Polaris brings an all-new RZR Pro XP platform to the off-road industry, delivering the next level of performance design and strength for the most demanding off-road drivers.
Photos: Polaris Off Road
Off-road dealers were were left with a Christmas-like excitement last week when Polaris Off Road announced an all-new RZR Pro XP platform. The new Pro XP platform promises to deliver a new generation of RZRs with pro-level performance, refreshed design and beefed-up strength across the chassis.
After covering some key performance numbers and announcing a new Polaris Ranger 1000, President of Polaris Off Road Chris Musso celebrated Polaris’ 65th anniversary by launching a ground-up refresh of the Polaris RZR chassis. The 2020 Polaris RZR Pro XP is the first release in a new generation of a the RZR lineup. This isn’t a plastics refresh like the 2019 RZR refresh; this is a completely new beast!
The 2020 RZR Pro XP is not replacing any model in the lineup. Instead, it’s taking the crown as the king of Polaris’ extreme off-road machines. The Polaris RZR 900, 900S, 1000S, 1000 XP, XP Turbo and XP Turbo S models will all remain exactly where they are at with the Turbo S now being second to the Pro XP.
The new RZR Pro XP platform launches with the release of the 2020 Polaris RZR Pro XP 2-seater. The notable upgrades of the Pro XP are numerous and impressive!
Built Around the Driver
The all new chassis started around the driver cockpit which is now 4″ wider allowing enough room for even the biggest drivers and passengers. The RZR Pro XP features an all-new one-piece injection molded shell with segmented bolstering. The seats now sit lower in the vehicle and upon an all-new base that features large rollers allowing for 6″ of adjustment in the captain’s seat! Additionally there is a three point tilt adjustment allowing a more relaxed 5° or 10° tilted driving position, or a more upright position that Polaris is known for. The seats now also have a dual-latch, four-point, mount mechanism providing a more secure seating experience, no more seat jiggle!
Once you’re in the new cockpit, you’ll be securely held into place by either the standard IMMI brand 3-point seat belts, if you go for a base model, or if you go for the Premium or Ultimate trim level, you’ll be greeted by a revised Click-6 Harness system. This isn’t the same as the original Click-6 harness. We’re calling these the Click-6 2.0 harnesses because they’re completely reengineered specifically for the new Polaris RZR Pro XP! They feature a common retraction point found at a lower center of gravity. This will greatly improve riding comfort in all scenarios and reduce uneven and untimely lockups.
Looking forward, you’ll find an all-upgraded dash. The first thing you put your hands on is a completely redeveloped steering wheel featuring an industry-first tilting and telescoping adjustments putting you back in your seat and your elbows down for enhanced comfort and control. As the steering column moves up and down, so does the affixed dual-sweep gauge cluster from the 2019 RZR models. Once you’re ripping down the trail, you’ll have full control of your music and radio from the embedded Polaris Ride Command® controls on the left spoke of the steering wheel. The Play/Pause button also acts as a mute button when listening to the radio! On the right side of the steering wheel, you have easy access to controls commanding your DYNAMIX Active Suspension 2.0™. There are arrows for adjusting the firmness of the ride and a Red “Oh $4!7!” button that will send all four shocks into full firm mode for a few seconds or as long as you hold it! The base model RZR Pro XP (without Ride Command)has the same steering wheel, minus the thumb controls.
In the center of the dash is a flip-up cup holder/storage compartment on the base model, but on the Premium and Ultimate models, a 7″ color touch screen controls Ride Command 2.0. With the Ultimate trim, you get full DYNAMIX control as well. The
In 2019, the RZR style refresh brought the welcome site of additional accessory switches from four positions to 6. The new RZR Pro XP brings a new center console area featuring ten(!) accessory switch positions including two on the left of the steering column for your headlights and AWD. A welcome addition to all the light bar, under-glow, lit whip modders out there!
Below the accessory switch bay, there is a new automotive inspired center console area with a small storage area, side nets, LED lighting and a 12v cigaret lighter adapter. Additional changes include a new, non-booted shifter ripe for a gated shifter!
To continue this new center console design, between the seats is now a arm rest/storage area. This flips up to expose a small storage compartment with an additional 12v cigaret lighter adapter.
In the passenger area, you’ll find a new dual-post “Oh $4!7!” handle. No more single-post T-handle. You now get a fully adjustable dual-mounted, robust, support through the whoops and over the rocks! Coming from a place were we’ve bent the old style T-handles multiple times, this is a welcome change. Above the support bar you’ll find an additional top storage compartment. Both the center doored storage area and the passenger glove box are no longer available in the RZR Pro XP.
