FIRST LOOK: 2011 Polaris Ranger XP Diesel

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Polaris Increases its Fuel Footprint for 2011

Hard on the heels of last year’s Ranger EV (electric power) comes yet another fuel diversifying model from the world leader in SxS vehicles. The new full-size Ranger XP Diesel packs a powerful, smooth 3-cylinder fuel injected mill.

Let’s get this out of the way first: The Diesel XP is not a heart pounder in the acceleration department. With just 24 horses on tap, it has less available power than the downsized Ranger 400.

Okay, relax; even though the HP number is low, the torque output of this triple cylinder 900cc beauty is formidable. Unfortunately, as of this writing we cannot give you the actual foot-pound torque rating, however, our seat-of-the-pants torque-o-meter tells us this thing could likely pull over a house – at least a very large ice-fishing house. Its imposing grunt will lend the new XP diesel to hard-working environs, particularly in the agriculture and construction arenas. We’re already dreaming of an XP Diesel with a Polaris track kit for winter use.

‘ more here and we think it points decisively to the future of the Ranger XP lineup. The Diesel is the first (and only) XP Ranger to use the Sportsman XP’s unique linear drive system.

This new-last-year CVT set-up is clearly the future for Polaris ATVs but we thought it might take the company a little longer to implant the Ranger line with this very sophisticated, smooth operating CVT and sub tranny. Now it’s been shoehorned into the Ranger XP chassis, the door will open for Polaris to insert both the new gas powered 550 single and monstrous 850-inline twin.

The XP Diesel literally sips fuel and with a 9-US-gallon tank you might forget about adding diesel for months at a time. Actually, the engine is a very pretty (from a technical standpoint).

The Yanmar-built triple runs whisper quiet and starts-up like lightning. The CVT is actually “geared up” to increase belt speed for improved cooling and efficiency. With the gearing mod, the primary clutch is spinning almost three times faster than the engine crankshaft.

Our only gripe here is the Diesel, already a premium priced vehicle, doesn’t offer EPS (Electronic Power Steering). With a hefty 1400-plus pound dry weight we think XP Diesel buyers would willingly ante up for the benefits of EPS.

With Rangers now available in multiple gas-powered variants, electric power and now diesel power, Polaris continues to increase its dominant footprint in the SxS business.

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