For these unacquainted with the expertise of offroading in a Polaris RZR, enable me a number of transient phrases to familiarize you with the sensations. Dusty. Bouncy. Jarring. Thrilling. Windy. Scary. Rattling. And after you’re executed, Aching. For many weekend-warrior RZR drivers, the uncooked pleasure of conquering the backroads and trails of the western deserts of the USA should be balanced by the uncooked muscle groups you’ll have the day after. However that “offroader’s hangover” could be a factor of the previous, because of Polaris’ new Dynamix suspension.
Don’t get me unsuitable, the suspensions of RZRs previous have been trendy wonders in their very own proper. Slickrock climbs, “gravel” roads the place the rocks are the scale of softballs, and desert trails of powdery sand have been all one and the identical, because of excessive clearances, lengthy travels and stabilizer bars. However, as with most issues in these wired days, the one factor lacking was simply the fitting algorithm.
It’s not lacking anymore. What Polaris’ engineers discovered was a pc managed security and luxury system that fully modifications the offroad expertise. To show that time to me, they let me take a pair of their top-flight automobiles, one with Dynamix and one with out, to the desert for a back-to-back comparability.
Having pushed a RZR a few instances previously, I assumed I knew what I used to be in for after I strapped into the 2018 RZR XP Turbo EPS Dynamix. However even “strapping in” was completely different. As a substitute of the same old four- or five-point restraint harness, I buckled up an ordinary shoulder belt. Then I regarded across the cockpit. Gear lever on the ground? Examine. Tiny mounted steering wheel? Examine. Cupholders and mud resistant field for cellular phone charging? Effectively, OK, verify. Outsized center-mounted speedometer – wait a second…
As a substitute of massive spherical dial, my eyes beheld a pill touchscreen, the guts of the Experience Command system, which fired up with a flip of the ignition key. Massive rubber buttons beneath the display screen led to the primary features: devices, radio, GPS, Bluetooth connectivity and the system menu, together with the Dynamix suspension system. I may spend a complete article on the GoPro digicam integration or the GPS options that allow you to monitor your group round a path run, however that’s not what I got here to the desert to do. I got here to drive.
Helmet on, radio checked, ignition began, we set off. A rocker change to the left of the display screen let me select between “consolation,” “sport,” and “agency.” As the primary leg of the journey was over some fairly tame sand trails, I selected “agency.” This was near the trip I remembered from earlier drives. The RZR tells you what you simply ran over in fairly clear phrases, however you by no means really feel just like the obstacles actually bothered it. They bothered you, nonetheless, because the bumps and shakes threw you round in opposition to your restraints. Because the path bought rougher, I converted to “consolation” and instantly felt the distinction slightly laptop energy makes.
Abruptly, the RZR stopped punishing me for driving over rocks. It stopped chastising me for taking that dip only a bit too quick. Determine to take the fitting fork on the final minute, as a substitute of the left? No worries, good friend, you’re not going to eat the outside security internet or concern rolling over. It’s all taken care of. Fascinated by the change, I shortly upgraded to “consolation” and I virtually forgot I used to be on an unimproved – hell, barely marked – path.
And therein lies the hazard of this superb security system. It doesn’t punish you for overconfidence. It doesn’t inflict ache for wandering focus. Greater than as soon as, I regarded on the backside of a wash or gully coming too quick and thought, “oh, that is gonna suck.” And it merely didn’t. The RZR took it in stride and saved going straight. One time, distracted by some beautiful Nevada surroundings, I practically missed the flip taken by the remainder of our group. I mashed the brake (dangerous thought) and threw the wheel to the left (additionally not the best) and anticipated a battle to maintain the automobile upright and principally off the Federally-protected desert tortoise habitat. Neither factor occurred. Just a little skid, slightly sway, and off to the left we went.
Weighing only one,400 kilos, and powered by a 168-hp ProStar Four-Stroke DOHC Twin Cylinder Turbocharged engine, the Dynamix mannequin offers you ample energy to climb over or pace previous absolutely anything the path units in entrance of you. Make no mistake, with all that energy and so little weight, it is going to attempt to do each on the similar time in case you let it. Which is why Polaris particularly designed the Dynamix system to mechanically elevate the stiffness of the suspension to most whenever you do, inevitably, catch slightly air. Slightly than the bone-rattling shatter of bottoming out, RZR merely “tsk-tsks” you and carries on.
As impressed as I used to be with the machine once we stopped, I used to be trying ahead to the change to Polaris’ old-school RZR XP 1000. No turbo, no laptop, simply me and 110 horses versus the identical path I had pushed within the Dynamix mannequin. Man and machine versus the wild, the best way God supposed. It harm much more.
As I discussed above, my first inkling that there was one thing completely different in regards to the Dynamix mannequin was the restraint system. With out it, you merely should have a Four- or 5-point restraint system to maintain you in your seat. Luckily, the XP 1000 has that. Subsequent, high speeds on straights and entry speeds on turns are – by necessity – far slower with out that lively suspension help. I nonetheless had the fundamental confidence that the machine would do what I needed it to do. The RZR wouldn’t allow you to down, however it could fortunately share the ache of getting it executed. Let me put it this fashion: a fellow rider bought credit score for 9,000 steps on her Fitbit… sitting within the passenger seat. It was the kind of RZR trip I remembered, however because it seems, the brand new suspension cured me of my nostalgia.
The computerized lively suspension permits you to calm down and benefit from the expertise a lot extra. I’d not suggest studying to drive an off-road automobile on a Dynamix-equipped RZR (see my feedback on overconfidence and distraction above). I would suppose twice about it on a “technical” monitor the place suggestions from the suspension is arguably extra necessary. However for a fast pleasure jaunt – or perhaps a day-to-day drive to verify the cattle and mend fences – the improved dealing with and pace of the Dynamix is tough to argue in opposition to.
Having mentioned all of that, this additional performance will price you. The bottom worth for a RZR XP 1000 is a “mere” $17,999. The RZR XP Turbo EPS Dynamix rings up at $25,999. What that additional eight grand will purchase is a console filled with toys (which I barely touched on), markedly improved dealing with, and the power let the machine do a few of the offroading for you – simply sufficient to allow you to get away with some errors. If you need a pure offroad expertise, save your money. However if you wish to get extra enjoyment out of going offroad – and don’t need your again muscle groups to remind you about it the following day – think about dispensing the additional.