Updated: May 25, 2022
There are many ways to see the sites around the Suncoast, but there are few that allow you to choose your journey or will turn more heads than driving around in a Slingshot. The three-wheeled (two in front and one in back), open-air roadster makes tooling around a fun adventure…and you’re sure to get a lot of stares, smiles and even a few thumbs up.
My husband, sister and brother-in-law hopped in a Slingshot in Sarasota on a recent sunny afternoon and took to the road for a four-hour jaunt around the city and barrier islands. We rented from Xotic4Rent, which offers two-, four- and six-seaters and prices range from $35 for a two-seater for one hour to $660 for a six-seater overnight. (Proof of car insurance and a $1,000 deposit on a credit card – released when the car is returned undamaged — is required to rent, and helmets are not mandatory.) There are several places to rent a Slingshot in Tampa, Clearwater, and throughout Southwest Florida.
It was a sunny day with little cloud cover, so our first stop was to buy sunscreen and cold bottles of waters. We first headed to Siesta Key, through the village and along the beach. It’s not uncommon to see Slingshots on any of Sarasota’s keys or downtown, but they still manage to attract attention, especially from tourists who have never seen the slick-looking, motorcycle-like vehicle.
From Siesta we toured downtown and was lucky enough to find a parking spot in front of Main Street Creamery where we got ice cream shakes to go for our ride to Longboat Key. I’ve driven along Longboat many times, but the experience is different in a Slingshot because you are riding so low to the ground. We went to the end of Longboat, headed back toward St. Armand’s Circle and then drove along Lido Beach before filling the tank (cost was under $5) and returning back.
According to Polaris, the Slingshot was conceived as a prototype in 2010 and dealers first began offering the S and SL models in 2014. The cost to purchase a Slingshot ranges from about $21,000 to $36,000 depending on the model and whether it’s automatic or manual transmission.
For now, I think we’ll stick to renting, but with the rate of gas prices these days, you never know!