Textron’s Prowler EV quietly ventures off road
If the Prowler EV looks familiar, it is because it has been in production for a few years under the Bad Boy Buggies moniker, before Textron absorbed it into its own Off-Road sub-brand. The Prowler is based on Bad Boy's Recoil EV, rebranded and equipped in order to bring the fight to Polaris.
Textron acquired Bad Boy Buggies in 2010 and moved it to its own facility in Georgia, USA, but all through this time its products still bore the Bad Boy logo. Things started to change when Textron announced the acquisition of Arctic Cat in early 2017, when both Bad Boy and Arctic Cat were united under the Textron Off-Road umbrella and their products have worn the logo of their parent company ever since.
Some models that enjoyed well-established market recognition – like the Alterra ATV and the Stampede UTV – retained their names in their new life as Textrons, but it was not the same with the Recoil EV. Bad Boy had introduced the Recoil electric side-by-side UTV a few years back, but as of 2017 it will be rebranded as the Prowler EV.
Its main competition comes is the form of the Ranger EV from Polaris, which is practically the only other electric UTV that's currently available in the market – unless one also takes into account Nikola's 555-hp electric Zero extravaganza.
Textron has retained most of the Prowler's basic features, which include two electric motors powering the front and rear wheels for a full-time four-wheel drive, producing a total of 38 hp (28.3 kW). Coupled to a 72-V AC drivetrain, the Prowler EV promises stealthy off-road adventures with zero emissions.
The two motors are fed by six 12-V heavy duty deep cycle batteries, which require a charging time between 8 and 12 hours with the Prowler's on-board charger. Textron gives no information on the range these can offer, although it would be heavily dependent on riding conditions and load, hence rather difficult to narrow down accurately to a specific number.
Textron's updates include variable motor outputs, allowing the driver to select either the Max Speed mode that can power the Prowler up to 24.5 mph (39.4 km/h), or the Max Range mode that limits top speed to 16 mph (25.7 km/h).
Built around a high-strength steel frame, the Prowler EV sports independent suspension with Mac Pherson struts up front, while in the back there are two options; the standard model employs a leaf spring set-up and the more expensive iS features the same independent kit as the front.
Braking is handled by hydraulic disc brakes all around for both versions, as Textron updated the Prowler with the Intellibrake function, which locks the vehicle in place automatically when the motor is switched off.
The Prowler EV can carry up to four people, two up front and another two in a rear-facing bench in the back. When not transporting people, this bench can unfold to provide a wide loading deck, sturdy enough to support 400 lb (181.4 kg) of cargo. The Prowler can also tow a maximum of 1,000 lb (453.6 kg), if outfitted with the optional hitch.
Textron offers the Prowler EV in two color options, black and timber camo, with starting prices set at US$10,499 for the standard version and $13,499 for the iS with the four-wheel independent suspension set-up.
The Prowler EV is complemented with a long list of optional accessories, some of which are featured in the following video.
Source: Textron Off-Road