2020 INTIMIDATOR GC1K
Intimidator UTVs and Bad Dawg Accessories have been around for many years now, and UTV Action was invited to tour Intimidator’s new 200,000-square-foot factory. We got a chance to see the Intimidator Classic and GC1K UTVs being built and to drive the entire lineup of GC1Ks, which includes four trim levels on GC1Ks and Crews, along with Trucks. We test the 2020 Intimidator GC1K here; we tested the GC1K Truck in February 2020.
WHAT IS NEW FOR 2020?
Base-model GC1Ks have 27-inch Blackrock tires on steel 14-inch rims, a 4-inch monochrome digital display and preload-adjustable shocks but no front bumper. Stage 1 models upgrade to 28-inch tires on 14-inch two-tone aluminum rims, a 4-inch color display, electric bed lift and double USB chargers. Stage 2 adds 30-inch, 8-ply radial tires and brush guards to Stage 1 hardware. Stage 3 has Stages 1–2 features, plus Elka HPG shocks on short-wheelbase models and a 7-inch touchscreen display.
Intimidator UTVs are made in the same factory that produces Spartan Zero-Turn mowers and are sold mostly through Spartan dealers. We saw GC1Ks on the new assembly line, and they have automotive construction with car-sized differentials, sealed wheel bearings from Honda Accords, 1.75-inch certified ROPS cages and frames, 1.5-inch DOM A-arms, nylon bushings, roto-molded plastic bodywork, injection-molded painted body panels, braided-steel wiring looms, steel skid plates and bed floors, and AGM batteries. All GC1K UTVs have an 83-horsepower TGB V-twin with dual-range CVT.
HOW DOES COST COMPARE?
GC1Ks have a base price of $13,799, and Stage 1 jumps to $14,599. Stage 2 goes to $15,899, while Stage 3 is $17,399. These prices are for green bodywork, and orange and gray are $200 more, while Camo is $500 more. Add the Versa-bed option with fold-down sides for $350 or the turn-signal kit for $229.99. Our orange 2020 Intimidator GC1K Stage 3 test unit had the optional $369.99 plastic roof for a total of $17,768.99.
Arctic cat’s Havoc 1000 is $16,199. The Can-Am Defender HD10 XT is $18,499, and the HD10 XT-P is $18,999. Honda’s Pioneer 1000 is $15,799 or $16,799 for the Deluxe. The Polaris Ranger XP 1000 starts at $16,499 and jumps to $18,899 for the Texas Edition and $25,199 for the Northstar Edition with HVAC.
HOW FAST IS THE GC1K?
Fast enough to be fun. The V-twin TGB engine has a 92mm bore, 75mm stroke, a 10.5:1 compression ratio, and delivers 83 horsepower. We got 65 mph in high and 26 mph in low range. While it’s not that quick in acceleration, it’s still fast enough to provide a thrill or two.
HOW IS THE GC1K DELIVERY?
Also smooth and steady. The CVT engages smoothly and a bit slowly, which is great for crawling and work, and Low is nice and low for towing up to a ton. There isn’t any EBS built into the CVT, but the GC1K has plenty of compression braking when you give it a bit of trailing throttle on downhills, especially in Low. The rear differential unlocks, but there is no locking front diff mode, just 2WD/4WD. The gated shifter on the dash takes a while to break in and loosen up.
HOW IS THE INTIMIDATOR SUSPENSION?
Tuned stiffly for work. The Stage 3 Elka high-pressure shocks are only preload- and pressure-adjustable, and the shocks are stiff for handling heavy loads. GC1Ks have 10 inches of travel, front and rear, and the A-arms are heavy-duty 1.5-inch DOM steel, which is racing grade.
HOW DOES IT HANDLE?
