progress.

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These kind of look like sea creatures from above... maybe road-going manta rays?

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If these aren't showy enough for you on the outside, you can now add additional LED lighting inside that dances to the music pumping out of your new and improved (and louder!) Rockford Fosgate audio system.

Your neighbors are gonna love you.

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If you bought a 2020 model and are feeling envious of the 2021 model year's many upgrades, fear not: Polaris is going to offer upgrades for your vehicle, as well -- everything from the AutoDrive reprogramming and paddle shifters to hill holding and Apple CarPlay.

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Top speed is limited to 125 mph.

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Keep scrolling for more photos of the 2021 Polaris Slingshot family.

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