Can-Am Expands Maverick X3 Lineup with 5 New Models

Maverick X3 X mr Turbo R

The new, mud-specific Can-Am Maverick X3 X mr Turbo R.

Maverick X3 900 HO

The new Maverick X3 900 HO features a 90 hp engine and an entry level price point.

Can-Am announced five new Maverick X3 models as the company continues to build out their side-by-side offerings with steady and high paced product development. The five new models include:

  1. The all new Maverick X3 900 HO targeting an entry level price point with a 90 hp machine featuring 18″ of front and rear suspension travel and premium FOX 2.5 Podium Piggyback shocks. MSRP $17,999
  2. Mud specific, top-of-the-line, 172-hp Maverick X3 X mr Turbo R featuring fully lockable, on-the-fly Smart-Lok front differential optimized with multiple driving modes for superb handling and traction in the mud. MSRP $25,999
  3. Lower priced Maverick X3 X mr Turbo with a 120 hp engine and 64″ rather than 72″ width, but keeps many of the same features including the Smart-Lok technology. MSRP $22,699
  4. The 2018 Maverick X3 X rs Turbo R adds Smart-Lok technology which features 2×4, 4×4 Front Differential lock and both TRAIL ACTIV and TRAIL modes. MSRP $26,899
  5. The 2018 Maverick X3 MAX X rs Turbo R also adds Smart-Lok technology. MSRP $29,399

Learn more:  BRP.com

Textron Recalls Arctic Cat Wildcat UTVs

2017 Arctic Cat Wildcat Trail SE

The 2017 Arctic Cat Wildcat Trail SE is being recalled due to a winch issue.

2017 Arctic Cat wildcat Sport SE

The 2017 Arctic Cat Wildcat Sport SE is being recalled as well.

Textron Specialized Vehicles recently announced the recall of approximately 300 model year 2017 Arctic Cat Wildcat Trail SE and Wildcat Sport SE utility vehicles as well as approximately 3,000 winch accessory kits sold for 2014 to 2017 Wildcat Trail and Wildcat Sport UTVs. The winch solenoid can overheat and pose a fire hazard. Owners should stop using the vehicles and contact Arctic Cat to schedule a free repair. Arctic Cat can be contacted at 800-279-6851 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. CT Monday through Friday or online at www.arcticcat.com and then click on Product Recall for more information.

This is a small recall but unique in that it is more a recall of the winch accessory than the vehicle themselves as the recalled winches outnumber the recalled vehicles 10 to 1.

The following are the recall details from the Consumer Product Safety Commission

Name of product:  Arctic Cat ROVs with winches

Hazard:  The winch solenoid located under the operator seat can overheat, posing a fire hazard.

Remedy:  Repair

Recall date: November 16, 2017

Recall number:  18-037
Recall Details

Description:  This recall involves all 2017 Arctic Cat Wildcat Trail SE (Special Edition) and Wildcat Sport SE  ROVs with winch solenoids installed as original equipment and winch accessory kits sold separately for use on 2014 through 2017Arctic Cat Wildcat Sport and Wildcat Trail ROVs.  The ROVs have four wheels, side-by-side seating for two people, and have a black chassis. “Wildcat Trail” or “Wildcat Sport” is printed on each side of the vehicle. In addition, Special Edition ROVs have “SE” printed on each side.

Remedy:  Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled ROVs and contact Arctic Cat to schedule a free repair. Arctic Cat is contacting all known purchasers directly.

Incidents/Injuries:  The firm has received 49 reports of winch solenoid failure, with five resulting in fires. No injuries have been reported.

Sold At:  Arctic Cat dealers nationwide from February 2017 through August 2017 for about $17,000 for the ROVs with the winch accessory kits installed. The winch accessory kits were also sold separately from December 2013 through August 2017 for between $200 and $600.

Manufacturer(s):  Arctic Cat Inc., of Thief River Falls, Minn., a subsidiary of Textron Specialized Vehicles, of Augusta, Ga.

Manufactured In:  United States

Units:  About 300 ROVs and 3,000 winch accessory kits (In addition, 124 were sold in Canada)

Learn more:  CPSC.gov

Will Electric UTVs Disrupt the Market?