In the foot wells, the driver of this monster will find that the dead pedal is now larger and further inset to be more inline with the gas pedal. On the passenger side, you’ll now find that there’s now two dead pedals for shorter passengers and a deep center area for taller passengers.
With all of the new interior design to the cabin, one easily overlooked design detail is the new accent lighting. In older RZR models, there was a blue LED located under the center storage compartment. This helped illuminate the foot well area but didn’t do much aesthetically. On the new RZR Pro XP, there’s not only brighter foot well lighting, but also lighting in the center storage area, the arm rest storage area and a sleek strip of blue light across the dash and over the passenger grab handle… nice!
Radically Different Design
Polaris has been unapologetically aggressive in this RZR redesign. From the beginning, the RZR haters out there have been nit picking everything about the new aggressive angles, new narrower front end and over all more wedge shaped design… The thing is, this is exactly what every critic of the old RZR design has been asking for! Polaris has been listening and this new platform answers almost every issue owners have brought up.
Starting with one of the most noticeable differentiators between the old style RZR design and the 2020 models is the new three point doors. Old style doors had a point to where the slam-latch connected and then a pair of hinges by the drivers ribs. This style left a large opening that would allow debris and splashes to make their way to the occupants. These new doors add a third mounting point at the bottom of the frame allowing a solid section of the door to come down and block debris. A downside of this design is that anything in your pockets are now able to drop right out the door! Luckily Polaris has also launched over 50 new accessories for the RZR Pro XP, including door gap inserts to cover these gaps in the doors.
Something of note is also that while these doors look like they seal up the front from all debris, there is still a multi-inch gap down the front and bottom of the doors. This means that dust will still be coming up from the front wheel wells to the occupants.
Polaris has also redeveloped their entire chassis frame and cage. The entire chassis is now a single welded frame and the cage is now made from a single 2″ tube from A-pillar to C-pillar and bolt-mounted 1.75″ cross-braces. Additional rigidity has been added at the new double B-pillars. This trussed pillar This single tube design is a huge step up in structural safety from the single B-pillar of previous generations. It’s interesting to note that the forward upright of the double B-pillar does not go all the way to the frame though. It is connected to the frame by the crosspiece connecting the forward and read uprights.
Moving to the front of the Pro, is one of the more subtle but huge changes. The front end has been narrowed a bit and allows for larger wheel wells. These larger areas allow for more air flow, bigger tires, more travel and ultimately a better functioning front-end. The new take on a front grill also includes an integrated front bumper and plastic skid plate. We think this is a huge win. The choice to allow the lower-front of the chassis room to dive down will allow for a more steep angle of attack when approach obstacles and allow for a new generation of skid plates and accessories!
Additional front-end changes include the removal of the famed Fang Lights. They’ve now moved to a more mustache-y center accent light. As a facial hair preferring group, we approve! The new headlight enclosures do take up a much larger mold this time around and it will be interesting to see what the headlight aftermarket comes out with.
Moving around back, you’ll find a much larger and deeper bed than previous generations of RZR. The bed features multiple Polaris Lock & Ride connection points, multiple metal-anchored tie-down locations and new channels for straps and accessories to access those tie-down locations. Surprisingly, Polaris did away with the latched air filter access panel. Instead, you’ll have to remove the entire bed to access the air filter. Luckily this is removed with only four T-40 screws at the rear edge of the trim. Once you have the bed off, you have full access to the entire top-end of the motor compartment.
A somewhat overlooked feature of the new bed design is that it now has only two drain holes at the rear of the bed. This means that most spills will now exit the rear instead of down the side of the engine block and/or exhaust. Additionally the bed can also support up to a 30″ spare tire while those who purchase the new flip-up tire carrier will be able to store up to a 32″ tire.
Hanging off of the bed, you’ll notice that the factory fenders are now larger and more aggressive including read vented fenders to allow more air to pass through and push dust and debris more back than around/up into the cabin. This styling has strong ties to aftermarket body kits we’ve seen on high-end builds!
Bigger In All the Right Places
The all-new RZR Pro XP platform has been re-engineered from the ground up. There’s no common parts in this new chassis. Polaris added 6″ to the wheel base, totalling 96″, while only adding 4″ to the over all length and shedding over 32 lbs. over the 2020 XP Turbo S! The Pro XP also upped the fuel capacity from 9.5 gallons to 12 gallons! Time will tell if that means you go further or if the newly spec’ed 181hp is eating up that much more fuel!
