Polaris set the side-by-side (UTV) world on its ear when it introduced the RZR, a nimble, narrow vehicle that really moved, yet could fit on ATV trails. Next, the RZR S, with its wider track and 12 inches of suspension travel surprised everyone with its superb out-of-the-box performance. For 2011, Polaris did it again. “Extreme” is a word that’s used too often these days, but there is no other way to describe the Ranger RZR XP 900. The XP 900 takes side-by-side performance to the extreme with its brand new drivetrain and suspension.
At the heart of the XP 900 is an all-new, 88hp ProStar 900 Twin EFI engine that was built specifically for an extreme-performance side-by-side. The engine features dual overhead cams (DOHC), four valves per cylinder, and a 180-degree crankshaft for balanced performance and fast throttle response. To maximize cooling capacity, the unit features a massive grill opening and a front air dam for improved airflow. The combination of 88 horsepower with the vehicle’s light weight provides acceleration that is 29-percent quicker than the next quickest side-by-side on the market.
The RZR XP 900 features an all-new, lightweight, compact and durable transmission, also designed specifically for extreme side-by-side performance. Efficiency has been maximized by eliminating all right angle drives to the rear axle resulting in less friction and more power delivered directly to the rear wheels. The simple and efficient design provides a quiet transmission. Gone is the lurch off idle and the squeaky belt when coasting.
Polaris designed an all-new, three-link trailing arm independent rear suspension. The three-link design consists of two extra-long radius rods and a far forward-connecting trailing arm resulting in a strong, yet lightweight system. The XP 900 has 2-inch body Fox Podium X 2.0 shocks with piggyback reservoirs that provide adjustable pre-load and compression dampening. The 14 inches of rear travel and 13.5 inches of front travel soak up the rough stuff and deliver a smooth, precise ride, while its 13 inches of ground clearance gives the machine the ability to tackle any obstacle in its way.
Even with its great ground clearance, the XP 900 still features a low center of gravity. The engine-behind-the-seat design and rear weight bias deliver extreme agility and performance, while the race-inspired rear suspension maximizes traction and power in the corners. To provide precise cornering, the suspension’s radius rods extend deep into the wheel hubs and feature uneven link geometry that optimizes camber. Tires lean into the corner through the suspension travel, and plant more tire surface on the ground for maximum control. The trailing arms also minimize wheel scrub for superior straightaway power to help the driver stay true to line.
The XP 900 features the industry’s first factory LED headlights that shine a high-intensity beam to turn night into day and throw light forward beyond conventional halogens. The XP 900 has performance brake calipers and large diameter, ventilated rotors on all four wheels. ITP 900 XCT tires work well in sand, mud, and rocks. For safety, the XP 900 has a certified rollover protective structure (ROPS), although we don’t want to test it. It looks a lot like the RZR cage.
Is the XP 900 perfect? No. There are a couple of nits to pick. The RZR and RZR S both had mounting points for an antenna or flag, something that’s required in almost all OHV areas. There’s no mounting point on the XP 900, so we zip-tie the flag to the cage. While there’s a tow loop in the front, there’s no towing provision in the back, so if your friend runs out of gas, the XP won’t be the vehicle towing him back to camp.
Minor gripes aside, the Polaris Ranger RZR XP 900 delivers stunning, extreme performance. No other side-by-side comes close. Race an XP 900 with any other stock side-by-side. The XP 900 will win and the win will be big. The bar has been raised.
|Vehicle:||Polaris Ranger RZR XP 900|
|Fuel System:||Electronic Fuel Injection|
|Transmission/Final Drive:||Automatic PVT P/R/N/L/H; Shaft|
|Drive System Capability:||On-Demand True AWD/2WD|
|Front Suspension:||Dual A-Arm Fox Podium X 2.0 (comp adjust/res.) 13.5-inch travel|
|Rear Suspension:||Trailing Arm Fox Podium X 2.0 (comp adjust/res.) 14-inch travel|
|Front/Rear Brakes:||Four-wheel hydraulic disc with dual-bore front calipers|
|Parking Brake:||Park in Transmission|
|Front Tires:||27x9-12; ITP 900 XCT|
|Rear Tires:||27x11-12; ITP 900 XCT|
|Dry Weight:||1,190 pounds|
|Overall Vehicle Size (LxWxH):||108.4x64x73 inches|
|Ground Clearance:||13 inches|
|Fuel Capacity:||7.25 gallons|
|Bed Box Dimensions (LxWxH):||23x38x10 inches|
|Box Capacity:||300 pounds|
|Payload Capacity:||740 pounds|
|Cargo System:||Lock & Ride|
|Lighting:||White LED, High/Low|
|Electronic Power Steering:||Not Equipped|
|Instrumentation:||digital gauge, speedometer, odometer, tachometer, trip meter, hour meter, clock, gear indicator, fuel gauge, hi-temp/low-battery lights, coolant temp, dc outlet|