2016 POLARIS RZR XP TURBO vs. RZR XP 1000

Turbocharging is the rage in extreme-performance UTVs these days, with Polaris joining Can-Am in the turbo wars for 2016 and several racing organizations including Turbo classes in their series. WORCS includes turbos in its Unlimited UTV class, while some desert-racing organizers combine turbos with normally aspirated 1000s. The King of the Hammers UTV race was the first 2016 test with several teams running turbos, but the podium was dominated by XP 1000s. While most UTV enthusiasts never enter an official race, they do compete with their buddies, so we fitted our RZR XP Turbo and XP 1000 with identical Pro Armor Sand paddle tires and headed for Glamis’ Oldsmobile Hill for some drag races and duning. Then we swapped tires for desert testing around Parker, Arizona, to find out if the RZR XP Turbo is worth the extra $4700 MSRP.

The XP 1000 has 93mm pistons and a 73.5mm stroke for 999cc, and the inline ProStar twin makes an impressive 110 horsepower. The 2016 sports the same third CVT duct as the 2015 had, while the XP Turbo has an upgraded forced-cooling duct integrated into the new CVT cover.
The XP 1000 has 93mm pistons and a 73.5mm stroke for 999cc, and the inline ProStar twin makes an impressive 110 horsepower. The 2016 sports the same third CVT duct as the 2015 had, while the XP Turbo has an upgraded forced-cooling duct integrated into the new CVT cover.

WHAT’S NEW FOR 2016?
Polaris de-stroked the 999cc ProStar RZR XP 1000 engine by 5.5mm (from 73.5mm to 68mm), and the forged 93mm pistons have 9.0:1 compression to live with the new integrated turbocharger and a 45-percent increase in torque. It also has highstrength connecting rods, an updated 270-degree firing-order crankshaft, closed-deck cylinders, sodium-filled exhaust valves and a new oil system.

The engine-management system is upgraded with knock detection, boost control and a high-flow return-style fuel system. The cooling system is beefed up with dual radiators and a high-flow fan, and the liquid-charge air cooler has a high-flow electric pump. Also, the CVT has a new targetedclutch air-cooling system to reduce clutch and belt temperatures, and the driveline shafts are upgraded to deal with the extra power and torque. The charging system is bumped to a 660watt output as well, and the battery has 575 cold-cranking amps and 44 amp-hours capacity. The Turbo is claimed to accelerate from 0–60 mph in 5.89 seconds! To stop as fast as it accelerates, the XP Turbo EPS has three-puck front and two-puck rear hydraulic calipers squeezing larger, 248mm rotors.

Basically, the 2015 Fox Edition became the 2016 RZR XP Turbo EPS platform, as the Turbo EPS has the same 2.5 front and 3.0 rear Fox Internal ByPass (IBP) shocks as the Fox Edition. Front and rear torsion bars fight body roll and weight transfer generated by such hard acceleration and braking forces. The rear sway bar is updated to improve ride quality, and the re-tuned IBP shocks have five zones of progressive damping to fight bottoming and three rebound zones to reduce bucking. Although the Turbo EPS doesn’t have the Fox Edition’s Polaris IDD gauge package, it has new seatbelt guides to prevent chafed necks and a more upright seating position. As for the RZR XP 1000 EPS, it got the third CVT cooling duct for 2015 and the more upright seating position, adjustable seat-belt sliders and new color choices for 2016. The 110-horsepower XP1K is 116 pounds lighter than the 144-horsepower XP Turbo, but it carries 12.54 pounds per horsepower, while the Turbo has 10.38 pounds per horsepower.

HOW DOES COST COMPARE?
The 2016 RZR XP Turbo EPS is $24,999. The RZR XP 1000 EPS is $20,299, while the High Lifter Edition is $23,499. Can-Am’s 2016 Maverick 1000 starts at $16,399, and Turbo Mavericks are $20,399–$23,999. Arctic Cat’s 2016 Wildcat 1000X EPS is $17,499, and the 1000X LTD and SE are both $19,999. Arctic Cat doesn’t have a turbo edition yet but has partnered with Speedworks for a supercharger accessory.

