The boss is back stronger By the staff of Dirt Wheels
For about two months Can-Am could boast about being the horsepower king of the sport UTV class. No doubt, word got around in the industry that the X3 was coming, and Polaris planned ahead. For 2017 Polaris announced the RZR XP Turbo EPS and RZR XP 4 Turbo EPS featuring a new ProStar Turbo H.O. engine that rips out 168 horsepower! Obviously, that is a big-enough number to put Polaris back in front of the power arms race.
However, any new model needs more than just a massive power number to be irresistible to the market. Buyers must believe that Polaris built a machine that can handle that sort of power, and that confidence may have taken a hit thanks to recalls on the 2016 RZR Turbo. For prime driving months, owners were advised to park their machines. Polaris stepped up and came up with a fix, as well as extended the warranty for 2016 Turbo models for an extra 12 months. Buyers who step up to a new RZR XP Turbo before December 31, 2016, will get a two-year warranty. All owners with recalled RZRs also qualify for a $1000 loyalty discount on the purchase of any Polaris side-by-side between September 2016 and the end of 2017.
Some of the 2017 upgrades also point to Polaris being serious about building and selling quality machines that last. The new engine is built with forged pistons on high-strength connecting rods and sodium-filled exhaust valves (common in turbo applications or engines with high-combustion temps). The more sophisticated engine management includes improved knock detection and boost control, as well as high-flow fuel injectors and new camshafts. Horsepower means heat, so Polaris significantly upgraded the cooling on 2017 Turbo models and added a stronger driveline to match. The updates to the cooling includes a new, more powerful, variable-speed, brushless fan behind a new, 40-percent-larger, high-flow front grill and a 20-percent-larger engine radiator. Driveline upgrades begin with a high-performance Polaris Variable Transmission (PVT) with a new, thicker, stronger drive belt and extends to stronger rear half shafts and a stronger front all-wheel-drive unit.
As we mentioned earlier, it takes more than a big horsepower number to be a success, and suspension to harness that power is one key to success. The RZR XP Turbo EPS and RZR XP 4 Turbo EPS feature Fox Podium internal bypass shocks that Polaris claims provide a plush ride and precise handling. With 3-inch rear and 2.5-inch front shock bodies, and adjustable remote reservoirs with increased fluid capacity, these shocks are claimed to dissipate heat better to combat fade.
The Polaris RZR platform has formed the backbone of the high-performance UTV recreation and racing industries. Much of that popularity is due to the handling and suspension prowess the RZR exhibits. In addition to the premium suspension components, Polaris added a front stabilizer bar and re-tuned the rear stabilizer bar to allow the car to corner flatter. Steering is quicker as well with a standard, electric power-steering, 1.5-turn steering rack.
With objects in motion and all that physics stuff, a fast car needs bodacious brakes, and Polaris responded to that need with large triple-piston front calipers, twin-piston rear calipers and 248mm ventilated stainless steel disc-brake rotors at all four wheels. Both RZR XP Turbo models will be available in late 2016 in either Titanium Matte Metallic or Cruiser Black. The two-seater is $24,999 and the four-seater is $27,499. Contact www.polaris.com.