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

Mahindra To Build UTVs in the US

The Mahindra mPact XTV 1000 L utility vehicle is one of six models previously developed by the company in partnership with Intimidator, Inc.

Mahindra is planning on launching an off-road utility vehicle targeting farmers and hunters, and will build it in the US. In an interview by Barron’s, Mahindra & Mahindra’s CEO Pawan Goenka covered a range of topics including a new manufacturing plant in Detroit. The first product produced by the plant will be off-road utility vehicles.

In April 2015 Mahindra announced a partnership with Intimidator Inc. based in Arkansas to develop and manufacture Mahindra’s current mPact lineup of six UTVs. This latest interview indicates that moving forward they will be developing and manufacturing their UTVs themselves. According to the CEO Mahindra currently has about 540 dealers in the US who sell Mahindra’s tractors. While the brand is not necessarily a household name, it is not an obscure brand either in the farming market.

Comment:  This marks a more serious commitment to the UTV market. While some companies have developed partnerships to add UTVs to their product lineup, they have not had intentions of moving into manufacturing themselves. These partnerships have been a joining of complementary competencies and assets. Usually one company has the distribution channel while the other has the expertise and resources to develop the UTVs. In Mahindra’s case they likely used their partnership with Intimidator to test the UTV market in the US before making a more substantial commitment. They will offer some more competition for companies like Kubota, John Deere, Polaris and even Can Am which has been targeting the farm/hunting market segment lately as well. The investment shows that the UTV market remains highly competitive, but companies still view it as a growth market.

Marc Cesare, Smallvehicleresource.com

Eicher Polaris Changes Multix Marketing Strategy

Eicher Polaris Multix

The Multix utility vehicle, the first offering from the Eicher-Polaris joint venture.

Eicher Polaris has made a significant change in the marketing strategy for their Multix multi-purpose utility vehicle. Launched in 2015, the Multix was designed to be versatile and transformable from moving goods to carrying the family to generating electricity with the X-Port feature.

Based on extensive market research the original marketing plan targeted entrepreneurs in rural areas and small towns. The entrepreneur could use the vehicle for business during the week, for family outings on the weekend and even provide electricity in areas where the electrical grid can be unreliable. However, the product has not taken off as management expected, although the potential market is deemed quite large. The company points to more conservative rural people not being as quick to adopt such an innovative product.

Therefore, Eicher Polaris is changing course and now focusing on more urban areas. To that end the company is expanding from 77 to 100 dealerships with most of the new openings in metro areas. The hope is that metro locations will provide more exposure for the Multix to a wider range of end users in the urban environment. Management provides examples of end users that can conduct “business on wheels” with the Multix like laundry operators who can use the X-Port for ironing and carpenters to power tools.

Learn more: thehindubusinessline.com

Comment: The versatility of the vehicle may make it a success in the end. In the metro areas, rather than fitting the vehicle to a particular type of user, many different type of users can adapt the Multix to their needs. In the end the Multix may be used for a number of different end use applications that the company never even considered when developing the vehicle. The key will be exposing the vehicle to as many different end users as possible, and helping them adapt the vehicle to their needs. The next step may be to develop a broader range of accessories to cater to specific applciations.

Marc Cesare, Smallvehicleresource.com

Polaris Industries Q2 2017 Earnings Results

RZR XP 4 Turbo EPS

RZR sales showed improvement in the quarter compared to the prior year results hurt by recall issues.

Polaris Industries recently announced their quarterly earnings results for the second quarter of the 2017 fiscal year. The quarter ended June 30, 2017. Management reported second quarter sales of $1,364.9 million, up 21% from second quarter 2016. Net income for the quarter was $62.0 million compared to $71.2 the prior year, and included some one-time expenses.

