Polaris is out to prove that side-by-sides aren’t merely overgrown golf carts. It’s releasing a pair of new models named RZR Pro R and RZR Turbo R, respectively, for the 2022 model year. Both are fun-oriented, off-road-ready vehicles that pack a surprising amount of horsepower.
The big news for 2022 is the RZR Pro R, which stands proud as the most powerful series-produced side-by-side ever developed by Polaris. It’s the same buggy that Hoonigan jumped over a freeway ramp in California in October 2021. It’s powered by a naturally-aspirated, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine tuned to develop 225 horsepower; in car terms, that’s a 44-horse bump over the 2021 Mazda MX-5 Miata and merely three short of the 2022 Subaru BRZ. Polaris made several mechanical upgrades (like fitting a larger clutch) to ensure the drivetrain can handle the power. And, the driver will have three throttle control modes called Sport, Rock, and Race, respectively, to choose from.
Beefier suspension components (including boxed steel a-arms) help the RZR Pro R effortlessly move over tough terrain. Polaris also added a surprising amount of technology, like independent compression and rebound systems and new suspension and steering modes that rely on driver input and data sent by sensors to ensure the wheels remain in contact with the ground. The result sounds like every off-roader’s dream: fitted with 32-inch tires, the RZR Pro R offers a massive 27 inches of suspension travel in the front and 29 inches in the back.
Wearing a nameplate that many enthusiasts associate with a stately Bentley, the RZR Turbo R shares its front suspension system with the RZR Pro R but its rear axle gains a model-specific setup with 28 inches of travel. Another major difference between the two RZRs is the drivetrain: power for the Turbo R comes from a turbocharged, 0.9-liter two-cylinder engine that develops 181 horsepower. While that’s not as impressive as the Pro R’s output, it’s still a lot for a side-by-side. Polaris installed a lower gear to prioritize power delivery.
Both RZRs feature a 74-inch stance for improved stability, though their length varies depending on whether they’re fitted with two or four seats, and they’re built around a one-piece chassis. Polaris pegs the two seater Pro R’s dry weight at 2,085 pounds and its payload at 740 pounds; the Turbo R weighs 1,943 pounds (likely due to its smaller and lighter engine) but boasts the same payload.
Polaris dealers will begin receiving the RZR Pro R in early 2022. At launch, the line-up will include three trim levels called Sport, Premium, and Ultimate, respectively. Enthusiasts saving a spot in their fleet for the Turbo R will need to wait until the spring of 2022, and they’ll have the same three trims to choose from, though Launch Edition models will be offered as well. Pricing information hasn’t been announced yet.