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Three Kings

Posted in Features on April 1, 2013
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Polaris RZR 900 Photo 67320448 Polaris-RZR-900

Author: Rick "Wallyworld" Wallace Photos: Courtesy of Manufacturers

In the ever-growing Sport UTV category, it seems as though competition is extremely fierce to produce the most capable UTV straight from the showroom floor. As soon as a model is introduced that reigns supreme, another one quickly shows up to dethrone it. Engineers must be working long hours and drinking plenty of coffee as manufacturers are in a constant flurry of activity to outdo one another. The latest shots across the bow are the new Polaris RZR XP 900 Jagged X Edition and the Arctic Cat Wildcat X. Both take extremely capable platforms and push them even further with a host of upgrades that make them even more potent. All of that performance, usually reserved for those who have extensively modified their UTVs, is available straight from the dealership. In addition to two very capable factory fighters, Arctic Cat also recently introduced a four-seater version of its new Wildcat showing that there is truly no rest for the boys in the design studio. Let’s take a closer look at all three.

Polaris RZR 900 2 Photo 67320451 Polaris-RZR-900_2

2013 Polaris RZR XP 900 Jagged X Edition Over New Years at Glamis, California, Polaris put on Camp RZR. A massive event, it demonstrated really how dedicated Polaris is to offering up the best RZRs possible. Some of the features were a Show and Shine contest where new talent was discovered along with Traxxas’ RC car track where kids and adults spent hours testing their skills. UTVunderground was there in full force displaying some of their newest rides, along with guest appearances by RJ Anderson and BJ Baldwin. Mad Media had a helicopter present, beaming back live video on a giant screen. Days before the event Dirt Sports was invited to the media portion of it where Polaris unveiled the new RZR XP 900 Jagged X Edition. Polaris was very excited to offer the Jagged X Edition, which provides a whole new customer solution featuring the most popular options straight from the factory. It has the most power, most comfort and most premium options ever offered on a RZR, and also features the first high-output engine on a RZR, a 94-horsepower ProStar 900 Twin EFI power plant, coupled with a stainless steel SLP exhaust. A longer wheelbase is offered for a smoother ride, and comfort features such as premium Walker Evans 2.5-inch rear shocks, electronic power steering and PRP seats are all part of the package. Luxuries such as a custom cab frame, factory-installed doors, dual removable cargo boxes, Maxxis Bighorn tires on Walker Evans beadlocks and a Jagged X-inspired graphics package are also included. To give the new RZR XP 900 H.O. Jagged X Edition more power, Polaris took the class-leading 88-horsepower ProStar 900 that’s been powering the RZR XP 900 and RZR XP 4 and made it a high-output engine. Changes included new head mods with different profiles on the intake and exhaust camshafts and the addition of stiffer valve springs. These were paired with new engine calibration and a stainless steel SLP exhaust with dual outlets for increased exhaust flow and an aggressive race-inspired sound. To accommodate the power increase, the clutches were updated with new weights for increased acceleration performance. The ProStar 900 H.O. now boasts 94 HP, with acceleration on par with the RZR XP 900 and it seems quicker than the RZR XP 900 4. Along with having more power, the RZR XP 900 H.O. Jagged X Edition is the most comfortable side-by-side available due to its 26-inch longer wheelbase for a smoother ride and Walker Evans 2.5-inch rear shocks. For comfort in the cabin, Polaris added deep-bolstered, five-point harness-ready PRP seats and an adjustable driver seat that offers close to four inches of additional legroom, giving drivers taller than six feet more room. To reduce steering effort, the vehicle also features an adjustable steering wheel and electronic power steering to tackle the toughest terrain. As the most-premium RZR ever, the RZR XP 900 H.O. Jagged X Edition offers thousands of dollars in factory-installed add-ons for incredible visual appeal and even more performance. Along with its black, blue and white Jagged X-inspired graphics, the vehicle sports matching factory-installed doors, Voodoo Blue painted suspension springs and valve cover, a race-inspired color-matched custom cab frame with integrated rear cab frame extension that wraps around the rear bed, and Maxxis Bighorn tires on black-painted Walker Evans beadlock wheels with color-matched beadlock rings. For added storage, weather-sealed dual cargo boxes in the rear cab area have lockable lids and are easily removed. The Jagged X Edition seems to fit the adventure-minded enthusiast well with all its storage, a cab frame that could accept a roof rack for even more room, and power to accommodate the hot rodder in all of us. It will also work great as a tour vehicle. If it seems that Polaris has just made a four-seater into a two-seater, you are completely right, but keep in mind that with all the extras added it is the ultimate two-seat vehicle with more wheelbase, just like we asked for!

