Announcements and new releases that caught the world’s attention.
Caterpiller announced in October that it would commission Textron to build them two work based UTV’s; one with a gas motor and one with diesel power. Unfortunately it’s not “Cat Diesel Power”. This will be the latest in the long line of tractor companies getting into the UTV game. That list all ready includes John Deere, Kubota and Mahindra. Lawn and garden equipment manufacturer Cub Cadet announced several new UTVs in late 2016.
For the non turbo crowd, a 900H.O. normally aspirated Maverick X3 was unveiled with a February 2018 release date. Back in June, along with a horsepower increase from 154 to 172, the turbo X3 was made available as a low cost machine with a limited turbo power output of 120hp as well.
Continuing with the Maverick name, Can-Am announced their first dive into the 50” market with Maverick Trail models featuring 800cc or 1000 engines with or without power steering. Full details can be found HERE.
Honda made minor changes to the Pioneer line in 2017 to make the machine a little more versatile. On the flagship 1000, Honda added i4WD which is basically an electronically controlled brake manipulation system. It is supposed to supply better traction in loose conditions and also allows for safer starts if you happen to stop while climbing steep terrain.
The deluxe model of the Pioneer 700 line now has a paddle shifter so the driver can be a little more in control of power output. Auto mode is still accessible via a small dash mounted toggle switch. Late in 2016 Honda also gave the 2017 Pioneer 500 the ability to be used in auto mode via the same toggle switch.
Kawasaki introduced the most feature filled and sporty Mule yet with the little Pro-FXR. The little three-seater is a true dual sport, lending a hand on the job site all week then being able to take you trail riding or hunting on weekends. If it’s strong enough for Steve Austin, it’s probably good enough for anyone.
In April, Textron made the Arctic Cat buyout official and announced some of its branding plans. At the event, we also saw our first glimpse of a 2 and 4-seat Wild Cat XX machine modeled after the work Robby Gordon has been doing with the yet to be released sport machine. The machine features a bodywork redesign, a new 3-cylinder, Yamaha engine with a CVT transmission. The chassis has King Shocks, big axles and two point trailing arms. We should have a release date in 2018 for that and other models for sure.
We are waiting on some big news from Polaris. This is the first year in a long time, another manufacture is grabbing more headlines (Can-Am) than Polaris since Yamaha announced the YXZ1000R. They did still announce some pretty exciting new machines in 2017. Back in March, the company unveiled the first kids single seater in the ACE150. Although this ACE is only 2WD, it has the same looks and features as it’s big brothers. The ACE150 is designed for kids 10 and over. Here’s what our 10 year old test driver had to say about the 2017 Polaris ACE150.
On the Ranger front, a second XP1000 was announced and is on an all new platform featuring new suspension, cockpit and bodywork. The new 1000 is available as a standard 3 seat model or in the Northstar HVAC Edition. HERE are the complete details and specs on the all new model.
In the RZR line something Dynamic happened this year. Well, to the suspension anyway. Fox Shox adapted their active technology onto the RZR Turbo two and four seaters. The Dynamic Edition RZR’s now feature the cockpit adjustable shocks that sense what the machine is doing and how you are driving giving you the best ride and bump absorption possible. See our test of that unit HERE.
Yamaha surprised us in 2017 with the Wolverine X4 which turned out to be a great tight woods, family mobile. Read our test of the all new model HERE.
Furthermore, not completely new models, but, Yamaha surprised us with a bolt-on turbo upgrade for the YXZ and also introduced their TAG kit for the SS model. It looks like we will have to wait until 2018 in hopes of a 4-seat YXZ to be announced.