Is 144 Hp Enough For You? The Simple Answer Is…Yes.
One thing you could never accuse Polaris of doing is sitting on their laurels. The first company to launch a sport UTV line with their RZR edition side-by-sides, the company has been on the fast track for innovation and marketing savvy for several years now.
Their RZR line of vehicles has become one of the premier Sport UTVs ever built, and the 2015 XP 1000 Fox Edition EPS model introduced last year, was perhaps the single best Sport machine they have ever built. About the only thing lacking from their extensive side-by-side product line was a Turbo edition of their RZR.
Not any longer. The 2016 season has seen the launch of their latest and greatest starship trooper, the turbo powered RZR XP Turbo EPS. This new model represents the crowning achievement of all the company’s hard work, perseverance and marketing expertise. It uses a 925cc, turbocharged engine to put out a massive 144 HP from its ProStar engine, inside their latest chassis, with a claimed 30% more horsepower and 45% more torque than even their larger displacement XP 1000 EPS model!
How Did They Do That?
It all starts with the all new, 925cc 144 HP rated Polaris ProStar Turbo engine. Even though it measures out as a smaller displacement unit than the XP 1000, thanks to its compact design, efficient power delivery, and its integrated turbocharger, this is the best performing Polaris RZR engine ever built.
With a substantial increase in usable torque and power, the new, smaller, more compact engine is the most powerful side-by-side motor available from any factory, found in a stock vehicle. This new engine also includes a large number of other improvements, including forged pistons, an upgraded 270 degree firing order crankshaft, high strength connecting rods, closed deck cylinder, sodium filled exhaust valves, and a new oil system. To control the massive power delivered by the new Turbo motor, the engine fuel management system has also been updated to include knock detection, boost control and a high flow fuel injection system. This ensures that the engine delivers maximum power under all conditions, altitudes and temperatures. You now have 144 HP available at any altitude, location, or set of driving conditions.
Even More For Your Money…
With a good 30% more horsepower and 45% more available torque than its larger counterpart, the turbocharger is specifically designed to offer huge power and torque increases at all engine RPM. A new crankshaft, new connecting rod, and new oil system have also been incorporated into the design for the turbo edition Polaris.
With 80% of torque available, as early as 3500 RPM, the RZR XP Turbo delivers its solid performance right off the bat. Unlike a conventional turbo engine, with their noticeable “lag” while the turbo spools up, the new Polaris edition is said to have a much better and wider power band, without the “lag” factor. More on that later. With its extremely wide power band, it makes the RZR XP Turbo EPS a better all around mount for various types of riding, including desert, dunes, rock crawling, and trail riding.
Power To The Ground…
To harness all that power and deliver it to the ground, the RZR XP Turbo EPS features a brand-new and stronger driveline. The new driveline features a high performance PVT system, with all-new clutching and drive belt, including new stronger half–shafts, and Polaris’ High Performance On-Demand All-Wheel Drive system, which gets the power of this massive 144 HP monster to the ground and hooking up.
The engine, clutches and most everything else on the machine have been designed to handle the increased horsepower, as well. It uses a gear-driven reverse instead of a belt. Almost every item in the transmission and engine has been beefed up and made stronger, and better. This results in better belt life, and easier to service engine — and with its upgraded transmission and driveline, increased reliability.
The latest RZR XP Turbo EPS features a completely upgraded cooling system for consistent performance at all temperatures. The vehicle includes a new liquid charge air cooler with high-flow electric pump. The front placement of the dual radiators, backed by a high-flow fan, allows for consistent temperature control. And the new high-flow, targeted clutch air-cooling system is designed to reduce clutch and belt temperature to enhance and extend belt life. Hooray.
More Shocking News…
A set of highly tuned Fox Podium Internal Bypass Shocks (also found on last year’s Fox edition XP 1000) feature a large 3” body in the rear and 2.5” body in the front. The internal bypass technology uses 5 progressive zones to stiffen, as the shock absorbs small to large hits. Combine this feature with 3 zones of rebound damping control, to minimize pitching and harsh top out, and you have an ultra-plush ride and better handling over a wider range of terrain at virtually any speed.
You’re looking at 18” of suspension travel on the rear end, and 16 inches of travel on the front with dual rate springs at both ends. The RZR XP Turbo EPS features larger remote shock reservoirs with 24 position clickers, with larger coil-over springs. The progressive rate upper spring is a lighter weight spring that absorbs small impacts, while the stiffer main spring maintains ground clearance and absorbs bigger impacts in rough terrain.
A race-inspired 3-link trailing arm rear suspension, with its dual A-arm front suspension, uses anti-sway bars on both ends. The front sway bar and retuned rear sway bar dramatically decrease body roll and improve overall vehicle handling.
This is one of the best Polaris suspensions systems ever installed on its RZR lineup. The precisely tuned suspension can be adjusted to virtually any riding condition and ensures the RZR XP Turbo EPS can handle the toughest terrain while keeping the ride plush and comfortable at any speed.
You get a massive 13.5” of ground clearance, which means you won’t be hitting stumps, bumps or other trail flotsam and jetsam. It is wide and, at 64” in width, you won’t be able to take it down any trails which restrict UTV width to 50”. But the increased width also means that the handling is stable and more secure at speed, which this machine is quite capable of.
