2020 Polaris RZR PRO XP: Tech Review
Okay, you’ve seen the ride reviews (if you haven’t, check them out here.) Now lets deep dive the details on this thing.
We’ll start with the most obvious changes.
Chassis & Suspension:
Yes it is truly all new, not a dressed up XP of old.
The new chassis enters the market at 64″ wide with a 96″ wheelbase, that’s 6″ longer than the XP / Turbo / Turbo S chassis. This allows for better stability at speed and through corners, as well as opens up the passenger compartment big time.
The new wheelbase is still 6″ shorter than the RZRs biggest competitor, the X3, however some have complained that the Can-Am is a little too long for tighter trails. Did the Pro XP find the perfect balance? Possibly.
The frame is the strongest RZR frame to date per Polaris engineering, as is the rollcage which is now 2″ in diameter with 1-piece main tubes and super beefy B-pillars.
With a new chassis comes ALL new suspension components which the Polaris team states are all stronger than any previous RZR. The suspension delivers 17″ of wheel travel in the front and 20″ in the rear (which translates into 20″ and 22″ of USABLE travel respectively). If you don’t recall what usable travel means, it is the measurement from the bottom of the tires to the skid plate when the suspension is at full droop.
The base model pro & Premium model feature Walker Evans needle shocks, while the Ultimate package gets the Dynamix 2.0 treatment (Fox Live Valve). The “2.0” of the Dynamix system includes a re-calibration of all modes intending to improve both ride and handling, as well as the edition of what has been fondly referred to as the “OH S&!T” button…more on that later.
All PROs will ship from the factory with 30″ Maxxis Carnivores which we have found to be excellent all-around tires, we’re excited about that choice.
Another notable feature is the doors. Somewhat uniquely shaped compared to any previous doors we’ve seen, they are designed to keep debris from slinging at you off the front tires, while also allowing airflow in the cabin. They worked great during our test ride. This may be the first set of doors we wouldn’t rush to replace or add to.
The PRO XP maintains the 925cc ProStar twin from the previous RZR Turbo units, but includes some nice upgrades and an overall power boost to 181hp.
The power increase is achieved with a new larger water-cooled turbo feeding a little extra boost, but there are a couple other interesting changes. Polaris engineers have added a coolant vent line to the the top of the head to help bleed out trapped air which has plagued some owners and been the cause of overheating in the past. We also get a more modern COP (coil on plug) design which eliminates the spark plug wires. This is the standard for performance and dependability on nearly all high end applications these days.
Yes we know many of you were yearning for a different style transmission all together, but what if you could keep the CVT and have it be twice as dependable?
That’s what Polaris has said they’ve delivered. A completely redesigned set of clutches along with a clutch housing that promotes increased airflow results in a large belt temperature reduction and a claimed 2X belt life from the previous turbo clutches.
Along with the cooling improvements, changes were also made to address durability and serviceability. The primary clutch has been designed to throw debris OUT of critical areas where it can cause wear, and serviceability of wear components has also been improved. Secondary clutch sliders have been ditched in favor of rollers. An additional added touch that we love is captured clutch cover bolts (honestly, who hasn’t driven around with a couple of those missing?). Now you don’t have to worry about losing them when you pull the cover off.
The tuning of the new clutches has also been altered with a focus on applying power where most riders need it most, that is mid-range speeds (20-50mph), exiting corners, climbing hills, etc.
During our test rides we were unable to break a belt (about 70 combined miles of HARD riding), and we did notice and appreciate the calibration changes. The new clutches seem to deliver so far.
The takeaway here is that everything is better / stronger than before.
The Pro gets the front diff from the Turbo S which has been an all-around excellent performer. Beyond the diff, everything as been made stronger. Axles, driveshafts, transmission….all of it. We’re were told the new axles completed 8X the lifecycle of the previous Turbo axles. We’ll be putting that to the test for sure, but we like the way it sounds.
This may be the star of the new Pro XP. Complaints about space in the previous RZR lead Polaris to focus much attention on driver comfort & confidence.
Shoulder room has been increased significantly, and there is 6″ more leg room than regular XP. The seats are 2.5″ lower in the chassis to improve the handling and overall feel, but the front end was designed to maintain all the sight lines from the previous RZR chassis. This is a strong point for the RZR , whereas other machines have sacrificed in this area to achieve lower seating positions.
The seats themselves have been improved tremendously as well. The new buckets feature a stiff molded frame, improved padding & bolsters, and are vented in a way that allows airflow from the door to reach your lower back to help keep you cool. They also include pass-through holes for 4 or 5 point harnesses. They are now 4-way adjustable, meaning you get tilt adjustment along with the typical slider, and the slider moves a MILE. Adjusting for different driver heights will be no issue.
Speaking of adjust-ability, premium and ultimate models now get a rake & telescope adjustable steering column, which is a first for the market. The column is locked & unlocked via a lever like you would more often see in the automotive world. This helps tremendously for dialing in your preferred driving position.
Another, sometimes under-appreciated, feature that we enjoyed was a new steering wheel. It feels good, and adds controls for things like the radio & Live Valve suspension (if equipped) in a convenient location. The most fun feature though would definitely be the aforementioned “OH S&!T” button. That’s a big red button that instantaneously takes the suspension to full stiff, utilized when you realize that you’ve driven yourself into a mess (like a giant g-out in the desert at 80mph…). It can be a little tough to get to quickly at high speeds, but it definitely works.
Of course there have been a host of other refinements and changes (like we said, it really is a new machine), but that’s the rundown of features that help us do what we like to do most, go fast. Please leave us your thoughts / questions in the comments below or on our Facebook page, and make sure to stay tuned into our YouTube channel as we put the new Pro XP through some long term abuse!