Polaris Raises the Bar Once Again for Sport UTV Market Segment with the RZR XP 900

| January 3, 2011
Polaris RZR XP

2011 Polaris RZR XP

By Jon Crowley, www.UTVGuide.net

New Year’s 2011 started off with a bang as Polaris introduced the newest member of the RZR family. The 2011 RZR XP 900 features a brand new engine designed specifically for side x side – ProStarâ„¢ 900 DOHC Twin EFI Engine. And 88 horsepower wasn’t enough so Polaris designed a completely new rear suspension with the industry’s first 3-Link Trailing Arm IRS that has 14″ of Suspension Travel. There is no doubt that the RZR XP has raised the bar for the sport UTV market segment. Industry leading horsepower coupled with an advanced suspension is sure to be a big hit in the dunes and desert. After you take a look at a few key components of the RZR XP and compare them to other sport UTVs, you will see there are some key advantages to this new sport UTV.

Suspension Design

When it comes to wheel travel, the RZR XP has 13.5 inches in the front and 14 inches in the rear. The only other UTV that even comes close is the Polaris RZR S. The Can-Am Commander and Arctic Cat Prowler have 10″, and the Rhino and Teryx have less than 8″. Add to amount of wheel travel that the RZR XP comes with Fox Podium X 2.0 shocks that have a 2-inch body with piggyback reservoirs. These Fox shocks also provide adjustable pre-load and compression dampening.

Polaris RZR XP with Long Trailing Arm and Fox 2.0 Shocks

Polaris RZR XP with Long Trailing Arm and Fox 2.0 Shocks

Even more exciting than the amount of wheel travel is the advanced, 3-Link Trailing Arm IRS. The two extra-long radius rods connect far-forward under the seats for superior handling in rough terrain, especially at high speeds.

Polaris RZR XP's 3-Link Trailing Arm Independent Rear Suspension (IRS)

Polaris RZR XP's 3-Link Trailing Arm Independent Rear Suspension (IRS)


When you look at performance through rough terrain, short-wheelbase UTV have a hard time going as fast as their engine will push them. This is one of the reasons that the RZR 4 does so much better right out of the box. But when we look at the Can-Am Commander, Kawasaki Teryx, Yamaha Rhino and Arctic Cat Prowler, they all have a wheelbase between 75″ – 76″.

Polaris RZR XP Wheelbase and Overall Length

Polaris RZR XP has Longest Wheelbase

The new RZR XP has a wheelbase of 81.4″. That extra 4+ inches will make a big difference when you are trying to fly through the whoops at 60 mph. What makes the long wheel base on the RZR XP even more impressive is the RZR XP has an overall vehicle length that is actually 7″ – 10″ shorter other sport UTVs. Let me make sure you got that – longer wheelbase AND shorter overall.


Although the RZR XP has less cc’s than the Can-Am Commander (875cc vs. 976cc), the advertised horsepower of the RZR XP is 88 and the Commander is 85. Nearly identical, but now let’s take a look at horsepower to weight ratio. The RZR XP has a dry weight of 1,190 lbs. and the Commander sits at 1,287 lbs. So when you divide that out, the RZR XP has 13.5 lbs./horsepower and the Commander has 15.1 lbs./horsepower. When you are looking at a vehicle that puts out less than 100 HP, horsepower to weight ratio is very important. All of the other sport UTVs don’t even come close in stock form.

ProStar 900 Twin EFI engine with 88 Horsepower

ProStar 900 Twin EFI engine with 88 Horsepower

Center of Gravity

Following along with all of its RZR cousins, the Polaris has placed the engine in the RZR XP behind the seats. This patented engine placement allows for driver and passenger to sit much lower in the chassis which lowers the center of gravity. A lower center of gravity allows the RZR XP to act more like sports car than a truck.


It is hard to compare the width of the RZR XP to anything other than the RZR S since none of the other manufacturer’s UTVs come with long travel suspension. More width adds to stability when cornering or while rock crawling. The RZR XP is 64″ wide. That is 4″ wider than the RZR S and 9+ inches wider than a Yamaha Rhino.

Polaris RZR XP

Polaris RZR XP Width is 64"

The downside to the extra width of the RZR XP is its ability to get onto some of the narrow forest service trails. It is pretty obvious that Polaris intends to market the 50″ RZR for that and focus on the open desert and dunes for the RZR XP.

Other Sport UTV Specifications:

UTV Length Wheelbase Width Ground Clearance Wheel Travel Weight Engine Horsepower
Arctic Cat Prowler 1000 115″ 75″ 58″ 10″ 10″ 1165 lbs. 951cc 70*
Can-Am Commander 118″ 75.8″ 58″ 10″ 11″ 1287 lbs. 976cc 85
Kawasaki Teryx 115.7″ 75.8″ 58.3″ 11.2″ 7.5″ 1276 lbs. 750cc 50
Yamaha Rhino 113.6″ 75.2″ 54.4″ 12.1″ 7.3″ 1049 lbs. 686cc 40.2
Polaris RZR S 103″ 77″ 60″ 12.5″ 12″ 1000 lbs. 760cc 55
Polaris RZR XP 108.4″ 81.4″ 64″ 13″ 13.5/14″” 1190 lbs. 875cc 88

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Category: New Products, Polaris

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