Last year, Honda earned some press for adding paddle shifters to its Pioneer 500 UTV. Now, it's launching a larger, more powerful side-by-side with the feature – the all-new 2016 Pioneer 1000. Honda says its new UTV flagship is the first side-by-side in the industry with a six-speed automatic dual-clutch transmission and the class leader in engine size. Work or play, this UTV is hungry for dirt and mud.
The new 1000 becomes the flagship of the Pioneer lineup. It's powered by an all-new 999cc twin-cylinder engine that uses the Unicam cylinder head design Honda perfected in its motorcross bike line. The six-speed automatic dual-clutch offers the option of steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters, giving off-roading a touch of the feel of shifting an exotic sports car. In addition to that manual shifting mode, the UTV offers standard and sport modes, the latter of which tweaks shifts for more aggressive off-roading. The selectable 2 and 4WD, high/low sub transmission, and front and rear differential locks help in the distribution of torque and power.
"We've added the industry's only fully automatic mechanical transmission – the six-speed dual clutch transmission," says Lee Edmunds, American Honda motorcycle marketing communications manager. "With steel gears, the DCT offers true engine braking, seamless shifting and a smooth, reliable transfer of power."
The 1000's engine is cooled by way of an air intake mounted high and under the hood. That positioning allows for deeper fording and gives the UTV a throaty growl.
The Pioneer 1000 makes tracks with a set of 27-in tires beaded to 12-in steel wheels. With help from 10.5-in front and 10-in rear independent double-wishbone suspension, the side-by-side sits a foot (30.5 cm) over top the ground, offering plenty of air between chassis and rocks, roots and other trail hazards. It has 1,000-lb (454-kg) payload and 2,000-lb (907-kg) towing capacities.
Honda will sell two different Pioneer 1000 sizes, each in two trim levels, starting in the Northern Hemisphere fall of 2015. The base 1000 has room for three people, and the 1000 EPS adds namesake electronic power steering, paddle shifting, three-mode powertrain, tilt steering wheel and color-matched side panels. The 1000-5 seats five people by way of the three-seat front bench and two QuickFlip rear seats, which fold flat when not in use. It includes the paddle shifters standard. The 1000-5 Deluxe adds 14-in aluminum wheels, radial tires, LED headlights, and color-matched body panels.
Honda has not yet announced pricing.