The new engine is smooth and strong, putting out a claimed 178 hp at 8,500 rpm. What Polaris calls AutoDrive transmission operates like a normal automatic transmission, with smooth shifts at the appropriate rpm. With three levels of traction control, you’re able to choose how squirrelly you want to get, with TC fully engaged proving to be the fastest, as it maintained the most traction through turns. With the new transmission and traction control, the Slingshot is now much easier to drive like a normal car, but still able to burn that rear tire when you want, though the connection to the road and roadster feel have changed completely. The manual transmission and clutch of previous years had a raw feel and more direct connection to the road. The new transmission is much more of a “press and go,” experience, taking away some of the adrenaline-inducing wild factor that we loved, but also opening doors to more drivers who don’t know how to use a manual transmission. Still, any way to manually select the gear while driving, though buttons or paddle shifters for example, would have struck a nice balance between the two and radically improved the experience.