The Polaris Factory Racing crew is doing something special in off-road competition. In an announcement last week, it claimed to be the industry’s first manufacturer-backed race team with a purpose-built UTV. The cover was pulled off said machine on Thursday as the Polaris RZR Pro R Factory debuted with 225 horsepower, 35-inch BF Goodrich tires on Method Race wheels, and race-tuned suspension that should make it plenty capable for Baja.
It starts with a normal Polaris RZR Pro R, which is plenty rowdy on its own. The rig’s 2.0-liter, naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine makes 225 horsepower in stock form, and Polaris has paid special attention to powertrain cooling. You’ll spot upgraded radiators out back that should help temperatures stay in check when running at full-throttle through the desert. Not only will optimum temps help the RZR Pro R Factory make peak power for longer, lightweight body materials are in place to maximize the UTV’s power-to-weight ratio.
Just because the body is lightweight doesn’t mean it skimps on armor and protection. It has a skid plate that runs the length of the machine, as well as a RZR Pro R Factory-specific cage and bumpers. The faring is unique, too, with more aerodynamic shaping via wings behind the cockpit. It looks tough, that’s for sure.
The real magic is in the Polaris’ suspension. It sports Fox 3.0 Live Valve X2 internal bypass shocks along with an even higher performance-tuned Dynamix DV system. That’s what allows each shock to independently adjust rebound and compression, which helps the racer stay cool and collected over admittedly massive bumps and holes. While that potent 2.0-liter may get all the attention, this is just as big of a deal. Plus, it suspends a chassis that’s compliant with FIA T4 Class, SCORE, Best in the Desert, and Rally Raid series.
There’s an entire suite of safety and communications equipment to bring the RZR Pro R Factory up to the standard of the racing world. We’ll see what it can really do with Austin Weiland, Brock Heger, and Cayden MacCachren behind the wheel during its race debut at the San Felipe 250 from March 28 to April 2. After that is the Baja 400, Vegas to Reno, Baja 500, and eventually, the Baja 1000 in November of this year.
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