Just in time for its 50th anniversary, Polaris Industries redesigned and updated its full line of powerful Ranger products. The company showcased the new Rangers at its anniversary festivities held at the Minnesota State Fair Grounds. There Polaris fans were treated to a Ranger “playground” where they could test-drive the vehicles over crushed cars, rocks and steep inclines. The Ranger playground was entertaining, but it also proved that the new Rangers can handle tough terrain and still be comfortable.

Speed control

Polaris unveiled two new optional features for its Rangers. One is a SpeedKey that lets owners and operators select the maximum vehicle speed on a Ranger. The black SpeedKey allows unrestricted vehicle speeds up to 41 mph, and the yellow key has a maximum speed of 25 mph. The SpeedKey uses radio frequency identification (RFID) technology to sense which key is being used in the ignition. When the yellow key is sensed, a signal is sent to the carburetor to reduce air/fuel flow, limiting its speed to 25 mph. The new option is available for $170 on 2005 Ranger models with a 500-cc Fuji carburetor engine.

The other new option is Lock & Ride, a new system for attaching accessories, which features an expanding anchor technology. A rider drops an expanding plug into predrilled holes in the Ranger and then pushes the handle down to lock the accessory in place. As a result, the accessory is held tight and does not rattle. Lock & Ride works with many Polaris accessories, including sprayers, cargo boxes and gun scabbards.

The three Ranger models from Polaris all feature new styling, a smoother ride, and greater work capacity. Here's a look at each model.

Ranger 6×6

This power vehicle now boasts a 1,750-lb. payload, a 1,250-lb. capacity in its new composite cargo box, and a towing capacity of 1,750 lbs. The cargo box is big enough to hold a standard pallet. Polaris calls this model the industry's only true 6-wd because it is equipped with an independent front and independent center plus swing arm rear suspension. It provides a smooth ride and power while jostling over ruts and rocks. Plus, the Ranger offers 6.25 in. of suspension travel and 7.3 in. of ground clearance. It is powered by a 30-hp, 4-valve, 4-stroke, liquid-cooled Polaris 500 engine. Price: $9,999.

Ranger 4×4

The reworked Ranger 4×4 features on-demand all-wheel drive that automatically senses when the rear wheels slip and then engages both front wheels with full torque. This model also features a button on the dash to lock the rear differential. Polaris increased the comfort of the 4×4 by using an independent rear suspension along with a MacPherson strut, long-travel independent front suspension and created 11 in. of ground clearance. Then the company beefed up the model to increase its working power. It will carry 1,500 lbs. of total payload, hold 1,000 lbs. in the cargo box that accommodates a pallet, and tow 1,500 lbs. with a standard 2-in. receiver hitch. It is equipped with the same engine that is in the 6x6 model. Price: $8,899.

Ranger TM

The 2-wd model in the Ranger line is the TM, which stands for “taskmaster.” Polaris claims that this Ranger is the most powerful 2-wd vehicle in its class. A Polaris V-twin, 4-cyl., 4-stroke, air-cooled 653-cc engine delivering 18 hp powers it. The TM also features a composite cargo box that is big enough to hold a pallet and carry 750 lbs. Total payload for the vehicle is 1,250 lbs., and towing capacity is 1,000 lbs. Price $6,199.

For more information, contact Polaris, Dept. FIN, 2100 Hwy. 55, Medina, MN 55340, 800/765-2747, visit www.polarisindustries.com or www.freeproductinfo.net/fin.