The 2020 Intimidator GC1K does everything slowly and steadily, but it’s pretty agile for tight trails and mountain switchbacks. With an 82-inch wheelbase and 83-horsepower V-twin engine, the GC1K is comparable to a Polaris Ranger XP 1000, but the Intimidator weighs almost 300 pounds more, so it’s not nearly as sporty. We drove the GC1K in the rain, so there was so much traction that it didn’t want to slide at all. On slicker mud, that’s a very good thing. The GC1K is planted and solid, so it doesn’t do anything unexpected.
HOW IS IT IN CHALLENGING TERRAIN?
It’s a solid performer in most terrain and very sure-footed. Rack-and-pinion steering has great EPS assist for threading through the tight trails. The Stage 3 30×10.5R14 eight-ply radial tires offer great grip, and front-width rear tires mean only having to carry one spare. It’s a great rock crawler and good in mud until the ruts exceed 14 inches in depth. Roto-molded bodywork does a great job of keeping mud out of the cabin, and the engine and CVT intakes are at hip level behind the cabin. The intake housing even has frog-skin mesh.
HOW STRONG ARE THE BRAKES?
They’re stout. Solid 10.25-inch rotors are clamped by dual-piston hydraulic calipers at all four corners, and the lines are high-quality, braided steel. But, they are slowing automotive-size drive shafts and axles and a 1,850-pound machine with no EBS.
HOW ARE THE DETAILS?
Excellent. Construction throughout is heavy-duty and on the verge of overkill. The roto-molded dash and doors are high quality, and the digital dash is excellent. It has a 7-inch screen with an analog tach needle, digital speedometer in the center, and huge gas level and temperature bars on either side with actual numbers below. It is also configurable to show other parameters.
The bench seat is super comfortable and stylish with color-matched piping. The lined doors have inner and outer openers. The hood pops like a pickup truck to access the battery, fuse box, automotive-grade radiator and coolant reservoir. A switch on the dash raises and lowers the tilt bed via the two electronic/gas rams. The front bumper is three-piece and burly, and the front and rear 2-inch receivers are also stout. LED headlights have finned ballasts for cooling.
The fit and finish are impressive, but the under-seat engine makes the cabin loud.
WHAT IS OUR FINAL ANSWER?
We’re impressed with the 2020 GC1K. It turns well with very little effort from the driver, thanks to great EPS assist. It is a solid performer with great durability and heavy-duty components. If you need a utility UTV that can also tackle adventures, the GC1K delivers. This is one tough UTV. We also like having so many trim levels, so Intimidator can complete the customer’s build on the assembly line. Check out www.intimidatorutv.com for dealers near you.
2020 INTIMIDATOR GC1K ENGINE/TRANSMISSION
Engine type Liquid-cooled, 8-valve, SOHC
Bore x stroke 92mm x 75mm (2)
Compression ratio 10.5:1
Lubrication system Wet sump
Induction EFI throttle body w/ injectors
Starting/back-up Electric turn-key/none
Starting procedure In any range, brake engaged
Type Paper mesh/screen
Transmission Dual-range CVT
Drive system Selectable 2WD/4WD
Final drive f/r Shaft/shaft
Fuel capacity 9.0 gal.
Overall length/width/height 122”/64”/82”
Ground clearance 14.0”
Claimed curb weight 1,850 lb.
Bed capacity 1,000 lb.
Towing capacity 2,500 lb.
Frame 2-inch, high-strength steel, ROPS-approved
Front Dual A-arms & shocks w/ adj. prel./10.0”
Rear TTA trailing-arms & shocks w/ adj. prel./10.0”
Front Hydraulic 10.25” discs
Rear Hydraulic 10.25” discs
Front 30×10.5-15 8-ply Intimidator
Rear 30×10.5-15 8-ply Intimidator
DC outlet Auto-style waterproof plug, USBs
Front Two LED headlights
Rear Two LED tail/brakelights
Instrumentation Digital speedo/odo/tach/trip/
Colors Orange, grey
Minimum recommended operator age 16
Suggested retail price Starts at $13,799,
$17,768.99 as tested
See UTV Action’s complete Recreation UTV Buyer’s Guide here: https://utvactionmag.com/2020-recreation-utvs/