The RZR XP Turbo is built upon a 90-inch wheelbase so it will not fit into a short bed pickup truck. It is big, wide, and long. There is a rear box behind the two seats for the driver and passenger, and it holds up to 300 pounds of carrying capacity. The gas tank carries 9.5 gallons of fuel for extended driving sessions.
Payload capacity is 740 pounds total, including two passengers and any gear you might want to stash in the back bed. Overall length is 119” with a width of 64” and height of 73.75”. Dry weight is 1,495 pounds. For tires, the XP Turbo EPS comes with Maxxis Bighorns 29×9-14 on the front and 29×11-14 on the rear with cast aluminum wheels, painted black.
Luckily, the RZR XP Turbo EPS has benefited from an increase in braking power which uses 4-wheel hydraulic discs. The upgraded brakes feature thicker, 248mm stainless steel ventilated rotors on all four corners, triple piston front calipers, and dual piston rear calipers, for improved stopping power on a side-by-side vehicle.
Instrumentation consists of a digital speedo, odometer, tripmeter, tachometer, coolant temp gauge, voltmeter, hour meter, service indicator, clock, gear indicator, fuel gauge, high-temp light, seat belt reminder light and DC outlet.
All Wheel Drive System And Eps…
Polaris’ On-Demand All-Wheel-Drive system provides a responsive way to get the power to all four wheels when needed. The system features a stronger close ratio final drive system, which helps to keep the front wheels pulling stronger and longer, thus maximizing power delivery to the ground. The system is paired with their standard Electronic Power Steering (EPS) to provide point-and-shoot handling, making the vehicle very responsive to the driver. For even more control, the RZR XP Turbo EPS has quick, two-turn, lock-to-lock steering, which allows the driver to precisely maneuver the machine through the most difficult trail situations and obstacles.
Ease Of Adjustment…
The newest RZR is specifically engineered to provide the driver and passenger with the most comfortable ride on the market. Using its patented design, it places the engine behind the seat, which moves the occupants more towards the middle of the vehicle. This design provides a lower center of gravity for improved handling.
For better driver positioning, the RZR XP Turbo also features an adjustable seat slider and a new seat angle, for a more comfortable driving experience. The angle situates the driver closer to the steering wheel, thus bringing the elbows closer to the body, for less arm fatigue and a more natural driving position.
The cockpit of the RZR XP Turbo EPS now offers the most comfort and convenience of any RZR. A high performance steering wheel with 10” tilt adjustability and center storage box and cell-phone holder place everything within easy reach. There’s even a re-designed glove box with a quick turn latch mechanism.
It has driver and passenger footrests, adjustable seat belts, and adjustable seat sliders, which allow you to fine tune your seating position. The car also features new “Dryseat” technology, which now resists moisture much better. New LED interior lighting adds a nice touch, and removable floor drains let you wash out debris and mud quickly and easily.
Another nice feature of the new RZR XP Turbo EPS frame is that it has been specifically engineered for the integration of Polaris Engineered lighting and audio products (available through your dealer), with predetermined mounting points and hidden wire routing located throughout the cab
How Fast Is It, And How Well Does It Handle?
Well, to put it simply, this is one amazingly fast side-by-side. While there is just a hint of turbo lag on the very bottom end, the machine spools up with virtually no lag time once you’re underway. It can go from zero to well over 70 mph quicker than virtually any other machine we’ve ever driven.
You can spin the wheels on the dirt initially, but once it starts hooking up, the machine accelerates like a rocket ship. Compared to its XP 1000 counterpart, it will simply out run it everywhere in the power band. When they say it has 30% more horsepower and 45% more torque than the XP 1000, they are not exaggerating. You will definitely feel it.
What makes it even more appealing is that, with the fuel injection delivery system, you will have the same power at any altitude you choose to drive. That is 144 HP everywhere you go! This makes the Polaris RZR XP Turbo EPS the fastest, most agile, best handling RZR ever.
That is thanks, in large part, to the Fox Podium Internal Bypass Shocks, with a huge 16 inches of travel up front, and 18” of travel on the rear end. It also has Polaris’ integrated sway bars front and back, which help contribute to the stable and smooth feel of the suspension system.
This is one stable, wickedly fast, and great handling machine. Thanks to the EPS, or Electronic Power Steering, and its wide, stable track, the Polaris RZR XP Turbo EPS is easy to drive.
It has state-of-the-art handling to match its incredible power output. It tracks and steers exceptionally well, and can be driven through corners at high speed, or carve out a line in the roughest terrains with ease.
The improved braking power is noticeable, and we also believe necessary. You want to be able to slow down as fast as you get up to speed. The smooth, predictable braking goes a long way in doing just that. Overall stability is first rate, and whether you’re carving dunes, climbing the steepest hills, or navigating your way through the rocks, the power, handling and suspension feel are among the best out there on any production machine.
Polaris has dug deep and come out with an exceptional UTV that redefines their product lineup. The price point is steep, at $24,999, but for what you get, it’s a bargain. Is 144 HP enough for most of us? The unmistakable answer is yes. But of course, there’s always someone looking for more. Too much is barely enough for some folks. Not us.
By The Staff of UTV Sports
Photos by Neal Rideout