Even with 300-plus pounds of accessories, our Dune Patrol XP Turbo would pull the XP 1000 by a couple of lengths towards the top of Glamis’ Oldsmobile Hill, and it gobbled the big whoops at the base of the hill with superior Fox IBP suspension settings. If you’re planning to add all of the extras the Dune Patrol has, Turbo is the way to go.
Even with 300-plus pounds of accessories, our Dune Patrol XP Turbo would pull the XP 1000 by a couple of lengths towards the top of Glamis’ Oldsmobile Hill, and it gobbled the big whoops at the base of the hill with superior Fox IBP suspension settings. If you’re planning to add all of the extras the Dune Patrol has, Turbo is the way to go.

HOW MUCH FASTER IS THE XP TURBO?
They both are limited to the same top speed, but the Turbo gets there much quicker. On Oldsmobile Hill, the Turbo would pull the XP 1000 by a length or two towards the top, but it didn’t win every race. A quicker reaction time gave the XP 1000 the edge on some passes, as we switched drivers often, but the extra torque of the Turbo didn’t always overcome the gap in the deep whoops at the base of Oldsmobile Hill. In the dunes and on the trails, the Turbo’s torque makes it faster from turn to turn, but not by as much as we had expected. Where traction is scarce, like on silt-covered desert hardpack, the XP 1000 is easier to control, but the XP Turbo has the advantage most of the time.

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WHAT ABOUT THE CVT/AWD DELIVERY?
We also tested an XP Turbo against the XP 1000 in rock-crawling situations, and the Turbo is as easy to drive and modulate in the rocks as the XP 1000. The extra torque helps the heavier car clear obstacles easier, and the upgraded front diff and axles increase durability over the XP 1000, but we had our Turbo stick in gear twice (see “Top 10 Turbo Upgrades” in the next issue). We didn’t experience any problems with the XP 1000’s CVT during testing, nor did turbo lag become an issue. We have broken three front diffs on our 2015 units, but the 2016 XP1K has held up so far, as has the Turbo.

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HOW ABOUT TURNING AND HANDLING?
Both cars have an identical wheelbase, travel and geometry, but the Turbo has front and rear torsion bars and stays more planted in corners with less body roll. Its extra torque seems to offset the extra weight (116 pounds) from turn to turn, but it also over-rides the stock Bighorn tires in loose sand and pushes/wanders more. Overall, the XP Turbo has a better overall turning and straight-line stability package, but there are some situations where the XP 1000 is easier to drive, like on slick surfaces. The Turbo also has more fore/aft weight transfer in and out of corners.

Front travel is 16 inches on both XPs and width is 64 inches, but the XP Turbo has a front torsion bar and Fox 2.5 IBP shocks with revised valving zones for 2016, while the 1000 has 2.0 WER piggybacks. Pure Polaris accessory high-clearance front A-arms on our Turbo don’t change travel or steering geometry, and we used identical Pure Polaris Sand 30-inch tires by Pro Armor for dune testing.
Front travel is 16 inches on both XPs and width is 64 inches, but the XP Turbo has a front torsion bar and Fox 2.5 IBP shocks with revised valving zones for 2016, while the 1000 has 2.0 WER piggybacks. Pure Polaris accessory high-clearance front A-arms on our Turbo don’t change travel or steering geometry, and we used identical Pure Polaris Sand 30-inch tires by Pro Armor for dune testing.

WHICH WINS THE SUSPENSION WARS?
The XP Turbo has a clear advantage in suspension. The revised Fox 2.5 front and 3.0 rear IBP shocks deliver a much smoother ride quality in the dunes and desert chop, especially 2WD-hop chop. The XP Turbo stays flatter on the big Oldsmobile Hill whoops and flies better over jumps. In the Arizona desert, we backed the compression clickers all the way out on the Walker Evans shocks and three clicks from all the way out on the Fox IBPs, and the Turbo shocks still delivered a better ride with less bottoming on G-outs.

Rear travel is 18 inches via trailing-arm suspension with radius rods on both RZRs. The XP Turbo has Fox 3.0 IBP remote-reservoir shocks with 20-position compression adjusters, while the XP 1000 sports 2.5 Walker Evans Racing needle shocks with 16-position compression adjusters and dual-rate springs but no crossover rings.
Rear travel is 18 inches via trailing-arm suspension with radius rods on both RZRs. The XP Turbo has Fox 3.0 IBP remote-reservoir shocks with 20-position compression adjusters, while the XP 1000 sports 2.5 Walker Evans Racing needle shocks with 16-position compression adjusters and dual-rate springs but no crossover rings.

