Polaris surges forward with most powerful RZR side-by-side ever
With the new RZR Pro R lineup, Polaris once again raises the bar for side-by-side performance. Powered like a small, entry level sports coupe, the Pro R makes 225 hp with a naturally aspirated 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. A triple-mode throttle control and upgraded componentry combine to push that power to the ground, ensuring quick, smooth acceleration. Factor in the strengthened single-piece chassis and upgraded suspension, and the RZR Pro R promises new heights of off-road excitement.
Electric powertrains are poised to shake up the recreational side-by-side market just as they're doing in the passenger car market. Even if we discount the insane 550-plus-hp NZT from a Nikola Motors teetering on the brink, four-wheelers like the 404-hp Vanderhall Brawley and 215-hp Volcon Beast are gearing up to electro-shock the market with staggering power figures and instantaneous torque.
For now, though, the internal combustion horsepower wars rage on. Just this past August, Can-Am continued along the turbocharged path to declare itself the first manufacturer to cross the 200-hp threshold with the 2022 Maverick X3 Max X RS Turbo RR. Now Polaris leapfrogs it, with its own version of the most powerful engine ever put into a stock side-by-side. Its naturally aspirated 2.0-liter ProStar Fury engine boasts an extra cylinder over Can-Am's turbo three, pushing into familiar automotive territory with four cylinders.
The Pro R becomes the flagship model of the RZR Wide Open family. To ensure it has the poise and confidence to tear forward and devour "wide open" terrain, Polaris bolsters the components around the new engine, starting with a larger belt and clutch and stronger driveline that combine to get torque to the ground more quickly.
A single-piece chassis, welded roll cage, 74-in (188-cm)-wide stance and large boxed-steel A-arms keep handling smooth and stable when throttling to the limit, whether the wheels are hub-deep in sand or soaring high above ground. Polaris' new Dynamix DV suspension system makes up to 200 reads a second to independently adjust rebound and compression damping based upon driver/machine feedback.
"The reality is, passionate off-roaders are reinforcing their stock chassis and suspension, often spending thousands of dollars to make their machines stronger," says Steve Menneto, president of Polaris Off-Road. "RZR Pro R and Turbo R bring that next-level strength straight off the showroom floor."
Fox 3.0 Live Valve X2 internal bypass shocks provide 27 inches (69 cm) of travel through the boxed A-arms up front and 29 inches (74 cm) of travel via the boxed trailing-arm system in back. Four-wheel hydraulic disc brakes bring things to a stop.
The Ride Command system lets Pro R pilots choose from four individual steering/suspension settings and control components like the GPS-based group tracking system and Rockford Forsgate audio.
The 2022 RZR Pro R lineup includes various trims starting at US$31,999, so buyers without a pile of discretionary income might just find themselves staring at the decision between new side-by-side or daily driver. If and when the daily driver wins that conversation, buyers priced out of Pro R territory can take a look at the all-new $25,999+ 181-hp RZR Turbo R that Menneto mentioned ... though that might just be a quick step on the way down to a lower-priced new model or the used market.