RZR XP900 Photo 68808189 RZR-XP900

POWERTRAIN ENGINE: 94 hp PRO-STAR, twin cylinder 4-Stroke, DOHC with electronic fuel injection

DRIVETRAIN TRANSMISSION: Automatic CVT, shaft drive, on-demand AWD/2WD

SUSPENSION FRONT: Dual A-arm, FOX Podium 2.0 reservoir shock, 13 inches of wheel travel REAR: Trailing arm, FOX 2.5 reservoir shock, 14 inches of wheel travel

BRAKES FRONT/REAR: four-wheel hydraulic with dual-piston front calipers

WHEELS/TIRES FRONT:  27x9-12 Maxxis Big Horn REAR: 27x12-12 Maxxis Big Horn

DIMENSIONS/CAPACITIES WHEELBASE: 107.4 inches DRY WEIGHT: 1390 lbs. OVERALL: 134.4 X 64 X 77 GROUND CLEARANCE: 12.5 inches FUEL CAPACITIES: 7.25 gallons BOX CAPACITY: 300 lbs. LOAD CAPACITY: 900 lbs.

FEATURES CARGO SYSTEM: Lock & Ride DOORS: Factory doors CARGO BOXES: twin injection molded and weather sealed boxes LIGHTING: White LED with high/low beams STEERING: Electronic power steering COLOR: VOODOO BLUE

The new Wildcat X two-seaters are extremely high-performance UTVs straight from the factory.

Wildcat X 2 Seaters Photo 67320454 The new Wildcat X two-seaters are extremely high-performance UTVs straight from the factory.

Arctic Cat Wildcat X and Wildcat 4 It seems that the engineers at Arctic Cat have been quite busy over the past year. We thought we were being invited to Randsburg, California, for a press event that only showcased the all-new 2013.5 Wildcat 4, but to our surprise they also introduced the 2013.5 Wildcat X two-seater, which is a UTV beyond belief. It seems that every time we sit down to write a story about the latest UTV, one or two new UTVs are waiting in the wings with bigger power and better suspension.

The new Wildcat 4 is nimble on the trails despite its larger size. Randsburg proved to be a stellar location for the event with all kinds of terrain to showcase the new Wildcats. We encountered great desert terrain with jumps, huge mountain roads and river crossings. Staying at the Goats Sky Ranch bed and breakfast on the main drag in town, it seemed hard to believe that there was a place this nice in the likes of an old gold mining town. As we settled in for the night we were greeted with cocktails, beer and homemade fried chicken by none other than “Scrappy” herself. It was a fine meal that screamed Cowboy, and the atmosphere was 1900s with the rooms and the parlor setting the scene. All around us were the remnants of old mining equipment and quaint little bars and homes still being used today. Tomorrow was going to be a busy day so away we went to our respective rooms and got in a good night’s sleep. Morning came early and once we got our breakfast down and our cold weather gear on for the 14-degree temperature, we were out in the morning sun getting warmed up and taking pictures. It seems Arctic Cat was listening to the consumer when they asked for more power delivered through a new clutching system. The Wildcat X boasts 90 plus horsepower, and this was accomplished through head work, new cams, different valves and timing changes. It is almost as if you sent your engine to your builder and said, “Give me the works,” and then you went on over to the top clutch builder. Team Industries, builder of the Rapid Response Clutch, started working with engineers at Arctic Cat and came up with the best clutching in a UTV. They eliminated the wet part of the older 2012 clutching and created a new clutch system featuring a whole new crankshaft. With a new crank, case halves, drive clutch and some top-end tuning, you have yourself a factory-modified play motor. The engineers didn’t stop there either with FOX shocks featuring all new dual-rate spring and 23-position compression adjustability now included. The popular 27x9x14 and the 27x11x14 Maxxis Bighorn tires were also added all the way around. The Wildcat X comes with a newly designed anti-roll bar for better handling and an optimum ride. In the cockpit there was little change, with the two-tone seats color-matched to the body. We also noticed the five-point seatbelt slots in the seats, and if you look closely there are built-in bars to position the shoulder harnesses. The Wildcat 4 1000 also proved to be a UTV to be reckoned with. Our first thoughts were that it might be a little cumbersome on the big trails, let alone technical terrain, but we were all wrong as the beast trucked around like a bus on steroids. The ground clearance is perfect and we were pleasantly surprised when we didn’t bottom out on the rocky trails, high centers or whoops. Speaking of whoops, this car can run wide open on any terrain without upsetting its trajectory, and we feel that it can put the hurt on any UTV when comes to a factory ride. For the family-minded it just flat outperformed in all situations. Comfort in the cab was smooth and predictable with four full size adults, and it is easy to recommend as a capable four-seat UTV.

