Check out the 2015 Polaris Line up!
What the Himalayas are to mountain ranges, Polaris is to off-road vehicles. Honda, Yamaha and other dirt-treading companies typically offer a dozen or so ATV and UTV models apiece. The Polaris line for 2015 has 56 different off-road machines, not including different option packages offered for almost everyone. In 2013, the company reported $3.8 billion in sales, mostly from dirt-going vehicles. Polaris has built an empire of mud, dust and sand.
The dirt line is divided into Rangers, RZRs and ATVs. And now there’s a new category under the Polaris umbrella. The Slingshot is a three-wheel street-going motorcycle with two wheels in front and one in back. It’s aimed directly at the Can-Am Spyder, but has a much more automotive layout, with side-by-side bucket seats. It’s a car by virtually everyone’s definition, except the Department of Transportation, which sees it as a motorcycle and therefore does not require automotive safety measures, such as airbags, collapsible steering columns and crash testing. Street machines aren’t new to Polaris; the company owns Victory and Indian. But, the Slingshot will actually carry the Polaris name.
BACK TO THE DIRT
Meanwhile, Polaris hasn’t forsaken its dirt stuff. There are four new attention-getters at the top of the RZR line, starting with the RZR 1000 EPS High Lifter Edition. This is exactly what it sounds like: a side-by-side aimed at the Mud National crowd. It features high air and clutch intakes, redesigned front axles, stiffer shock springs, high-clearance A-arms, half doors, a 4500-pound winch, specially valved Walker Evans shocks, 29.5-inch High Lifter Outlaw II tires, a brush guard, a graphics kit licensed by High Lifter, and sealed electronics. The ProStar motor is now said to produce 110 horsepower. It will sell for $23,999.
Every yin has a yang. The logical counterpart for the High Lifter is the Desert Edition. It features high-clearance A-arms, 18-inch rear and 16-inch front suspension travel, 13.5 inches of ground clearance, beadlocks with Mongrel tires, six-point seat belts, body protection, a spare tire, a roof, lighting and a new interactive digital display. As far as we know, the Desert Edition holds the record for highest base price of any production dirt machine at $27,999. The XP 1000 is back, too, with a price of $20,299.
Next item on the new RZR list is the 50-inch 900. It was frustrating for anyone who has to fit on 50-inch trails to see one cool RZR after another hitting the market—all too wide for some trails. Now, the RZR 900 comes in a narrow version for the trail. And in another yin-and-yang move, there’s also a 60-inch version called the 900 S. Both the S and XC models receive new bodywok similar to the 1000. The 50-inch 900 will have an 800-like base price of $12,799. The S will be $14,699, and there will be a middle-of-the-road 55-inch-wide XC edition for $17,299.
The bargain in the RZR line remains the 570, with a base price of $10,299. The Trail EPS version comes with power steering and premium upgrades for $2000 more.
Polaris has re-crafted its Ranger line with new models, redefined models and discontinued models. The two-passenger 800s are gone, but the company prefers to say that they have been upgraded to have the same features as the 900s. Actually, they are 900s. There is quite a long list of Ranger 900 models, starting with the red or green base models, which carry a price of $13,399. The EPS versions and special packages push the price upward, as high as $21,299 for the Deluxe North Star Edition.
The departure of the 800 left a gap, which Polaris is filling with a full-size 570. This version gets dual-A-arm suspension in front and chassis dimensions similar to those of the 800. The base price will be $11,299, plus $1000 for EPS. The original MacPherson strut 570 is back too. Now, this is called a “mid-size” UTV, starting at $9799. It’s got a new little brother too. The newest addition to the Ranger line is the fuel-injected ETX, which replaces the carbureted 400. The motor is a 31-horsepower ProStar powerplant, similar to the 327cc motor in the Ace single-seater that debuted last year. The price will be a stunning $8699, making it one of the most affordable UTVs ever made.
ATV CORE BUSINESS
ATV business is what made Polaris what it is today. For 2015, the company has six new models, although some are constructed of familiar parts. The big news starts with the new ACE 570. If you’re a little confused by the Ace, you’re not alone. Polaris calls it a Sportsman ATV, not a Ranger and not a RZR. It can’t be a side-by-side if it has only one seat, right? Let’s call it a very good time and move on. The original 327cc Ace now has a big brother with the 570cc ProStar motor, which produces 45 horsepower in this configuration. You’ll pay $1000 for the upgrade; the original Ace is $7499 and the 570 is $8499.
At the other end of the line, Polaris is pushing the upper limit. Remember the Scrambler 1000 4×4 sport model? Now there’s a Sportsman with the same motor. The Sportsman XP 1000 has the 88-horsepower ProStar motor, which is based on the SOHC 850 motor. The price will start at $11,999 and have power steering as standard equipment. The 850 is still in the line (at $9999), but say goodbye to the 550. It was basically made obsolete by the 570 motor. This year, Polaris put the 570 into the 550’s double-A-arm chassis in order to create a new model called the 570 SP. It will carry a base price of $8499 with power steering standard, whereas the original, somewhat smaller 570 will start at $6499. And yes, there’s a new quad with the ETX motor, which makes 30 horsepower in this configuration. It has the same MacPherson strut chassis as the original 570, but will sell for just under $6000. The carbureted 400 is now gone.
Almost everything in the Sportsman and Ranger lines (aside from the ETXs and the Ace) is available in a multiple- passenger version. The Touring models of the quads have passenger seats and are available for a $700 to $1300 premium, depending on the model. The Crew versions of the Rangers will generally run you about $1200 more. The RZR 1000 4 is available for $22,299, but the four-seat 900 is still under wraps. For now, the 2014 RZR 4 800 is still available for $15,999. The youth line is alive and well.
There are five models for kids, ranging from the $2099 Outlaw 50 to the $4399 RZR 170. And finally, Polaris still has a taste for alternative fuels. The Ranger EV electric two-seater is back, as are diesel versions of the Ranger and Sportsman in both standard and multiple-passenger variations. For more on the Polaris line, check out www.polaris.com.