Anticipated automatic Slingshot

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  • This business article talks briefly about an "anticipated automatic Slingshot model being a key to the vehicle's long term viability."

    They also discussed Can-Am and Honda as prime competitors.

    article from Powersports Business website here is kind of short on details. Anyone heard more specific information?

    The smarter you get, the funnier I am.

  • https://www.consumerreports.or…al-transmission/index.htm


    So according to this article manual transmissions are not very favorable to the average consumer.

    The article actually says nothing about consumer preference. However, almost all performance brand automotive companies are moving away from manual transmission vehicles. Subaru bucks the trend with its WRX vehicles, where manual transmission outsells automatic in the USA. BMW, Audi, no more manuals. Toyota's new Supra, no manual. Manual transmission accounts for less than 3-5% of all vehicle sales in the US & Europe today.

    The article mentions the automatic as key to long term viability for the Slingshot, but little else. I simply wanted to pass the article along and ask if anyone had more information.

    The smarter you get, the funnier I am.

  • After the unique design caught our eye, the "motorcycle alternative" concept captured our imagination, it was the GM engine and manual tranny that tipped the scales for us! The reality is if the SlingShot had came out originally with an automatic tranny, we would have just passed it by.


    Bill

    Madstad windshield

    MeanSling hood assist

    MeanSling SportTop

    DDMWorks surge tank

    Paramount Plastics Stealth Rear Fender version 1

    Ventisit ventilated seat cushions

  • After the unique design caught our eye, the "motorcycle alternative" concept captured our imagination, it was the GM engine and manual tranny that tipped the scales for us! The reality is if the SlingShot had came out originally with an automatic tranny, we would have just passed it by.


    Bill


    Now while I think an automatic transmission will boost sales in the short term, it will also bring the wrong crowd which up to now the manual tranny has serve as a filter to deter Auto_snowflakes from buying (anyone not willing to drive manual that doesn't have a physical limitation).

    If the slingshot is sold with an automatic people who otherwise would buy a miata, z4 or (insert small convertible here) might buy the slingshot without realizing how unrefined and different the slingshot really is which then will bring a lot of bad publicity and public outcry.

    Just think what will happen if the slingshot sells double the amount of what it sells now which still is not a big number in the auto world, how would polaris handle service? what happens when thousands of people start going to dealers and get told to leave their slingshot for an unknown amount of time until the dealers figures out the problem and these thousands of people ask where my loaner is?

    Polaris has hands down failed the current small volume of owners when it comes to service, the only reason it has not resulted in public outcry is because most of us are already used to it since most of us come from a motorcycle background but we have seen how many have bought the slingshot only to sell it 1000 miles later because they didn't want to deal with recalls,noise, bad dealer, lack of near dealers etc, so in my opinion adding an automatic and trying to move the slingshot from the niche vehicle spot into any kind of "mass market" would probably result in the death of the slingshot.

    Is not that I am mean, I just don't sugarcoat what I say.

  • From the very beginning it has been the folks that have purchased the SlingShot thinking of it as, or trying to make it into, a car who have been the folks that have been the most critical and complained the most..........................


    Bill

    Madstad windshield

    MeanSling hood assist

    MeanSling SportTop

    DDMWorks surge tank

    Paramount Plastics Stealth Rear Fender version 1

    Ventisit ventilated seat cushions

  • I'm going to agree with Polaris on this one from a business case standpoint. From day one I argued an automatic upfitted like a Honda Gullwing would be a good seller. The manual is less and less available and honestly was surprised that it was offered over an automatic from the start. Understand the argument against offering it but as someone who does hope for success of the idea I welcome it.

    Proud supporter of S.O.G.

    (Slingshot Owners Group)

    :thumbsup:

    Owner/operator: MeanSling LLC :thumbsup:

  • I'm going to agree with Polaris on this one from a business case standpoint. From day one I argued an automatic upfitted like a Honda Gullwing would be a good seller. The manual is less and less available and honestly was surprised that it was offered over an automatic from the start. Understand the argument against offering it but as someone who does hope for success of the idea I welcome it.

    You make me glad I got mine in 2019 - with a manual!

    The smarter you get, the funnier I am.

  • I'm going to agree with Polaris on this one from a business case standpoint. From day one I argued an automatic upfitted like a Honda Gullwing would be a good seller. The manual is less and less available and honestly was surprised that it was offered over an automatic from the start. Understand the argument against offering it but as someone who does hope for success of the idea I welcome it.

    From what I understand is that using the current configuration of the SlingShot, Polaris was confined to using the manual transmission due to weight restrictions so to keep the SlingShot saleable as a motorcycle. If Polaris wants to offer the SlingShot with an automatic transmission, then it is going to have to (sacrifice and?)undergo a major redesign to reduce it's weight to accommodate the heavier automatic tranny.