Nikola Zero

A prototype Nikola Zero electric UTV from Nikola Motor on test in Utah.  Photo Credit:  Nikola Motor

Nikola Zero

A shot of the Nikola Zero prototype’s underbelly while rock climbing.  Photo Credit:  Nikola Motor

Fred Lambert of Electrek.co, a news site that focuses on electric vehicles along with solar and wind power, was part of a small group of people that recently had a chance to experience the prototype Nikola Zero electric powered UTV in the challenging terrain around St. George, UT. His experience indicates that the Nikola Zero is not just vaporware with some outstanding specs but an actual UTV moving towards production. More importantly, Lambert’s experience with the Nikola Zero points to the possibility of electric UTVs significantly disrupting the market.

Before further discussing market disruption, lets take a look at the Nikola Zero test drive. The exact specs for the prototype were not provided but Nikola Motor stated that it is fairly close to a production version. Missing from the prototype are body panels. The prototype appeared to meet the the original spec sheet, which promised 555 hp and 4,900 ft-lbs of torque along with 20″ of suspension travel and 14.5″ of ground clearance. The prototype weighed in at around 3,500 lbs, featured 35″ tires, and was outfitted with a 107 kWh battery pack as opposed to the planned high end option of 125 kWh. For comparison, either size provides the UTV with a bigger battery pack than the maximum 100 kWh pack for a Tesla. The prototype’s display screen at the beginning of the test day indicated a 153 mile range at a 92% charge level.

Some highlights from Lambert’s take on the test drive:

  • Roomy 4-passenger vehicle even in the rear seats
  • Top-speed reached was 57 mph limited by terrain but company notes 80 mph is possible
  • Torque of four electric motors and low center of gravity made climbing even up 50% inclines seem effortless
    • One 50% grade was tackled from a standstill where as gas-powered UTVs needed a running start
    • A rock climbing spot was easily conquered by the Nikola Zero while a Can Am UTV and crew were stymied
    • In another difficult spot a Yamaha was easily passed
  • Greatly reduced ride noise compared to a gas UTV
  • Two hours of driving and 1,500 ft. of elevation gain used about one-third of the battery capacity

The company remarked that they are using LG and Samsung batteries in a patented battery pack architecture. They are planning on producing a few hundred units in 2018 and a few thousand in 2019 with a MSRP in the $35,000 range for the 75 kWh battery pack option and $55,000 for the 125 kWh battery pack option. The production version is expected to be launched in December, 2017.

What does this test drive say about how electric UTVs can disrupt the market. One area is performance, especially in the recreational end of the market. The amount of torque and responsiveness of an electric UTV would be very difficult for gas powered vehicles to match. Having motors at each wheel is another advantage as is the lower center of gravity. A gas powered UTV simply cannot be designed this way. Even for the utility segment, while the capability for high speeds would be considered undesirable by many employers, the performance features applied to heavy duty work applications would be welcome.

Performance based disruption is directly tied to expertise in engine design and development. The major UTV manufacturers have invested enormous amounts of money and resources into developing their own engine technology to create more powerful and lighter gas engines as they have engaged in horsepower and torque battles. Electric UTVs have the potential to make that expertise obsolete and demand a focus on batteries, battery pack design and management, and electric motors instead.

Another area of potential disruption, that may be undersold at this point, is the relatively low noise level of electric UTVs. While many riders enjoy the sound of a roaring engine and maybe even consider it integral to the off-road experience, the lower noise levels may prove quite appealing during long hours of riding. The ability to more easily carry on conversations could increase the social aspects of riding. Quieter electric UTVs could potentially open up more areas for riding where noise is a primary land use concern. Again this will be an area that gas powered UTVs will have a hard time competing.

Another potential area of disruption is vehicle reliability. While the chassis, suspension system and many other parts will still be needed for electric UTVs, the electric powertrain eliminates a lot of moving parts and other systems associated with gas engines. A quick perusal of recent UTV recalls indicates that a significant portion of them are related to the gas engine or ancillary system. There is also less maintenance involved with electric powertrains. On the other hand, battery packs will have to demonstrate their reliability.

At this point, a major impediment to this disruptive technology is price. As the anticipated pricing of the Nikola Zero demonstrates, electric UTVs are very expensive machines relative to the current market. A lot of that pricing is tied to the battery pack. Unless battery pricing decreases significantly an electric UTV like the Nikola Zero will only be a niche product targeting the high performance end of the market, not dissimilar to what the original Tesla Roadster was. On the other hand, battery pricing has been dropping significantly, so more affordable but relatively high performance UTVs may not be that far away.