Built Stronger, Lasts Longer
A lot of attention was paid to all the service pain points and performance components in the Pro XP. Starting with the frame, the one piece design allows for a much more robust and rigid platform. Next, Polaris upgraded all the common failure points/annoyances RZR owners have had in the past. Upgraded the drive shaft reducing noice, upgraded the front drive with the same as the RS1/Turbo S, upgraded the A-arms, trailing arms and knuckles with high clearance, bigger, thicker, stronger components. Every aspect of the drive system and suspension has been upgraded!
Tires & Wheels
The 2020 Polaris RZR Pro XP models come standard with 8-ply Maxxis Carnivore 30″x10″-14″ tires. If you haven’t tried these shoes on your ride, they are truly a worthy successor to the stock BigHorns! It’s worth noting that all four tires are the same 30×10-14 tires and the front wheels are 14×6 while the rear wheels are 14×7. This is the best tire we’ve seen launched with a new model since the original launch with the BigHorns!
At the time of this writing, we are unable to verify the offsets of the new hub-less cast aluminum 14″ wheels. Also at the time of this writing, we’re unable to confirm why Polaris’ site says that the 2020 RZR Pro XP Ultimate calls out a Maxxis Carnivore 2.0 tire while Maxxis does not have any details on a 2.0 version…
The RZR Pro XP base and Premium trims levels come with Walker Evans 2″ Needle Shocks in the front with 2.5″ in the rear. Both Walker Evans shocks feature 16-position adjustable clickers. The Ultimate trim level differentiates itself with FOX 2.5″ Podium Internal Bypass Shocks with Live Valve technology in the front and rear positions.
Polaris has officially released the RZR Pro XP Ultimate with DYNAMIX Active Suspension 2.0™ system. This is a return of the computer controlled active suspension that has been hugely successful on the previous XP Turbo and XP Turbo S models. The valving and responsiveness of the reaction algorithms have been updated to make the Comfort and Sport modes even more distinguished. The initial version had a significant crossover between the two modes and resulted in most people just setting their units to Sport mode in all conditions. The 2.0 upgrades allow Comfort mode to stay more squishy and absorbant while the Sport mode is now more aggressive and responsive.
All of you Can-Am X3 owners have been telling Polaris for years that your front shock mounting geometry is superior using its centrally located shock tower. Well with the 2020 RZR Pro XP, the shock mounting has been moved even further in center. As of this writing, we don’t have specific numbers, but from the build break down model Polaris was showing at the 2019 Dealer Show, we’re estimating the front shocks now mount 16-18″ from each other. We’ll get an exact geometry check when we can get our hands on one!
Engine & Transmission
Now to the topic every internet warrior lives or dies on… horsepower! The 2020 RZR Pro XP puts 181hp out of the same 925cc 4-stroke twin cylinder using a DOHC as the XP Turbo S. The difference is that Polaris has redeveloped the top-end of the motor to better deal with cooling in the head and of the larger, now liquid cooled, turbo! Polaris has specifically tuned the ECU of these new Pro XPs to have more power within the middle of the power band, the 20-50 mph range that most racers and drivers experience the need for snappier throttle response.
Polaris brought over the the front drive from the XP Turbo S and RS1 models and then upgraded the engagement to lock-in within only a couple inches of slip. This will be a huge upgrade to those guys crawling around in these new Pro XPs.
Listening to the Market
Polaris has really listened to the market with this machine and this new chassis and accessory line really have catered to almost all of the complaints the industry has started to no longer look over. It would appear that the front firewall now has covers over all of the tree catchers that we’ve complained about, and have had experience with, in the past! Additionally, while not mentioned anywhere on the site, all videos appear to show the RZR Pro XP with a full length, legitimate, skid plate! We don’t know how thick this skid plate is or what it’s made of but its definitely what we’ve been asking for!
We the consumers should also be stoked to hear that Polaris is fully committed to the accessories for the new chassis. With over 50 launched products including flip-up tire carriers, factory stereo systems from Rockford Fosgate, entry and pro-level lighting options, multiple bumper styles, etc… Polaris is ready to make this the new platform for RZR!
The Future We Asked For
The RZR community is one of the most loyal and outspoken groups out there. With the onslaught of competition from Can-Am, and now new players Arctic Cat, Honda and the unreleased Kawasaki… the consumer has started to be stretched thin on patience to see a new hope in the aging RZR platform. The 2020 launch of the Polaris RZR Pro XP platform was exactly what we wanted and we can’t be more excited to see where it goes with the propagation of the new format across the rest of the RZR lineup!