The following are some of the highlights of the earnings call related to small, task-oriented vehicles:

  • ORV sales increased 6% for the quarter
  • North American ORV unit retail sales for the second quarter of 2017 were down low-single digits percent from the 2016 second quarter as UTV sales increased low single digits but ATVs sale declined high single digits in a weak ATV market
  • Polaris ATVs lost market share in a heavy promotional environment
  • RZR retail turned positive while Ranger retail was flat for the quarter in a highly competitive segment with significant promotional activity
  • The General UTV product line has been good and the segment offers good opportunities according to management
  • Agriculture markets remain weak while oil markets are improving
  • Global Adjacent Markets segment sales increased 7% driven by the Work & Transportation group with good performances from Aixam quadricycles and Goupil light utility vehicles
  • Management expects Global Adjacent Market segment to increase mid-single digits percent for the year
  • Side-by-sides are expected to drive the improved guidance for the ORV/Snowmobile segment, which is now expected to see flat sales year-over-year

Learn more:  Seekingalpha.com (Earnings call transcript)

UPS to Use Golf Cars for Residential Deliveries in Kentucky

UPS golf cara

A UPS delivery golf car in use in another state.

The United Parcel Service is planning on using golf cars to deliver packages in residential areas in Kentucky. The state government recently passed a law that will allow the use of golf cars or low speed vehicles for commercial delivery in residential areas.

The plan is to use the vehicles during the peak November to January delivery season, with Louisville as a potential location. The golf car or LSV would be stored in the neighborhood in a portable storage unit, and packages would be delivered to the unit as well. A driver would then deliver packages to the local neighborhood. The vehicles would be modified to carry packages and bear a UPS logo.

Teamsters Local 89 is against the plan because the drivers would be paid less than the traditional truck drivers. UPS confirmed that seasonal workers, who are paid less, will be used. According to the company, they already use golf cars for deliveries in Georgia, South Carolina and Florida. Learn more:  Bizjournals.com ;  Vehicle in use (youtube)

Comment:  A good example of how LSVs, golf cars and UTVs can be used in niche applications to improve efficiency and lower costs. Why use a full-size delivery truck when a much smaller and possibly electric powered vehicle can be used? I suspect this vehicle application is most efficient during the peak season when package volume is high in certain neighborhoods.

Marc Cesare, Smallehicleresource.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

Honda Introduces 2018 Pioneer UTVs

2018 Honda Pioneer 1000-5 Deluxe

for 2018 Honda has increased pricing slightly on their popular Pioneer UTVs like the Pioneer 1000-5 Deluxe shown here.

Honda has introduced their 2018 lineup of UTVs and it looks a lot like their 2017 lineup. There are six variations of the Pioneer 1000 including crew versions and four variations of the Pioneer 700. Honda has increased prices slightly for the 2018 model year with each of the Pioneer 1000 models including crew versions receiving a $300 increase in their MSRP. The Pioneer 1000 lineup price range is now from $14,199 to $21,899. For the Pioneer 700 models the MSRP has been boosted by $200 for each model except for the base model Pioneer 700, which increased only $100. The Pioneer 700 models now range from $10,599 to $13,699. A 2018 version of the entry level Pioneer 500 with a $8,999 MSRP has not been introduced.

Common specifications across the Pioneer 1000 lineup include:

  • 999cc engine
  • 6 speed automatic dual clutch transmission
  • High/low sub-transmission
  • QuickFlip seating for 5-passenger crew versions

Except for the base model the lineup also includes:

  • Electronic power steering
  • Tilt steering wheel
  • Manual shift mode (paddle shift)
  • “Sport” mode

The limited edition models add:

  • I-4WD brake traction control system
  • FOX QS-3 shocks
  • 27″ tires and 14″ aluminum wheels
  • Colored door and bed panels
  • LED head lights
  • Painted bodywork
Pioneer 700-4 Deluxe

The Pioneer 700 lineup also received a small price increase for 2018. The Pioneer 700-4 Deluxe shown in Pearl Orange.

The Pioneer 700 models feature:

  • 675cc, OHV engine
  • 2WD, 4WD and 4WD with Differential lock and  AT/MT modes with paddle shifting on the deluxe models.
  • 7.9″/9.1″ of front/rear suspension travel
  • 10.7″ of ground clearance
  • 1,000 lb. bed capacity
  • 1.500 lb. towing capacity
  • Tilt bed
  • Quickflip seating for crew versions to seat 2, 3 or 4 persons
  • EPS on the Deluxe models

All 2018 Honda Pioneer models will be available in August 2017.