Learn more:  Electrek.co, Nikolamotor.com

Marc Cesare, SmallVehicleResource.com

Polaris Introduces RZR XP 4 Turbo DYNAMIX Edition

2018 Polaris RZR XP 4 Turbo DYNAMIX

The new 2018 RZR XP 4 Turbo DYNAMIX Edition from Polaris.

Polaris has introduced their new four passenger RZR XP 4 Turbo DYNAMIX Edition, which features the intelligent RZR DYNAMIX Active Suspension that adjusts individual shocks on-the-fly based on near continuous monitoring of key ride inputs. The new model builds out their DYNAMIX lineup introduced earlier this year for model year 2018.

The RZR XP 4 Turbo DYNAMIX Edition includes a RIDE COMMAND 7” display with rear camera, and an all-new, 900-watt charging system that improves battery charging and allows for additional accessory electrical loads. The display provides information on the suspension control system including compression dampening, selected mode, g-force, pedal position, steering angle, brake status and diagnostics.

The DYNAMIX system is designed to deliver a high level of ride comfort while still providing a high level of driving performance. The rider chooses from one of three styles of riding and the system makes adjustments within parameters for that riding style. Riders can choose from:

  • Comfort:  Designed for cruising around and eliminating the small chatter.
  • Sport:   Blends performance and comfort for ultimate high-speed handling.
  • Firm:  Cranks all four shocks to max stiffness for the firmest suspension in the industry for the most severe terrain.

Other key features and specs of the RZR XP 4 Turbo DYNAMIX Edition include:

  • 168 hp, ProStar Turbocharged 925cc engine with EFI
  • FOX 2.5 PODIUM Live Valve shocks with Bottom-Out Control
  • 16″/18″ of front/rear suspension travel
  • High Performance True On-Demand AWD/2WD
  • Electronic power steering with integrated steering angle sensor
  • 13.5″ of ground clearance
  • 64″ wide
  • 29″ Maxxis Bighorn tires on aluminum wheels
  • Bowed 1/4 doors
  • LED headlights and taillights

The RZR XP 4 Turbo DYNAMIX Edition comes in Black Pearl and will be available in dealerships in early December with a $28,499 US MSRP. Learn more:  Polarisindustries.com

Polaris Recalls ACE 325 Vehicles

Polaris ACE 325 recall

The 2014 Polaris ACE 325 is part of the recent recall.

Polaris recently announced a recall of approximately 6,300 ACE 325 off-road vehicles. The exhaust header pipe can crack and release hot exhaust gases into the engine compartment, posing fire and burn hazards. The recall involves model year 2014 through 2016 vehicles. Owners should stop using the vehicles and contact Polaris (800-765-2747) to schedule a repair.

This recall continues a string of recall involving Polaris off-road vehicles. Although much smaller than the previous very large recalls from Polaris the past three years it is sizable compared to the more typical recalls in the market. With this recall Polaris has now recalled vehicles across all their side-by-side product lines including RZR, Ranger, General and ACE in the past two to three years.  While management reports implementing stricter quality standards and a more robust system for tracking vehicle issues, there are a large number of older model Polaris vehicles still in use and manufactured under their previous processes. Polaris could be still be facing additional recalls from older models already in the market, and the improved tracking system may also be more likely to bring any issues to light. As difficult as it has been for the company to address the underlying issues, in the long term, the changes should produce safer and better products.

The following recall information is from the Consumer Product Safety Commission

Name of product:  Polaris ACE 325 recreational off-highway vehicles (ROVs)
Hazard:  The exhaust header pipe can crack and release hot exhaust gases into the engine compartment, posing fire and burn hazards.
Recall date:  October 17, 2017
Recall number:  18-011

Recall Details

Description:   This recall involves all model year 2014 through 2016 Polaris ACE 325 recreational off-highway vehicles (ROVs). The recalled ROVs have a single seat and were sold in white, green and red. For model year 2014 and 2015 ATVs, “Polaris” is printed on the front grill and “Ace” is printed on the rear panel. For model year 2016 ATVs, “Polaris” is printed on the front grill and “Polaris Ace” is printed on the rear panel. The VIN is printed on the right front frame of the vehicles.

