Forget the sagging consumer economy. Polaris Industries is hitting the ATV and utility vehicle (UV) markets hard this summer with its biggest introduction of new and redesigned vehicles ever. The company reports it wants to protect and grow its customer base even in the tough economic market. In the past 18 months, its ATVs have gained market share.
The 2009 line of ATVs and Rangers will appeal to the agricultural market with their new utility features and vehicle accessories. The company is offering three new Ranger models, including a heavy-duty model with power steering. The ATVs boast all-wheel-drive and engine braking with an active descent control system that is new in the industry.
Polaris's popular Sportsman ATV achieves an industry first this year with one million models sold. In honor of the milestone, Polaris engineers redesigned the vehicle and are calling it the new Sportsman XP. ATV marketing manager Jan Rintamaki says the new Sportsman vehicles are 99% new.
Polaris also adds a new Sportsman 800 vehicle and a new Ranger RZR S model.
To highlight the major introduction, Polaris invited journalists from around the world to test-drive the vehicles on a wooded, Minnesota motocross course. Rock piles and a bumper-strip course tested the vehicles' suspension. Steep, dirt trails that wound through dense woods tested vehicle maneuverability, ease of use and comfort. The vehicles passed the tests with flying colors.
Here's a look at what's new in the 2009 lineup from Polaris.