This week Polaris launched a new side by side that is even more powerful and advanced than the last most-powerful-and-advanced side by side. As the power wars continue to rage on in car and motorcycle land, so goes the off-road machine world. While just a few dozen horsepower used to be plenty, Polaris now offers a naturally-aspirated RZR Pro R with a massive 225 horsepower from a 2-liter four cylinder.
Those are car numbers in a little lightweight off road machine. In fact, the ProStar Fury engine in the Pro R looks to be based on the 2-liter ProStar engine found in the road-going three-wheeler Slingshot, but with an extra 22 horsepower. Sounds like a real ripper. Polaris says the Pro R has the most powerful engine ever put into a factory-spec side by side.
In addition to the Pro R, Polaris also took the covers off the Turbo R, which has a smaller turbocharged engine with the boost shifted to help provide low end torque. Based on the Turbo S but with suspension bits from the Pro R, this model also seems like a total desert machine. With 181 horsepower on tap from a turbocharged twin-cylinder engine, that seems like the more sane and sensible choice. You know, if 181 horsepower in a side by side could ever be called sane and sensible.
As is typical of these things these days, the higher spec models are starting to look more and more like miniature trophy trucks built for Baja than consumer-grade play things. This is serious stuff with a single-piece chassis and welded roll cage. The R models also receive strengthened hubs and boxed steel suspension arms. They are also wider with an industry-leading 74-inches of track width. Whether you’re running in open desert, ripping up sand dunes, or racing down gnarly trails, it looks like these R models are ready for it.
Interestingly, both of these models went with a Pro Armor five lug wheel for strength and style with available 32 and 33 inch tires.
In factory spec Reid Wilson, Vice President of Polaris RZR, calls the machine “arguably that of a Baja race title contender, straight from the factory.” While I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything be Baja ready from the factory, it’s possible that this would be. We’ll see when more than one team inevitably takes some of these to Baja next year. Won’t that be a treat.
The big thing with the new R models is the Dynamix DV suspension, which Polaris has designed to be automatically adjustable in compression and rebound. Depending on which drive mode you’re in, it’ll monitor inputs hundreds of times per second and adjust appropriately. This system uses a Fox Internal Bypass shock as its basis, and provides 27 inches of travel.
If you want one of these bad boys, they won’t come cheap. Polaris will begin shipping Pro R and Turbo R models next spring. The Turbo R starts at $25,999, and the Pro R kicks off a bit higher at $31,999. Sure, you could probably build a budget Jeep rig for less, but you won’t be able to go as far or as fast.