 

Year Model Description
2014 A14BH33AJ Ace 325 in white
2015 A15DAA32AA Ace 325 in green
2015 A15DAA32AJ Ace 325 in white
2016 A16DAA32A1 Ace 325 in green
2016 A16DAA32A7 Ace 325 in red
Remedy:   Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled ROVs and contact Polaris to schedule a free repair. Polaris is contacting all known purchasers directly.
Incidents/Injuries:  Polaris has received six reports of cracked exhaust pipes, including two reports of seat damage due to melting. No fires or injuries have been reported.
Sold At:  Polaris dealers nationwide from December 2014 through July 2017 for about $7,500.
Manufacturer(s):  Polaris Industries Inc., of Medina, Minn.
Manufactured In: U.S.
Units:  About 6,300
Consumer Contact:  Polaris at 800-765-2747 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. CT Monday through Friday or online at www.polaris.com and click on “Off Road Safety Recalls” for more information. In addition, check your vehicle identification number (VIN) on the Product Safety Recalls page to see if your vehicle is included in any recalls.

University Reveals aCar: An Electric Utility Vehicle For Africa

aCar electric utility vehicle

A frontal view of the aCar on test in Ghana,

aCar electric utility vehicle

The aCar was developed by the  Technical University of Munich.

Technical University of Munich (TUM) scientists have introduced a prototype electric powered utility vehicle designed for use in rural Africa. Four years in development, the prototype is called aCar, as in “all-rounder”, and was developed specifically to meet the needs of sub-Saharan countries.

The aCar is a cross between a UTV and a small truck, and is off-road capable and can transport heavy loads with a total load capacity of 1 ton. The aCar has four-wheel drive and electric powered to minimize maintenance, provide plenty of torque and be environmentally friendly. The battery can also be used to power winch or as an energy source. The modular design for the rear of the vehicle provides versatility to carry cargo, passengers, a mobile physicians office, a water treatment solution or other functionality. Other key specifications and features include:

  • 20 kW battery capacity
  • 48-volt system
  • 80 km range
  • Top speed:  60 km/h
  • 7 hour recharging time from 220 volt household socket
  • Optional solar sheets
  • Price: under 10,000 euros
  • 3.7m x 1.5 m x 2.1 m
  • Seating capacity:  2
  • Simple production and low manufacturing costs

The vehicle was tested in Ghana for a month and was well received by locals. The aCar will first be produced in Europe to understand and optimize production, but the goal is to move production and eventually component manufacturing to Africa.

Learn more:  TUM.de

This project highlights some of the obstacles in creating a capable and affordable vehicle for customers in developing countries. Not only does such  vehicle have to be affordable to purchase but also to operate. One might think that a large UTV manufacturer could just export their lower priced models. However, the complexity of the design, the need for a reliable fuel supply, and the additional cost of shipping the vehicle all create obstacles.

In terms of design, complexity invites potential for more breakdowns and requires a robust supply chain for parts and more technical expertise for repairs. A simple but robust design alleviates these issues. A leading UTV manufacturer would likely have to develop an entirely different platform for this market.

The modular approach for the aCar is different from the accessories and options approach in the UTV market. Developing modules for specific applications provides some flexibility but, in comparison to the UTV market, limits the level of customization that can be achieved. On the other hand, developing the modules and the requisite supply chain, is likely more cost effective than developing and supplying a wide range of accessories and options in areas where a dealer network will be very limited. A next step in this project may be to look at how the modular design approach can best balance cost, supply and complexity issues with vehicle customization to increase productivity and value.

Marc cesare, Smallvehicleresource.com

Yamaha Introduces 2018 Wolverine X4 UTV

2018 Yamaha Wolverine X4

The new 2018 Yamaha Wolverine X4, a 4-passenger UTV designed to be more compact and nimble for recreational use.

Yamaha recently announced their new 4-passenger 2018 Wolverine X4 side-by-side. The Wolverine X4 features a new 847cc, twin-cylinder engine and stowaway full-size rear seats for flexible cargo space. To improve efficiency, the engine features a dry-sump design for a more compact layout, and an offset cylinder block to reduce friction loss, while rubber engine-mounts and a geared counterbalancer are designed to greatly reduce vibration at idle and throughout the RPM range, as well as reduce noise. The X4 also includes the new Yamaha Chip Controlled-Throttle (YCC-T®), a drive-by-wire system providing precise throttle control, and a key controlled speed system for restricting the vehicle’s top speed to 25 mph. The dimensions (59.8″ wide and 82.7″ wheelbase) of the new Wolverine X4 are purposely on the compact end of the scale to provide a more nimble vehicle for more technical trail riding. Other key features and specs include:

  • Ultramatic V-belt transmission with all-wheel engine braking
  • Yamaha On-Command 3-way locking differential; 2WD, 4WD, full diff-lock 4WD
  • 8.7″/8.9″ of front/rear suspension travel
  • 10.7″ of ground clearance
  • Rear self-leveling shocks
  • 26″ Maxxis tires
  • Electronic power steering
  • Hydraulic disc brakes
  • 600 lb. cargo bed capacity
  • 2,000 lb. towing capacity
  • Full underbody skid plates
  • Fully enclosed doors
  • Wide fenders
  • LED headlights and taillights
  • Two 12V DC outlets
  • Four pre-wired accessory switches
  • MSRP $15,999 in Graphite

Model variations include the Wolverine X4 in:

  • Yamaha Blue with overfenders and cast aluminum wheels (MSRP $16,499)
  • Realtree Xtra camo with overfenders and cast aluminum wheels (MSRP $16,899)
  • Matte Silver and Matte Carbon Special Edition (SE) models with overfenders, painted bodywork, color-matched interior and shock springs, and cast aluminum wheels (MSRP $17,249)

According to Yamaha managers they are trying to deliver a 4-seat UTV with some of the handling and size characteristics of a two seater and a high degree of versatility. They believe this segment of the market is currently underserved.

Learn more:  Yamahamotorsports.com

Comment:  The fact that the Wolverine X4 has been designed from the ground up and includes an entirely new engine shows the level of commitment Yamaha has made to the UTV space. They have rolled out new Wolverine and Viking models for 2018 after making a big push in the last two model years in the sport end of the market with the YXZ. The UTV market has become highly competitive and manufacturers will need to be introducing innovative new models on a regular basis to drive sales.

Marc Cesare, Smallvehicleresource.com

Textron Off Road Announces 2018 Models

Textron Off Road Logo

Textron Off Road announced their 2018 UTV lineup, the first since Textron Off Road replaced the Arctic Cat name for UTVs and ATVs. The 2018 UTV lineup includes 15 different models including Wildcat, Stampede, Recoil and Prowler nameplates. While Textron Off Road kept many of the Wildcat offerings they have ditched the HDX and most of the Prowler offerings which had previously been sold under the Arctic Cat name. They also dropped their non-EPS base model for their Stampede lineup and changed the names of the other Stampede models.

  • Stampede EPS is now Stampede
  • Stampede EPS+ is now Stampede X
  • Stampede XTR EPS is now Stampede 4
  • Stampede XTR EPS+ is now Stampede 4X

Here is a summary of the 2018 lineup:

  • Recreational UTVs:  Wildcat X, Wildcat X LTD, Wildcat Trail, Wildcat Trail XT, Wildcat Trail LTD, Wildcat Sport XT, Wildcat Sport LTD, Wildcat 4X LTD
  • Crossover UTVs:  Stampede X, Stampede 4X, Stampede, Stampede 4
  • Electric UTVs:  Recoil, Recoil iS
  • Work/Entry Level UTV:  Prowler 500

The lineup is quite broad covering a range of segments from high performance to sport recreational riding, trail riding, 4-passenger and crew, electric powered, work, crossover and even entry level general utility with the Prowler 500. The following are key specs for some of the 2018 models:

Textron Off Road Prowler 500

The 2018 Prowler 500 from Textron Off Road.

Prowler 500

  • 443cc liquid-cooled 4-stroke, twin cylinder single overhead cam engine with EFI
  • On-Demand 4WD and Duramatic CVT
  • Double A-arm front and rear suspension with 7.5″ of travel
  • 10″ of ground clearance
  • 25″ Maxxis tires on steel wheels
  • 500 lb. dump bed capacity
  • 1,500 lb. towing capacity
  • Halogen low/high headlights and taillights
  • Door nets and 3-point seatbelts
  • 2-passenger
  • MSRP $8,499
Textron Off Road Wildcat X LTD

The 2018 Wildcat X LTD now under the Textron Off Road brand.

Wildcat X LTD

  • 951cc liquid-cooled 4-stroke, V-twin cylinder single overhead cam engine with EFI’
  • Electric 2/4WD with 4WD lock
  • Rapid response clutches
  • EPS
  • Double A-arm front suspension and 5-link rear suspension with Elka Stage 5 shocks with dual speed compression adjustment and rebound adjustment
  • 17″/18″ of front/rear suspension travel
  • 13″ of ground clearance
  • 27″ ITP Blackwater Evolution tires and aluminum ITP beadlock wheels
  • 300 lb. cargo box capacity
  • Dual LED headlights, brake lights and taillights
  • Half doors
  • 3-point seat belts and seat belt rev limiter
  • MSRP $18,499
Textron Off Road Stampede X

The 2018 Textron Off Road Stampede X previously known as Stampede EPS+.