Learn more:  Powersports.honda.com

Yamaha Adds New Viking UTVs to Lineup for 2018

Yamaha Viking EPS Ranch

The new Yamaha Viking EPS Ranch for 2018.

Yamaha Viking VI EPS Ranch Edition

Also new for 2018 is the Yamaha Viking VI EPS Ranch Edition

Yamaha has announced the addition of the Viking EPS Ranch and Viking VI EPS Ranch Edition UTVs for model year 2018. The Viking EPS Ranch features a hard sun top, aluminum wheels, over fenders, color-matched interior, underseat storage, comfort-grip steering wheel, center rearview mirror and Ranch Edition badging, and is available in Metallic Sand. Key specs for the 2018 Viking EPS Ranch include:

  • 686cc SOHC engine with EFI
  • On-Command 3-way locking differential – 2WD, 4WD, locked 4WD
  • Engine braking
  • EPS
  • 8.1″ of front and rear suspension travel
  • 11.8″ of ground clearance
  • 600 lb. cargo bed
  • 1,500 lb. towing capacity
  • MSRP:  $14,199

The six-passenger 2018 Viking VI EPS Ranch Edition features Metallic Sand painted bodywork with a color-matched interior, aluminum wheels, a soft sun top, rearview center mirror, mud flaps, over fenders, underseat storage, a bed grab bar, an aggressive front brush guard and Ranch Edition badging. Except for slightly lower ground clearance this model features many of the same key specs as the Viking EPS Ranch including:

  • 686cc SOHC engine with EFI
  • On-Command 3-way locking differential – 2WD, 4WD, locked 4WD
  • Engine braking
  • EPS
  • 8.1″ of front and rear suspension travel
  • 11.4″ of ground clearance
  • 600 lb. cargo bed
  • 1,500 lb. towing capacity
  • MSRP:  $15,599

Learn more:  Yamahamotorsports.com

Kawasaki Announces 2018 UTVs

Kawasaki Mule Pro-FXR

New for 2018 is the Kawasaki Mule Pro-FXR shown here in Atomic Silver.

Kawasaki recently announced their 2018 line-up of UTVs. One of the key additions is the new Mule Pro-FXR. The Pro-FXR builds on their successful Pro-FX and Pro-FXT models with new styling highlights and recreational features. In the styling department the Mule Pro-FXR  features a “truck like appearance” with painted bodywork, low-profile LED inner and halogen outer headlights, front and rear bumpers and contoured two-tone seats. For recreational riding the FXR is shorter than the other Pro Mules (about 12″ shorter than the FX) and sports a shorter turning radius (14.0 ft. compared to 16.0 ft. for the FX) and higher ground clearance (about 0.5″). Pricing has not been released for the vehicle. Other key features of the 2018 Mule Pro-FXR include:

  • 812cc, DOHC, 3-cylinder engine with EFI
  • 2WD/4WD/4WD with rear differential lock
  • Engine braking
  • EPS
  • 10.8″ of ground clearance
  • 1,000 lb. steel cargo bed
  • 2,000 lb. towing capacity
TeryxLE Matrix Camo Gray

The 2018 Teryx LE in a new color – Matrix Camo Gray.

Teryx4 LE candy Plasma Blue

The Teryx4 LE in Candy Plasma Blue, a new color for LE versions in 2018.

New for 2018, the Teryx LE can be purchased in Candy Plasma Blue or Matrix Camo Gray paint, while the 2018 Teryx4 LE is available in Candy Lime Green, Candy Plasma Blue, and Matrix Camo Gray graphics. It also appears that they lowered prices across the Teryx and Teryx4 models by $1,250 compared to 2017.

For the rest of the lineup in 2018 there appear to be no major changes except for some new MSRP pricing. The 2018 models for the Mule Pro-FX, Pro-FXT and Pro-DX lines all received a small $100 increase in their MSRPs compared to 2017. The Mule SX model lineup maintained the same pricing for the 2018 models as did the 2018 Mule 4000 and 4010 models.  Learn more:  Kawasaki