Let’s face it: For all the fun a racetrack has to offer—rolling tarmac, sweeping corners, hairpin turns—even the longest circuit can feel like Groundhog Day once you memorize all your turning and braking points. There’s unpredictable terrain to explore once you venture off the pavement—acres of secluded trails, sand dunes, rocky hills, and mud pits. For high-performance driving on the toughest terrain, consider the all-new Polaris RZR XP side-by-side racer a powerhouse.
Polaris has a long and impressive history when it comes to power sports. The Minnesota-based brand invented the modern snowmobile in 1954 and quickly gained worldwide recognition for its innovations in the off-road vehicle market. In 1999, it launched the Ranger, a larger, action-oriented side-by-side utility vehicle (UTV) that remains one of Polaris’ most popular vehicles. Not ten years later, in 2008, Polaris introduced the Ranger RZR, the first and fastest side-by-side capable vehicle at the time. It is equipped with an 800cc twin-cylinder EFI engine that delivers 52 horsepower. In the coming years, Polaris will release its flagship RZR XP 1000, designed primarily for conquering desert landscapes and dunes, and then its Specialized models for tackling mud and rocks. Polaris has racked up a record number of victories in some of the most popular off-road racing series in the world, such as SCORE, WORCS, and King of the Hammers. More than a decade in its evolution, the RZR XP from Polaris has been powered by innovative, fresh updates in comfort, performance and rugged design.
To the casual observer, the all-new Polaris RZR XP may look similar to its predecessors such as the RZR XP 1000 and RZR XP 4 1000 models, but closer inspection reveals that it has been completely rebuilt from the ground up. The designers and engineers at Polaris have completely overhauled the RZR XP system for 2024. The RZR XP comes powered by an all-new 114-horsepower ProStar 1000 Gen 2 twin-cylinder engine that is specifically tuned for smooth, responsive power over a wide variety of terrains. The continuously variable transmission (CVT) has a lower final drive ratio to enhance torque delivery and acceleration, plus an all-new reverse assist when backing out of technical situations or assisting in retrieving another vehicle. Backed by an on-demand all-wheel-drive powertrain, the RZR XP shifts between two- and four-wheel drive with the flick of a switch—smoothly distributing power and traction should tires slip while navigating technical features or obstacles.
The new RZR XP doesn’t just feature serious upgrades in terms of power and gearing: Polaris designers sought to improve its new exterior and chassis to be more rigid and purposeful, too. The RZR XP is engineered with a chassis that is 25% stronger, after more than a decade of research and development from hundreds of hours of riding and racing. Its driveline is reinforced with stronger half-shafts, crankshaft, and bearings to withstand the wear and tear of the most grueling trails, along with a tubular front bumper and full-cover skid plate for added protection. These covers provide the perfect shield for the driveline and engine components against the elements while full doors, a durable polycarbonate roof and self-draining floors provide comfort for you and your passengers.
Extending durability and extending time between services were the main areas of focus here. With improved clutch cooling and a CVT redesign for enhanced airflow, the RZR XP delivers increased belt performance and longer belt life, which means less time in the shop and more time in the open air. Polaris also gave top priority to access points to the front of the engine and airbox, and made a removable one-piece box in the rear for easy access to maintenance or emergency repairs while on the road.
Up front, a shorter frame than the RZR XP and fenders trimmed have an LED front bezel with a menacing look. Its strong, upright physique has been carefully considered to enhance the driver’s field of vision – improving sightlines and increasing visibility when choosing lanes and navigating tight corners. Between the available 29-inch Trailmaster X/T tires or the available 30-inch Trailmaster X/T 2.0 tires, clearing most obstacles is a breeze for the RZR XP, instilling confidence in off-road beginners and providing maximum maneuverability for professionals seasoned.
The long (dirt) road ahead
Whether it’s long hours on the trail or long weekend jaunts, the new RZR XP is designed with a focus on comfort, ride quality and improved storage to keep you well-equipped for the long haul. The RZR XP lineup is available in two- and four-seat models with three trim levels: Sport, Premium, and Ultimate. All trim levels come standard with the same ProStar 1000 Gen 2 engine, on-demand all-wheel drive, Walker Evans® Racing Needle Shocks that feature 16-position compression damping and active triple-rate rear springs to provide a cushioning effect while traversing rough terrain.
Premium mid-range cladding adds Rockford Fosgate® Stage I sound with a PMX head unit, poly roof, and sub-zero 4-point harnesses. The Ultimate model offers a Rockford Fosgate® Stage III audio system, rear camera, 900-watt charging system and signature RIDE COMMAND technology. Polaris’ exclusive mapping interface comes preloaded with over a million tracks and has a group ride feature that lets you track other vehicles you’re traveling with regardless of cellular service – keeping you connected in even the most remote locations. The glove-friendly 7-inch touchscreen provides easy access to important tech features even after contact with water and mud.
Inside, the RZR XP has a new cabin design that is not only more spacious but feels roomier than ever. It has a tilt steering wheel and adjustable front seats with 2 inches more legroom compared to previous generations side-by-side. The passenger seat’s adjustable grab bar doubles as an integrated wrench that comes in handy when swapping tires on the road. On four-seat models, the raised rear seats provide an elevated, unobstructed view of the aisle head. Meanwhile, secure storage keeps small items like phones, gloves, and wallets close at hand. But the storage possibilities don’t stop there. With over 90 new accessory options, Polaris is the industry leader when it comes to accessory integration and customization. Storage can be mixed, matched, and stacked to create the perfect combination of boxes, bags, and/or coolers in the car bed or ride along deck. The brand’s coordinated Rider Collections—Trail, Mud, Backcountry, and All-Season—offer a host of additional accessories, including 4,500-pound winches, a pivoting spare tire carrier, full-coverage fender lights, and more to keep you ready to go the distance. .
The Polaris RZR XP’s appetite for adventure is insatiable. Starting at $20,999, this fully customizable side-by-side offers both new and seasoned off-road riders the confidence, fun, and comfort to keep you riding, no matter what kind of terrain you encounter. With millions of miles of pristine riding conditions across the country, there is always something new to explore.