Stampede X

  • 80 hp, 846cc liquid-cooled 4-stroke, twin cylinder single overhead cam engine with EFI
  • On-Demand AWD with automatic locking front differential and selectable locking rear differential
  • EPS
  • Double A-arm suspension front and rear with Performance shocks
  • 9.5″/10.5″ of front/rear suspension travel
  • 11.25″ of ground clearance
  • 27″ Maxxis Bighorn 2.0 tires and aluminum alloy wheels
  • 600 lb. dump bed capacity
  • 2,000 lb. towing capacity
  • Standard doors
  • Front steel brush guard
  • LCD display
  • USB outlet
  • Low/high beam headlights
  • Extended cab storage space
  • 3-point seat belts and seat belt rev limiter
  • 2-passenger
  • MSRP $14,799

While the Textron Off Road brand has absorbed the Arctic Cat brand, production for the Stampede models is being integrated into existing Arctic Cat production facilities. The Stampede model production is moving to the Thief Falls River, MN facility to join the Wildcat and Prowler production. Stampede engine production will move from Germany to St. Cloud, MN, which produced engines for Arctic Cat UTVs, ATVs and snowmobiles.

Current owners of Arctic Cat side-by-sides and ATVs can continue to visit their Arctic Cat dealer for vehicle service, parts and accessories.

Learn more:  Textronoffroad.com

 

Nikola Powersports Announces Nikola Zero Electric UTV Specs

Nikola Zero electric UTV

Nikola Powersports has released the finalized specs for their Nikola Zero electric UTV.

Nikola Zero electric UTV Nikola Zero electric UTVNikola Powersports, which had previously revealed a prototype electric UTV, has announced the final specifications and design for their Nikola Zero four-passenger UTV. The specs are quite impressive with a 415 hp and 3,675 lbs of torque base option that can be bumped to 555 hp and 4,900 lbs of torque. The company is also touting the vehicle as a potentially street legal ready vehicle. The Nikola Zero has three battery options:  75kWh, 100kWh and 125kWh. The Zero will have a 200 mile range in 4×4 off-road mode with the largest battery pack. According to CEO Trevor Milton,

The Nikola Zero will be the first UTV to come with optional Anti-Lock Braking Systems (ABS), stability control, anti-roll-over, traction control and torque vectoring. Normally these options are reserved for high-end sports cars and not normally found in UTVs. We have worked hard to make these UTVs street legal, and in many states, you may be able to drive the Nikola Zero UTV to work. Once you test drive the Nikola Zero, you will want to trade in your current UTV. No other competitor UTV can match the Nikola Zero’s performance. We are not talking about a few seconds faster than the competition, we are talking about laps faster, with speeds up to 0-60 in 3.9 seconds with four passengers inside.

Key specs of the Nikola Zero include:

  • 4 passenger
  • 400-volt AC Motors
  • On-Demand 4×4 or 2×4 at any speed
  • Baja style hubs and disc brakes with Motor Regenerative Braking
  • Active descent control
  • 20″ of front/rear travel with 3.0″ FOX Podium Internal Bypass Shocks
  • Electronic power steering
  • 4-Wheel Hydraulic Disc brakes with Triple-Bore Front & Rear Calipers
  • 32″ tires with Method Wide-5 beadlock wheels
  • 14″ of ground clearance
  • 62″ wide and 74″ high
  • 3,500 lbs dry weight
  • LED headlights and taillights
  • Digital gauge
  • 10″ and 7″ displays
  • Options
    • Anti-lock braking
    • Street legal package
    • 555 hp
    • 100 kWh and 125 kWh battery packs
    • 4×4 torque vectoring system
    • Anti-roll protection
    • Traction control
    • Front and rear 4,500 lb. winches
    • Factory audio system
    • Windshield
    • Mirrors
    • Cameras

Some additional information about the Zero:

  • The lithium battery pack ranges from 500 to 1,500 lbs depending on the size and is waterproof
  • Each wheel has an electric motor
  • The solar option will provide about 40 miles per day in range
  • There are several charging options providing charging times of anywhere from 3 to 14 hrs to full charge
  • Over-the-air software updating