WHICH HAS BETTER BRAKES?
Turbo again. The three-piston front calipers and bigger 248mm rotors on the front of the XP Turbo give it a clear advantage in pucker power. Both RZRs have great brakes, but the Turbo stops quicker, despite its extra weight. Neither has engine braking, though.

The XP Turbo has an extra radiator for the inter-cooling system and an air-scoop hood with air dam for more airflow, along with an extended front fascia for air management. It also has forced-air targeted cooling for the CVT clutch, but low-speed, high-load driving can cause the engine-management system to go into limp mode above 230 degrees
The XP Turbo has an extra radiator for the inter-cooling system and an air-scoop hood with air dam for more airflow, along with an extended front fascia for air management. It also has forced-air targeted cooling for the CVT clutch, but low-speed, high-load driving can cause the engine-management system to go into limp mode above 230 degrees

WHAT ABOUT DURABILITY?
On paper the XP Turbo should have the edge with its upgraded engine management system, cooling and upgraded drivetrain, but the reality is that the Turbo went up to 234 degrees and into limp mode during the dune photo session, while the XP 1000 didn’t have any issues. We also had the problem with the CVT sticking in gear due to sticking rollers in the clutch. This can also lead to stalling, as the CVT doesn’t fully disengage when rollers stick.

Both the XP Turbo and XP 1000 get a new, more upright seating position and adjustable seats and shoulder harness for more comfort in the cabin and less neck chafing. Quarter doors let sand and mud into the cab and onto its occupants, but Polaris has accessory panels to fill in the holes.
Both the XP Turbo and XP 1000 get a new, more upright seating position and adjustable seats and shoulder harness for more comfort in the cabin and less neck chafing. Quarter doors let sand and mud into the cab and onto its occupants, but Polaris has accessory panels to fill in the holes.

WHAT ABOUT TRAIL COMFORT?
Both the XP 1000 and Turbo have identical cabins and creature comforts, but the ride quality of the Turbo’s Fox IBP shocks makes it much more enjoyable in dunes, desert or mountains. However, $2900 worth of valving, shock springs and torsion bars from Shock Therapy gives the XP 1000 a much better ride with sharper handling than the Turbo.

The 925cc twin drops from the XP1K’s compression of 11.1:1 down to 9.0:1 on the XP Turbo, and it uses the same 48mm EFI throttle bodies as the 1000. The inter-cooled Turbo makes 144 horsepower and 45 percent more torque than the 1000, but the CanAm Turbo and aftermarket kits place the intercooler behind the cabin. The Polaris setup has lots of plumbing to watch.
The 925cc twin drops from the XP1K’s compression of 11.1:1 down to 9.0:1 on the XP Turbo, and it uses the same 48mm EFI throttle bodies as the 1000. The inter-cooled Turbo makes 144 horsepower and 45 percent more torque than the 1000, but the CanAm Turbo and aftermarket kits place the intercooler behind the cabin. The Polaris setup has lots of plumbing to watch.

WHAT’S OUR FINAL ANSWER?
With the 45-percent increase in torque, Fox Internal ByPass shocks, better brakes and upgraded components, the RZR XP Turbo is worth the extra $4700 over the MSRP of the RZR XP 1000. The ride quality and overall performance are a level above the standard RZR, but the Turbo is prone to overheating when abused, especially in deep sand or mud. Because the Turbo is closer to the extreme-performance edge, it will go into limp mode easier than the XP1K. If you’re thinking of trading in your 2015 XP 1000 for a Turbo, you might want to upgrade your suspension and add a front torsion bar and wait until the 2017 model year.

New front carriers are needed for the Turbo, as it got larger CVs and axles and three-piston front brake calipers with larger (248mm) rotors, while the XP 1000 got the same two-piston brakes and axles as the 2015s. The Pure Polaris high-clearance lower arms on our Turbo also have larger-diameter tubes and additional gussets; we’ve seen MXC-USA Turbos fold OEM front arms in rocks.
New front carriers are needed for the Turbo, as it got larger CVs and axles and three-piston front brake calipers with larger (248mm) rotors, while the XP 1000 got the same two-piston brakes and axles as the 2015s. The Pure Polaris high-clearance lower arms on our Turbo also have larger-diameter tubes and additional gussets; we’ve seen MXC-USA Turbos fold OEM front arms in rocks.

