The 2021 line offers the manual transmission across all models. Fantastic as it works very well. Hopefully, they would not drop it as many of us still prefer it. I think they should offer both options to please everyone.Polaris has been very conscious of the magical 1750 lb limit that is one of the factors that determines if a vehicle can be considered a motorcycle. A modern DCT does operate far more smoothly than does the AutoDrive used in the Slingshot, but the weight of a DCT would have pushed the new Slingshot's weight far beyond the weight limit. Despite the many complaints about how abruptly the AutoDrive shifts, such technology was introduced as far back as the 1940s and has been seen in vehicles ranging from Ferraris to semi-tractors.
I think Polaris' main mistake with the AutoDrive was not introducing a Paddle Shifter option when the AutoDrive was introduced. I assume Polaris was facing declining sales of the Slingshot, with a big factor being how few potential buyers prefer manual transmissions, leading Polaris to adopt the AutoDrive since it's low additional weight would allow the Slingshot to stay within the magical 1750 lbs weight limit for motorcycles. Traditionally, Paddle shifters have offered manual transmission-like responsiveness. If Polaris can achieve similar functionality with their Slingshot Paddle Shifter implementation, it wouldn't surprise me to see the manual transmission eventually dropped as has happned with many high performance vehicles.