Nikola Zero pricing starts at $35,000 and you can currently reserve one with a $750 deposit. A dealer ride and drive event is being planned in December 2017 in St. George, Utah. The company expects to start delivering the UTVs sometime in 2018. Nikolamotor.com

Comment:  These are really big battery packs, similar to what Tesla’s use. This raises questions about whether they can really hit that price point and where do they fit the batteries and cooling system for packs that large. On price Tesla’s battery pack is in the range of $190 per kWh from what I have read with the aim to reduce that by 30% for the new Model 3 which would reduce the cost to $135 per kWh. At $135 the cost of a 75 kWh pack is $10,125 and at $190 the cost is $14,250. This is assuming Nikola Motor can match Tesla’s costs which is unlikely considering Tesla is thought to have the lowest battery pack costs in the market and has much higher volumes than Nikola Motor.

I am skeptical about the price point but the technology is certainly available to build such a vehicle. The pricing has to be considered in the context of the high end UTVs that the Nikola Zero will be competing against which are already in the $25-30k range. This segment of the market is certainly driven by product features and performance and a portion of the segment may be willing to pay a sizable premium if the vehicle performs as advertised.

Another issue is whether consumers in this segment want to switch from ICE to electric powered vehicles regardless of performance. The sound of a high-powered engine is part of the fun, is it not?

The street legal aspect of the Nikola Zero could change the value proposition and make the price premium more palatable. From the local ordinances SVR tracks, more and more municipalities are allowing UTVs to be used on local roads. Granted, these are usually low speed roads, but if you can use the vehicle to also make local trips downtown then it becomes more like a second car.

Possibly the biggest issue is if the company can ever get the vehicle to market. There have been plenty of electric vehicle startups that have had impressively designed vehicles but are never put into production. I would like the vehicle to actually make it to dealers. Then we can see if it can disrupt the market.

Marc Cesare, Smallvehicleresource.com

Polaris Announces 2018 UTVs

2018 Polaris Ranger XP 1000 EPS

The new 2018 Polaris Ranger XP 1000 EPS.

Polaris recently introduced their new UTVs for model year 2018. An updated Ranger XP 1000 priced at $16,299 features a redesigned exterior and interior. Key changes include:

  • Increased hp from 80 to 82
  • New large-ratio clutch and redesigned driveline
  • Redesigned under-hood air intakes and a new clutch cover provide increased air flow for cooler, longer-lasting belt life.
  • Improved driveline geometry is designed to increase efficiency and produce a quieter ride.
  • Increased towing capacity to 2,500 lbs.
  • Stiffer chassis
  • 27″ Maxxis tires with Black Xcelerator 2.0 aluminum wheels
  • New front end, larger headlights, new grill and larger front bumper
  • Integrated Polaris Glacier plow mount
  • Reduced steering ratio and tighter turning radius,
  • New front sway bar
  • Polaris engine braking system is now standard
  • More entry/exit clearance, more legroom and better bottom seat cushions
  • New flip-up passenger seat
2018 Polaris General 1000 EPS Limited Edition

2018 Polaris General 1000 EPS Limited Edition with military graphics.

For the GENERAL line a GENERAL 1000 EPS Limited Edition has been added with custom military-themed graphics on Matte Sagebrush Green automotive-style paint, and cut-and-sew leather-like custom seats. This model also has a:

  • 4,500 lb. Polaris HD Winch
  • Front Bumper
  • Maxxis Coronado Tires
  • Lock & Ride Headache Rack
  • $18,999 MSRP
 Polaris RZR XP Turbo EPS Dynamix

The new Polaris RZR XP Turbo EPS Dynamix Edition for 2018.

The RZR line in 2018 will include the RZR XP Turbo Dynamix Edition which features RZR DynamixActive suspension. Dynamix tunes the suspension on the fly with 200 adjustments per second and is integrated with the Polaris Ride Command system. The MSRP for this model is $25,999.

2018 Polaris ACE 570 EPS

The 2018 Polaris ACE 570 EPS

The ACE lineup now includes an all new ACE 570 EPS for $8,999. This model is $500 more than the ACE 570, but features:

  • Electronic power steering
  • Trail premium dual A-arm front suspension with more ground clearance
  • Factory installed quarter doors
  • Mud guards
  • Stainless steel exhaust
  • Improved seat slider
  • Slightly less weight

Learn more:  Polaris.com