ENGINE/TRANSMISSION
2016 POLARIS RZR XP TURBO vs. 2016 POLARIS RZR XP 1000 EFI 4X4
Engine type .. Liquid-cooled, 8-valve, DOHC 4-stroke twin ………………………Liquid-cooled, 8-valve, DOHC 4-stroke twin
Displacement …………………………………………….925cc ……………………………………………………………………. 999cc
Bore x stroke …………………………. 93mm x 68mm (x2) ………………………………………………..93mm x 73.5mm (x2)
Compression ratio ………………………………………. 9.0:1 ……………………………………………………………………….11:1
Lubrication system ………………………………..Wet sump ………………………………………………………………. Wet sump
Additional cooling ……………………………………. Auto fan …………………………………………………………………..Auto fan
Induction …………………… Turbocharged, 48mm EFI (x2) ………………………………………………………….48mm EFI (x2)
Starting/back-up …………………………………Electric/none …………………………………………………………… Electric/none
Starting procedure ……………………. Turn ignition switch …………………………………………………… Turn ignition switch
Air filter:
Type ………………………………………………. Paper pleat ……………………………………………………………… Paper pleat
Access …………………………… Tool-less, undo 5 clasps ………………………………………………Tool-less, undo 5 clasps
Transmission …………………. Dual-range CVT w/ reverse …………………………………………..Dual-range CVT w/ reverse
Reverse procedure …………..Move range selector to “R” …………………………………………. Move range selector to “R”
Drive system……Selectable 2WD/4WD w/ auto diff-lock ………………………….. Selectable 2WD/4WD w/ auto diff-lock
Final drives ……………………………………………….Shafts ……………………………………………………………………. Shafts
DIMENSIONS/CAPACITIES/WEIGHTS
Fuel capacity ……………………………………………9.5 gal. ………………………………………………………………….. 9.5 gal.
Wheelbase……………………………………………………90” ……………………………………………………………………….. 90”
Overall length/width/height …………….. 119”/64”/73.75” …………………………………………………….119.4”/64”/73.75”
Ground clearance ………………………………………..13.5” …………………………………………………………………….. 13.5”
Claimed dry weight …………………………………. 1,495 lb …………………………………………………………………1,379 lb.
Bed weight limit ……………………………………….. 300 lb ……………………………………………………………………300 lb.
Hitch …………………………………………………………… No ………………………………………………………………………….No
Towing limit ………………………………………………….N/A ……………………………………………………………………….. N/A
ROLLING CHASSIS
Frame ……………………………………….. Steel round tube ………………………………………………………..Steel round tube
Suspension/wheel travel:
Front ………….. Dual A-arm w/ prel./comp.-adj. Fox IBP ……………………………. Dual A-arm w/ prel./comp.-adj. WER
piggyback shocks/16” piggyback shocks/16”
Rear ……IRS Trailing-arms w/ prel./comp.-adj. Fox IBP ……………………………..IRS trailing arms w/ prel./comp.-adj.
remote-res. shocks/18” WER remote-res. shocks/18”
Brakes/actuation:
Front ………………………. Hydraulic discs/left-side pedal ……………………………………….Hydraulic discs/left-side pedal
Rear ……………………… Hydraulic discs/left-side pedal ……………………………………….Hydraulic discs/left-side pedal
Parking ……………………………………….Lever on console ………………………………………………………. Lever on console
Tires:
Front ………………………….. AT 29×9-14 Maxxis Bighorn …………………………………………AT 29×9-14 Maxxis Bighorn
Rear …………………………. AT 29×11-14 Maxxis Bighorn ……………………………………….AT 29×11-14 Maxxis Bighorn
ELECTRICAL
DC outlet ………………………………………………..Console ………………………………………………………………….. Console
Lighting:
Front ………………………………… 2 LED hi/lo headlights ………………………………………………… 2 LED hi/lo headlights
Rear ……………………………..Dual LED brake/tail lights ……………………………………………. Dual LED brake/tail lights
DETAILS
Instrumentation ……..Speed/odo/trip/hour/rpm/fuel/gear/ …………..Speed/odo/trip/hour/rpm/fuel/gear/clock/2WD-4WD
clock/2WD-4WD
Colors…Graphite Crystal, Spectra Orange, Velocity Blue, …………Sunset Red, Ti Matte Metallic, Electric Blue Metallic
Matte White Lightning, Matte Sunset Red
Minimum recommended operator age ………………….16 ………………………………………………………………………….16
Suggested retail price ………………………………$24,999 ………………………………………………………………… $20,299
Contact ……………………………..Polaris, (800) POLARIS ……………………………………………… Polaris, (800) POLARIS

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