Dirt Trax Magazine and Dirt Trax Television were given the exclusive opportunity to evaluate the all-new – and we do mean ALL-NEW – Ranger XP 900 two weeks before the public announcement unveil yesterday.
This special early access gives us the opportunity to let our valued readers and viewers in on the sweeping changes the new Ranger 900 incorporates. Let’s start by saying this – everything is new except the steering wheel and the shift knob!
The XP 900’s biggest news is the use of the formidable and sophisticated RZR 900 XP Pro Star four valve, twin can EFI mill. This engine in the RZR series tops the industry with 88 horsepower – in the Ranger it is slightly down-tuned to a robust 60 HP (that’s 10 more ponies than the current Ranger XP 800!) using one throttle body and some internal head and cam mods.
The engine is now mounted completely behind the cab and the entire “power-pack” includes the engine, CVT, sub-tranny and rear diff as one integral piece. Making all this possible is a radically revised chassis which Polaris claims is 100% stiffer than the current XP Ranger platform.
We do not disagree one bit with this assertion – the stiffness apparent when slogging gnarly terrain which articulates the suspension dramatically is noticeable immediately. There are no “creaks” or “groans” whatsoever.
In fact, the new power pack location has produced the quietest SXS cab we’ve experienced. Conversation at trail speeds – helmeted – is completely possible.
The integration afforded by the new chassis is outstanding – particualry the redesigned ROPS certified roll bar which incorporates nifty automotive style window mounting trenches. The addition of a Pure Polaris (curved tempered safety glass) windshield, rear window and roof takes a grand total of no more than three minutes – on or off!
All the stuff Ranger buyers expect are still intact and most are enhanced. The suspension up front is right off the RZR series and is plush-o-mundo.
The rear suspension employs ji-normous shocks and reworked A-Arms for an even better ride. Interestingly the new Ranger XP 900 is only 2 inches longer than the 800 XP but the wheelbase has been stretched a full 5 inches.
Riding in this remarkable vehicle is a ridiculous experience. The former XP 800’s plush ride can’t be compared to the new level of comfort the XP 900 delivers the moment you move the vehicle.
Over stupid obstacles, gnarly root infested trails and even piling into square edgers at high speed the XP 900 does not wince – not even a shudder. This vehicle is going to send a few Sport Utility SXS back to the drawing board in an effort to match the ride quality here. Oh, EPS is available on the 900 as well.
Think we’re nuts? Go to your Polaris Ranger dealer for a test ride and then tell us we’re wrong.
Okay, that’s enough until DirtTrax Mag hits the ground in the next couple weeks and DirtTrax TV carries a full report on this amazing re-invention of a SXS that was already the segment leader!