    Bill

    Madstad windshield

    MeanSling hood assist

    MeanSling SportTop

    DDMWorks surge tank

    Paramount Plastics Stealth Rear Fender version 1

    Ventisit ventilated seat cushions

  • From what I understand is that using the current configuration of the SlingShot, Polaris was confined to using the manual transmission due to weight restrictions so to keep the SlingShot saleable as a motorcycle................


    Bill

    I've heard this as well. To put an automatic in it would require a lighter, smaller engine - likely a 2.0L or smaller with a turbo to compensate for lost power. Basically the eco-boost solution. =O

    The smarter you get, the funnier I am.

  • Bigdog

    This from today's autoblog on manual transmission acceptance rates...

    When we get to the regular Golf hatchback, Jetta sedan, and overall percentage, manual popularity looks more like what we've seen from other automakers. Of all Golfs, 10% had a stick, and 7% of Jettas had one. Overall, manual transmission sales accounted for 5% of VW's total 2018 sales. That falls just below Subaru's 7% overall take rate in 2018, but well ahead of Honda's 2.8% in the same year. So manual transmissions are still a niche, but at least it's nice to see that it's a significant portion of select models, which should keep the option around for a while.

    The smarter you get, the funnier I am.

  • IIRC, the first Polaris Slingshot owner's survey in 2015 asked about offering an automatic transmission Slingshot and mentioned having more than one size Slingshot and different engine/transmission combinations available. Manual transmissions are fun, but a modern automatic will generally out-shift most manual trans operators, especially with a decent paddle-shifter setup.

  • Bigdog

    This from today's autoblog on manual transmission acceptance rates...

    When we get to the regular Golf hatchback, Jetta sedan, and overall percentage, manual popularity looks more like what we've seen from other automakers. Of all Golfs, 10% had a stick, and 7% of Jettas had one. Overall, manual transmission sales accounted for 5% of VW's total 2018 sales. That falls just below Subaru's 7% overall take rate in 2018, but well ahead of Honda's 2.8% in the same year. So manual transmissions are still a niche, but at least it's nice to see that it's a significant portion of select models, which should keep the option around for a while.


    One of the more interesting options for a manual transmission that popped up recently is the G70, once again they are anticipating a very low percentage of take rate on them, but it is still great to see the option actually there.


    https://jalopnik.com/genesis-g…on-even-though-1834844684

  • I love the manual and it will always be my choice, hands down. From a business stand-point a manual could bring in a large untapped market. I think it would be good for Polaris and slingshot owners in general. Sales are good for all in the game, including insurance companies who really on a large pool for risk mitigation & operating profit. Aftermarket companies etc.

  • From what I understand is that using the current configuration of the SlingShot, Polaris was confined to using the manual transmission due to weight restrictions so to keep the SlingShot saleable as a motorcycle. If Polaris wants to offer the SlingShot with an automatic transmission, then it is going to have to (sacrifice and?)undergo a major redesign to reduce it's weight to accommodate the heavier automatic tranny.

    Bill

    yes... They could have reduced weight to allow this but would have needed to rework a good bit. The one area they added weight was the hood. The large structural plastic substructure with the injected plastic panels are far heavier than needed. Tooling cost was high but unit cost way lower than a lighter more expensive hood. That's just one area where manufacturing cost weighed in (see what I did there) with what could be untized elsewhere. So yes the weight was a driver for the Manual but only because of unit cost demanded it.

    Proud supporter of S.O.G.

    (Slingshot Owners Group)

    :thumbsup:

    Owner/operator: MeanSling LLC :thumbsup:

  • As far as manual transmissions go......who buys a motorcycle expecting an automatic tranny?


    Second, all the vehicles mentioned in those articles are cars.....family cars.....no way would I ever buy a truck, a van, family car...with a stick.....motorcycles, sports cars ....yes...


    And about our hood.....it flaps around enough now....making it any thinner or eliminating any braces and it will look like a bird flapping its wings on take off going down the road...

  • As far as manual transmissions go......who buys a motorcycle expecting an automatic tranny?


    Second, all the vehicles mentioned in those articles are cars.....family cars.....no way would I ever buy a truck, a van, family car...with a stick.....motorcycles, sports cars ....yes...


    And about our hood.....it flaps around enough now....making it any thinner or eliminating any braces and it will look like a bird flapping its wings on take off going down the road...

    Material weight and strength are not related. I assure you a stronger lighter hood can be made with no flapping. Flapping is caused by other factors that could be eliminated.

    Proud supporter of S.O.G.

    (Slingshot Owners Group)

    :thumbsup:

    Owner/operator: MeanSling LLC :thumbsup: