Hustler Turf Enters UTV Market with LEVELIFT™ Bed Technology

Hustler Turf MDF LevelLift

The new Hustler Turf MDF LevelLift utility vehicle features a patented bed technology and diesel engine.

The new Hustler Turf MDV utility vehicle.

Hustler Turf, a manufacturer of zero-turn mowers, is entering the utility vehicle market with two models, including one with their patented LevelLift bed technology. LevelLift allows the bed to be lowered to the ground or raised back up for easier loading/unloading of material. The bed can lift up to 750 lbs and can dump material from any point in its arc of motion.

The two models being offered by Hustler Turf are the MDV and MDV LevelLift. MDV stands for Maximum Duty Vehicle and as the words suggest the vehicles are designed for heavy-duty applications on ranches or farms, parks, campuses and industrial locations. Some of the key features common to both models include:

  • Kohler, 1038cc, 23.4 hp diesel engine
  • 2WD/AWD
  • 37 mph top speed
  • Independent front suspension with flex swing arm
  • Floating rear axle
  • 4-wheel hydraulic disc brakes
  • 25″ wheels
  • 1,650 lb. towing capacity
  • 8″ of ground clearance
  • Power steering

The most significant difference between the two models is that the MDV has a 1,200 lb. cargo box capacity and the MDV LevelLift has the bed technology with a 750 lb. cargo box capacity. The manufacturer’s website does not list any MSRPs for the models but I found vehicle pricing on an Internet listing the MDV MSRP at $15,999 and the MDV LevelLift MSRP at $20,999.

Hustler Turf adds to the list of power and farm equipment manufacturers that have been updating or starting utility vehicle lines over the last several years. While some like Cub Cadet are offering  value priced vehicles with a nice package of features and others are offering utility vehicles to fill out their stable of products, Hustler Turf is providing a vehicle with a unique technology. The significant price premium for the technology in the MDV LevelLift model suggest that it will probably have a relatively limited market appeal. However, it may prove highly useful for specific applications. This is in line with recent trends in the commercial UTV market, where manufacturers are offering pre-configured vehicles or special option packages designed for specific end-use applications.

Marc Cesare, Smallvehicleresource.com

 

Cub Cadet Expands Challenger UTV Line

The new Cub Cadet Challenger 750 utility vehicle

The new Cub Cadet Challenger 750 utility vehicle

Cub Cadet Challenger 550

The new Cub Cadet Challenger 550 utility vehicle

Cub Cadet has launched the Challenger 550 and Challenger 750 utility vehicles as they continue to expand the Challenger product line, which already includes the 400, 400 LX, 500, 700 and 750 Crew. The new models continue Cub Cadet’s theme of providing a value oriented offering with a solid set of standard features.

The Challenger 550/750 comes standard with what is essentially a partially enclosed cab with high-sided sealed doors, standard roof and sealed ROPS. Optional upper doors and a rear window are available to create a completely weather-sealed cab. The interior cab design features interior and exterior door handles, a tilting steering wheel, open storage, closed glove box and premium sculpted seats.

The new models are designed for customization with a front accessory mounting panel above the windshield and a rear mounting rack. The cargo bed has integrated attachment points or “T” slots for purpose built accessories. The vertical slots accept standard ¾-inch plywood for partitions and slots on top of the side rails to accommodate standard 1 x 3-inch furring strips.

“Customization of utility vehicles is extremely important according to the customers we continually talk with,” said Tom Mielke, UV Product Marketing Manager, Cub Cadet. “We’ve designed the Challenger Series with exclusive features that give owners the power to customize their utility vehicle for the challenges they face – at the farm, ranch, off-road or in the woods. These new additions continue to raise the bar on standard features, designed around what people want to do with their UV while also improving style, comfort and convenience.”

A growing list of accessories will be available in 2017 to customize the vehicle including:

  • Upper Doors (Pair)
  • Scratch-Resistant Vented or Folding Polycarbonate Windshields
  • Rear Window
  • Spare Tire Mount
  • Dual 11.5-Inch LED Light Bar Kit
  • Four Cube LED Light Kit
  • Rock Sliders
  • Rear Bumper
  • Front and Rear Turf Tires
  • 72-Inch Snow Blade

Key specs and features for the the Challenger 550 and 750 are as follows:

  • 546cc, 27.5 hp EFI engine (550); 735cc, 35.8 hp EFI engine (750)
  • Top speed 45 mph
  • On-demand 2WD/4WD and automatic CVT
  • Selectable locking front/rear differential
  • 3-way adjustable shocks
  • 12″ of ground clearance
  • 26″ tires
  • 500 lb. capacity dump bed
  • 1,200 lb. towing capacity
  • 3,500 lb. winch
  • Sealed windshield
  • High-sided doors
  • Roof
  • LED headlights
  • Available colors:  Cub Yellow, Blue, Red, Black and Camo
  • MSRP:  Challenger 550 – $9,999; Challenger 750 – $10,999

A quick comparison between the Challenger 750 and 700 shows that the 750 has a more powerful engine, larger capacity cargo box by 150 lbs., improved doors and windshield, LED rather than halogen headlights, slightly more ground clearance and a better drivetrain. The differences between the Challenger 550 and 500 are similar.

The new UTVs are available at local Cub Cadet dealers. Learn more:  Cub Cadet

Marc Cesare, Smallvehicleresource.com

Can-Am Adds 2017 Maverick X3 Max Models

2017 Can-Am Maverick X3

2017 Can-Am Maverick X3

Can-Am Maverick X3 X ds

2017 Can-Am Maverick X3 X ds

2017 Can-Am Maverick X3 X rs

2017 Can-Am Maverick X3 X rs

Can-Am recently announced their new four-passenger Maverick X3 Max family of vehicles for model year 2017. The lineup includes the Maverick X3 Max, X3 Max X ds and the X3 Max X rs and continues the company’s plan to launch new side-by-side vehicles every six months. Key specs for the Maverick X3 Max include:

  • 154 hp, Rotax ACE 900cc turbocharged engine with electronic fuel injection and Donaldson high-performance air filter
  • Quick Response System X (QRS-X) CVT
  • Selectable 2WD / 4WD with Visco-Lok X auto-locking front differential
  • Dynamic Power Steering
  • 20″ of front and rear suspension travel
  • 4-link Torsional Trailing-arm X rear suspension
  • FOX 2.5 PODIUM Piggyback with QS3 compression adjustment and bottom-out control
  • 13″ of ground clearance
  • Hydraulic brakes with twin-piston calipers
  • 28″ Maxxis Bighorn 2.0 tires and 14″ aluminum wheels
  • 64″ width
  • Integrated front bumper
  • HMW skid plate
  • Quarter doors
  • LED headlights and tail lights with unique Can-Am LED signature
  • MSRP:  $24,999
  • Available in White

The Maverick X3 Max X ds has many of the same features with the following differences:

  • FOX 2.5 PODIUM RC2 Piggyback with dual speed compression and rebound adjustments
  • 29″ Maxxis Bighorn 2.0 tires
  • 14″ Aluminum beadlock wheels
  • Slightly longer at 164.4″ vs. 162″
  • MSRP:  $27,399
  • Available in Triple Black and Circuit Yellow

The Maverick X3 Max X rs has many of the same features with the following differences:

  • FOX 2.5 PODIUM RC2 Piggyback with bypass, dual speed compression and rebound adjustments in the front
  • FOX 3.0 PODIUM RC2 remote reservoir with bypass, dual speed compression and rebound adjustments in the rear
  • 22″ of front/rear suspension travel
  • 14″ of ground clearance
  • 30″ Maxxis Bighorn 2.0 tires
  • 14″ Aluminum beadlock wheels
  • 72″ width compared to 64″
  • Slightly more than 100 lbs heavier
  • Full roof
  • MSRP:  $29,099
  • Available in Triple Black and Gold & Can-Am Red

Learn more:  Can-am.brp.com

Arctic Cat Announces 2017 Special Edition Wildcats

Arctic Cat Wildcat Sport SE EPS

Arctic Cat’s new Wildcat Sport SE EPS

Arctic Cat Wildcat Trail SE EPS

Arctic Cat’s new Wildcat Trail SE EPS

Arctic Cat has announced two new special edition Wildcats for the 2017 model year, the Wildcat Sport SE EPS and the Wildcat Trail SE EPS. Special edition features on these models include:

  • Warn 3,000 lb. synthetic rope winch
  • Polycarbonate half windshield
  • Electronic power steering
  • Aluminum rims polished with black inlays
  • Infinitely adjustable tilt steering
  • TEAM Rapid Response clutch
  • Electronic 2WD/4WD front differential lock
  • 2″ receiver
  • Shocks
    • Trail SE EPS:  FOX premium gas-charged shocks
    • Sport SESEPs: King aluminum gas shocks with single-speed adjustment

The Wildcat Sport SE EPS retails for $16,499 and the Wildcat Trail SE EPS for $14,699.

Other key specs for the Wildcat Sport SE EPS include:

  • 700cc, 4-stroke, twin cylinder engine
  • 36 amp alternator
  • Double-A-arm front and rear suspension
  • 12.2″/12.6″ of front/rear suspension travel
  • 13″ of ground clearance
  • 26″ Carlisle Trail Pro tires
  • Halogen headlights and LED brake/tail lights
  • Digital instrumentation
  • 300 lb. cargo box
  • 1,500 lb. towing capacity
  • Hydraulic disc brakes
  • Full doors
  • Matte Black automotive-style paint

Key specs for the Wildcat Trail SE EPS include:

  • 700cc, 4-stroke, twin cylinder engine
  • 36 amp alternator
  • Double-A-arm front and rear suspension
  • 10″/10.5″ of front/rear suspension travel
  • 10″ of ground clearance
  • 25″ Carlisle Trail Pro tires
  • Halogen headlights and LED brake/tail lights
  • Digital instrumentation
  • 300 lb. cargo box
  • 1,500 lb. towing capacity
  • Hydraulic disc brakes
  • Full doors
  • Matte Black automotive-style paint

 

Textron Partners with New Holland on Rustler UTV

New Holland Rustler 850

A partnership between Textron and New Holland bares fruit with the launch of the New Holland Rustler 850.

Textron Specialized Vehicles continues to expand their footprint in the small, task-oriented vehicle market partnering with New Holland to produce the Rustler 850 utility vehicle. New Holland, a leading manufacturer of agricultural machinery, turned to Textron 18 months ago to help them update their Rustler brand of utility vehicles with a new vehicle. The partnership makes sense for both companies. For Textron Specialized Vehicles, the partnership gives them access to New Holland’s well-established distribution channel in the ag market. For New Holland, they can more efficiently use their product development resources by taking advantage of Textron Specialized Vehicle’s expertise in utility vehicles. One challenge for the new vehicle will be the relatively depressed demand in the ag market that has been ongoing for a number of quarters.

The Rustler 850 is based on a Textron chassis but has a number of features and characteristics based on New Holland’s market knowledge and feedback from their dealers. These include:

  • 1,000 lb. capacity cargo bed that can fit a full pallet
  • 1,500 lb. payload capacity
  • 2,000 lb. towing capacity
  • 45 mph top speed for more speed than some other farm focused UTVs
  • Front end design that recalls their T6/T7 tractors
  • Trademark New Holland blue color

Other key features include:

  • 62 hp, OHC, EFI engine
  • All-Wheel Drive with automatic locking front differential and selectable locking rear differential
  • Dual A-arm front and rear suspension with performance shocks
  • 9.3″/10.4″ of front/rear suspension travel
  • 11.25″ of ground clearance
  • Electronic power steering
  • 4-wheel hydraulic disc brakes
  • 26″ Kenda All-Terrain tires
  • ROPS and 3-point seat-belts
  • Front steel brush guard

Current available attachments include a LED light package and winch with a cab with heater, electric dump bed and camo graphics in development. A four-person version is also in the product line plan. The Rustler 850 will be available this spring.

Learn more:  Farmindustrynews.com

Marc Cesare, Smallvehicleresource.com

Star EV Launches Sirius Luxury Golf Car

Marc Cesare, Smallvehicleresource.com

The new Sirius electric vehicle from Star EV

The new Sirius electric vehicle from Star EV at the PGA Show.

At 2017 PGA Merchandise Show electric vehicle manufacturer Star EV revealed their new luxury golf car model, the Sirius. The Sirius has a 4kW AC motor, 350 A Curtis AC controller and has a top speed of 19.5 mph or 25 mph for the LSV version. Other features include:

  • Electronic locking trunk
  • USB port
  • LED illuminated dashboard
  • Self-canceling turn signals
  • Large bagwell
  • Optional golf ball holder inserts
  • Optional 2-in-1 Combo Seat

Star EV showcased the standard Sirius model with the Combo Seat and a customized version showing off the company’s available accessories such as multiple wheel options. While the models at the show were standard 2 and 4-passenger vehicles, the Sirius line will expand to include 6 and 8 passenger models. The Sirius will be available at Star EV dealers later this summer.

It will be interesting to see what the pricing for the vehicle will be compared to other offerings in the market. I don’t believe it will be at the level of a Garia, but where will the Sirius sit in the market, given the features and price, relative to offerings from Club Car, E-Z-GO and Yamaha?. This could be the start of a trend towards offering more “luxury” models if the larger manufacturers follow suit.

For those interested, Sirius is the brightest star in the Earth’s night sky and is derived from the ancient Greek word for “glowing” or “scorcher”, according to Wikipedia.

Learn more:  PRweb.com

E-Z-GO Launches ELiTE Lithium Powered Fleet Golf Cars

Marc Cesare, Smallvehicleresource.com

E-Z-GO RXV

The E-Z-GO RXV fleet golf car is one of models that will be offered with the lithium battery pack.

E-Z-GO has announced their EliTE series of golf cars, a lithium battery powered offering for the fleet market. The ELiTE vehicles will use Samsung’s SDI lithium technology and provide zero maintenance batteries with a five-year unlimited amp-hour warranty and increased energy efficiency. The technology will be offered in the RXV® ELiTE, Freedom® RXV ELiTE, Freedom RXV 2+2 ELiTE, TXT® ELiTE, Freedom TXT ELiTE and Freedom TXT 2+2 ELiTE. According to E-Z-GO some of the advantages of these lithium powered vehicles include:

  • Zero-maintenance batteries that don’t require watering, terminal post checkups and cleaning like traditional lead acid batteries
  • 59% more efficient than the Club Car Precedent and 52% more than the Yamaha Drive AC
  • Reduced charging time allows for short “opportunity charging” between rounds
  • Reduced energy costs
  • Longer run times
  • Lighter weight can reduce turf damage and soil compaction

These advantages are similar to what SVR heard from LiV Golf Cars, a start-up golf car manufacturer that tried to break into the fleet golf car market with lithium powered golf cars not to long ago. While the technology sounded promising, the company had trouble trying to muscle in on the big boys turf. However, the technology has the potential to be quite disruptive as golf car leases are typically tied to the life of the vehicle’s battery pack.

Economically it makes more sense for a golf course to changeover a fleet than just replace the battery packs. A golf course will typically turn over their fleet when the battery pack needs to be replaced, 3-4 years depending on use. Why spend $600-$1,000 per vehicle for a new battery pack when you can lease a whole new set of vehicles for not much more than your current payments? If the lithium battery packs are kept through their warranty period, 5 years, or even longer, you are potentially doubling or almost doubling the changeover time. Obviously, this has implications for fleet golf car sales volume.

How disruptive lithium golf cars will be depends on whether they perform as advertised and how much more they will cost than current fleet golf cars. If the energy cost savings are significant and the pricing not to high the payback time could be relatively short. In the long term the maintenance free aspect of the battery pack may prove to be a significant factor as well, since maintaining lead acid batteries properly continues to be a challenge. This will probably not manifest itself until the vehicles are out in the market and golf course managers better understand how much less maintenance they require.

The full press release from Textron follows:

E-Z-GO® Launches Innovative ELiTE™ Series Vehicles to Industry

Lithium-Powered Golf Fleet Vehicles Developed in Partnership with Samsung SDI

AUGUSTA, Ga. (January 26, 2017) — E-Z-GO, a Textron Specialized Vehicles business, is proud to yet again revolutionize electric golf cars with the introduction of its ELiTE Series lithium golf cars as a fleet offering. Activated by Samsung SDI lithium technology, ELiTE vehicles offer zero-maintenance batteries with a five-year unlimited amp-hour warranty and increased energy efficiency.

E-Z-GO vehicles are designed and manufactured in Augusta, Ga. by Textron Specialized Vehicles Inc., a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company.

“The E-Z-GO partnership with Samsung SDI resulted in a giant step forward for the industry when it comes to high-efficiency vehicles and zero-maintenance battery power,” said Michael R. Parkhurst, Vice President, Golf for Textron Specialized Vehicles. “ELiTE Series vehicles are the biggest advancement in golf car technology since E-Z-GO introduced the E-Z-GO RXV® golf car, with its groundbreaking AC drive and IntelliBrake™ technology.”

New ELiTE Series vehicles are powered by hundreds of Samsung SDI lithium cells that are loaded into a single battery pack. The battery pack is controlled by an advanced Battery Management System that monitors efficiency, temperature, state of charge and the health of the batteries. These batteries are used to safely and reliably power electric cars, e-scooters, power tools and many other electrically powered vehicles, equipment and appliances.

The revolutionary ELiTE Series vehicles are powered by zero-maintenance lithium batteries that don’t require watering, terminal post checkups and cleaning like traditional lead acid batteries do. This means less time in the shop for maintenance and repairs, and more play time for the vehicles.

ELiTE Series vehicles are 59 percent* more efficient than the Club Car Precedent and 52 percent* more efficient than the Yamaha Drive AC. Charging time is significantly reduced, and ELiTE vehicles allow courses to “opportunity charge,” plugging vehicles in for quick charging sessions between rounds that can rapidly restore significant levels of energy to the battery system, as opposed to the lengthy recharge cycles required by lead-acid batteries.

With less power required to charge ELiTE Series than leading lead-acid competitors, golf course managers can cut energy costs while enjoying the extra revenue that comes from all-day uptime.

The batteries in ELiTE vehicles are also lighter than traditional lead acid batteries. ELiTE Series vehicles batteries are half the size and a fraction of the weight of lead-acid batteries, reducing turf damage and soil compaction due to vehicle weight.

E-Z-GO is confident in the reliable and enduring performance that ELiTE vehicles will bring to courses, which is why the vehicles’ batteries are backed by a five-year, unlimited amp-hour warranty.

E-Z-GO ELiTE Series vehicles were tested at Tijeras Creek Golf Club, in Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif., where last year, 73,000 rounds of golf were played. The award-winning course is known for its challenging hilly, brutal terrain. Tijeras Creek Golf Club regularly rotates vehicles in the current lead-acid golf car fleet in and out of service daily to allow for ample recharge time.

“From day one, the ELiTE Series vehicles have been going around our golf course anywhere from 36 to 54 holes a day, and during that time frame, we aren’t having to recharge them,” said Rob Heslar, Director of Golf at Tijeras Creek Golf Club. “There’s a confidence factor in the ELiTE Series lithium car for me. I’m not concerned about putting my customers in an ELiTE Series golf vehicle because I know they won’t worry about becoming stranded in an uncharged vehicle.”

The exclusive ELiTE lithium technology will be available in the following 2017 models:

RXV® ELiTE, Freedom® RXV ELiTE, Freedom RXV 2+2 ELiTE, TXT® ELiTE, Freedom TXT ELiTE and Freedom TXT 2+2 ELiTE.

ELiTE Series vehicles will be on display during the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando, Florida. Learn more about ELiTE Series vehicles, by visiting www.ezgo.com/elite.

Contact:
Brandon Haddock
Director, Communications
706. 772.5931
bhaddock@textron.com

– See more at: http://investor.textron.com/news/news-releases/press-release-details/2017/E-Z-GO-Launches-Innovative-ELiTETM-Series-Vehicles-to-Industry/default.aspx#sthash.pK3tx7Dp.dpuf

Polaris Announces New UTV Models

Marc Cesare, Smallvehicleresource.com

Polaris General 1000 EPS Ride Command Edition Black Pearl

The Polaris General 1000 EPS Ride Command Edition Black Pearl headlines the mid model year UTV additions.

Polaris announced a number of new utility vehicles across their General, Ranger and RZR product lines. As is typical for these mid-year additions, the models are variations of existing vehicles and many are new color options.

Most notable is the Ride Command edition of the General 1000 EPS, the General1000 EPS Ride Command Edition Black Pearl. Ride Command was launched last year on a limited edition RZR XP 1000 EPS and met with enough success to carry over the technology to the General line. Ride Command “…enables riders to connect with other riders and provides centralized, seamless device control, including integration with mobile phones, cameras and audio.”

The RIDE COMMAND system includes the RIDE COMMAND mobile app and a weather-resistant, glove-touch RIDE COMMAND 7-in. display. The centralized display is the central hub for GPS mapping, listening to favorite music through Bluetooth® or AM/FM radio, controlling a GoPro® camera and to receive texts. In tandem with the RIDE COMMAND app, the display allows riders to track other riders in their group without needing to physically see them. The app also enables riders to map routes in advance, as well as track and share their ride directly to their social feed.

The Polaris GENERAL 1000 EPS RIDE COMMAND Edition Black Pearl features the RIDE COMMAND 7-in. display and several accessories that integrate into the system including front and rear cameras, and a MTX® Premium 8-Speaker Audio system. Other standard accessories include a front bumper, Polaris HD 4500 lb. Winch, Poly Sport Roof and FOX® QS3 Shocks.

The MSRP for this model is $21,499.

Ranger XP 900 EPS Silver Pearl

The Ranger XP 900 EPS in Silver Pearl.

A Ranger XP 900 EPS Silver Pearl option has also been added and features automotive style paint, aluminum wheels and electronic power steering (EPS) with an MSRP of $13,999. For the Ranger 500 a Sage Green color option was added with the MSRP remaining unchanged at $8,999.

For the RZR product line the new additions consist of new color options for various models with no changes to MSRPs compared to similar models. New color options include:

  • RZR S 900 EPS Titanium Metallic
  • RZR 4 900 EPS Titanium Metallic
  • RZR S 1000 EPS Spectra Orange
  • RZR XP 1000 EPS White Lightning with Reflex Blue
  • RZR XP 4 1000 EPS White Lightning with Reflex Blue

It is not surprising that there aren’t any big additions to their line-up. Not only is it mid model year but Polaris has been putting a lot of resources toward fixing their recall issues with Rangers and RZRs. The recall issue also impacts dealer inventory which Polaris is trying to closely manage and any major additions would require adding to dealer inventory. While Polaris is not likely to stop launching significant new models, they will probably be launched mid calendar year by which they hope to have resolved a majority of the recall issues.

Learn more:  Polaris.com

Should Autocycles Be Next For STOV Manufacturers

Marc Cesare, Smallvehicleresource.com

Arcimoto SRK

The electric powered Arcimoto SRK is expected to be available later this year.

I have come across a number of articles recently focusing on autocycles and I thought this might be a potential product development direction for STOV manufacturers.

First, what is an autocycle? It is basically a three-wheeled vehicle such as the Slingshot by Polaris, or offerings from start ups such as Elio Motors and Arcimoto. There is no standard definition for an autocycle in the US or other countries. In the US, an autocycle is typically classified as a motorcycle, although not always, as Polaris discovered with their Slingshot. They have had to work with some states to develop legislation to allow their vehicles on the road. (See how the classification for the Slingshot varies by state.)

The benefit of being classified as a motorcycle is that the vehicle does not have to conform to more expensive automobile safety standards. This benefit is key to providing STOV manufacturers with a new product opportunity. In particular, I believe Polaris and the golf car manufacturers are well positioned to produce a more practical neighborhood electric vehicle that can provide a good value proposition in relation to street legal golf cars (new or used), low speed vehicles and lower priced highway capable cars.

Now Polaris already has the Slingshot, but this is more of a recreational vehicle designed for those interested in a motorcycle like experience with a greater sense of safety and requiring less driving skill. The Slingshot is highway capable, features a gas engine and pricing starts around $22,000. The not yet in production Elio Motors autocycle is also gas powered, highway capable and has a base price of $7,300. The electric powered Arcimoto SRK is expected to be available this year, has a top speed of 80 mph and starts at $12,000 for the 12kWh model which provides a 70 mile range. Like Slingshot, the Elio and SRK provide seating for two but they are placed front to back rather than side to side as in the Slingshot. All three feature two wheels up front and one in the rear.

While all three of these vehicles are capable of highway speeds, I propose that there is a real market opportunity for a medium speed vehicle (MSV). The medium speed, say up to 40-45 mph, would make the vehicles more practical to use for personal transport than golf cars or LSVs which top out at 19-25 mph. STOV manufacturers have pushed for a MSV designation but NHTSA has not been willing to budge on the costly safety standards for four-wheeled vehicles. This is why the motorcycle/autocycle classification is critical to this opportunity. A MSV autocycle would be a more viable second vehicle for many households and a more versatile neighborhood vehicle for those in gated or retirement communities.

The vehicle should also be electric powered to maximize the environmental benefits and also take advantage of electric motorcycle incentives where available. An electric autocycle would provide a significantly less expensive electric vehicle option to green consumers than the currently available electric cars. A MSV would also require a smaller battery pack than a highway capable electric autocycle, further reducing costs. Of course, a highway capable option could be made available but that would start driving up the costs.

Besides the aforementioned startups, who is positioned to develop these type of vehicles? Polaris is an obvious choice. They already have experience designing, engineering and producing an autocycle and they are innovators. They also have been acquiring electric drivetrain technology (Brammo) and electric vehicle brands such as GEM, Goupil and Taylor-Dunn. It is a vehicle that could potentially fit nicely into their portfolio of the brands that are sold internationally. The biggest challenge for Polaris would be distribution. A MSV autocycle would probably not be a good fit for their powersports dealers, as the customers would be more transportation than recreation oriented. Their brands such as Goupil, Taylor-Dunn and even GEM are geared more towards the commercial customer. Polaris might have to partner with another company to access the right distribution channels.

This brings us to the golf car manufacturers. They have the expertise in developing and selling electric vehicles, but not necessarily the three-wheeled variety and have been more focused on lead acid battery packs. One could argue that they also haven’t been that innovative. They do however have the right distribution network. Their customers are already coming to them for personal transportation solutions.

A MSV autocycle could find a home in Textron’s (maker of E-Z-GO) Specialty Vehicle division which encompasses a wide range of small, task-oriented vehicles. They have also been striking out into new territory with new ATV and UTV products under the Bad Boy Off-road brand. Another option is Yamaha Golf Car, although they are the smallest of the big three manufacturers. This leaves Club Car. As a subsidiary of Ingersoll-Rand they certainly have the financial wherewithal to develop a vehicle on their own, and they may be the best fit for a partnership with Polaris. Unlike Yamaha and Textron they do not compete directly with Polaris in the recreational UTV space. They are also considered by many to be the highest quality brand of the three and have over 600 distributors, dealers and factory branch locations.

It will be interesting to see if the autocycles from Elio and Arcimoto prove to be popular and encourage other manufacturers to join the fray.

Learn more:  Arcimoto.com

Learn more:  Eliomotors.com

 

Intimidator UTVs Added To SVR Database

Marc Cesare, Smallvehicleresource.com

Intimidator utility vehicles just have been added to the Smallvehicleresource.com vehicle database. Intimidator UTVs are manufactured in Arkansas and include a Classic, Truck and Crew series of vehicles. Depending on the series a range of powertrain options are available including a 1000cc Kohler diesel engine, a 750cc Kohler gas engine, Intimidator’s own 800cc gas engine and a 48V AC electric motor. While the Intimidator UTVs are designed for work and trail riding, the feature set and lower top speeds indicate they lean more towards work applications. However, they do feature 27″ tires, 10″ of suspension travel and 12″ of ground clearance that should work nicely on trails. There is also an Enforcer model more targeted at trail riding which will be detailed later.

Intimidator Classic utility vehicle

Intimidator Classic UTV

The Classic series includes all four powertrain options and includes features such as a 1,200 lb. capacity cargo bed, 2,100 lb. towing capacity, 27″ tires with steel wheels, 12″ of ground clearance, dual A-arm suspension, hydraulic disc brakes and front brush guard.

Intimidator Crew utility vehicle

Intimidator Crew UTV

The Crew series includes all the powertrain options except for the electric powertrain. This series has similar features to the Classic series but seats six.

Intimidator Truck utility vehicle

Intimidator Truck UTV

The Truck series is available with either Kohler powertrains and has similar features as the Classic series but is outfitted with a 6-foot cargo bed that can fold-down into a flat bed.

Intimidator Enforcer utility vehicle

Intimidator Enforcer UTV

The Intimidator utility vehicles vehicle is designed for trail riding. With a SxS Gear portal lift the Enforcer features 4″ gear lift, 30% gear reduction, 32″ motoboss 6-ply tires, true beadlock MSA wheels, 18″ ground clearance, wide track width, Elka shocks and power steering. This model is powered by Intimidator’s own 800cc gas engine with EFI and 65 hp for a top speed of 55 mph.

A number of Intimidator dealers have also been added to the SVR Dealer Directory. If you are already in our directory you can create an account, link to your directory listing and enjoy a free trial of SVR’s Request for Quote service. If you aren’t in our dealer directory then join our directory and signup for SVR’s Request for Quote service for free.