Wildcat 4 Photo 68808192 The new Wildcat 4 is nimble on the trails despite its larger size.

The Wildcat X boasts
over 90 horsepower with
a reworked engine.

Wildcat X Photo 67320457 The Wildcat X boasts over 90 horsepower with a reworked engine.

We were able to spend some serious seat time in the entire lineup, and this is really the best way to get an honest opinion about a new vehicle. With all this testing we noticed that on the Wildcat Limited the clutching was also fixed, making it feel like a whole new car. The Wildcat X performed like a thoroughbred whether it was hillclimbing off the beaten path, raging on the desert roads or just riding some dunes out at Dumont. We do have to say that there has never been a more capable or stable vehicle built to this day. Even the Wildcat 4 could be hammered into a turn on the side of a hill in the desert or dunes that would make your toes curl thinking that it should have rolled over, but it never ever felt unstable. We highly recommend that you test drive either the Wildcat X or the Wildcat 4 and judge for yourself. 

Wildcat 4 1000 Photo 68808195 Wildcat-4-1000

WILDCAT 4 1000



FUEL SYSTEM: Electronic Fuel Injection

COOLING TYPE: Liquid, Dual-Fan

TRANSMISSION/ FINAL DRIVE: Rapid Response, Hi/Lo Range, Reverse, Park/Shaft

DRIVE SYSTEM: Electric 2/4WD w/ Diff. Lock

FRONT SUSPENSION: Dual A-arm, 17 inches of travel

REAR SUSPENSION: Multi-link 18 inches of travel

SHOCKS: FOX Podium Piggyback Reservoir with Compression, Preload Adjustable and Dual-Rate Springs

FRONT/REAR BRAKES: 4-Wheel Hydraulic Disc TIRES FRONT: 26x9


WHEELS: Machined cast aluminum

WHEELBASE: 124/135 inches

DRY WEIGHT: 1,534 lbs.

OVERALL SIZE: 149x64x65.8 inches


CARGO SYSTEM: Tiedown hooks, glove box, under-seat storage

LIGHTING: Dual LED headlights, dual LED brake lights and taillights

STEERING: Electronic power steering

INSTRUMENTATION: Digital gauge, analog speedometer, odometer, analog tachometer, trip meter, gear indicator, fuel gauge, AWD indicator, hi-temp/low-battery lights, DC outlet BODY PAINT: Sunset Orange, Black, Arctic Green

2013 5 Wildcat X Photo 68808198 2013_5-Wildcat-X

2013.5 Wildcat X ENGINE TYPE: SOHC V-Twin


FUEL SYSTEM: Electronic fuel Injection

COOLING: Liquid, dual-fan


DRIVE SYSTEM: Electric 2/4WD w/Diff lock

FRONT SUSPENSION: Dual A-arm with 17 inches of travel

REAR SUSPENSION: Multi-link with 18 inches of travel

SHOCK ABSORBERS: FOX Podium Piggyback Reservoir with preload and compression adjusters with dual-rate springs

BRAKES: Four-wheel hydraulic discs

TIRES FRONT: 27x9x14 Big Horn Maxxis

TIRES REAR: 27x11x14 Big Horn Maxxis

WHEELS: Cast aluminum

WHEELBASE: 94 inches

DRY WEIGHT: 1,305 lbs.

OVERALL VEHICLE SIZE: 124x64x65.8 inches BOX CAPACITY: 300 lbs.

CARGO SYSTEM: Tie-down hooks, glove box, under-seat storage

LIGHTING: Dual LED front and rear

STEERING: Electronic power steering

INSTRUMENTATION: Digital gauge, analog speedo, analog tach, trip meter

BODY PAINT: Vibrant red, Team Arctic Green

2013.5 Model MSRP U.S. MSRP CAN Wildcat 1000 $16,999 $18,999 Wildcat 1000 Limited $17,699 $19,999 Wildcat 1000 X $18,499 $20,799 Wildcat 4 $19,599 $21,999

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