— FIRST REPORT —
Following accolades for its MULE PRO series, Kawasaki has upped its game once again with the addition of the MULE PRO-FXR to the 2018 lineup. The new MULE PRO-FXR features increased recreational abilities and premium styling that further establishes the full-size, compact UTV as the customer’s dependable work partner.
Developed alongside the PRO-FXT and PRO-FX, the new MULE PRO-FXR shares the same engine and smooth acceleration, meaning it’s still the fastest most powerful MULE ever built, with independent suspension, powerful disc brakes, effective engine braking and Kawasaki’s acclaimed speed-sensitive power steering. All of that is packaged into a more compact design, shorter than the other MULE PRO models, with improved ground clearance and turning radius.
Designed to appeal to someone who likes to play as a hard as they work, the styling of the MULE PRO-FXR has a tough, truck-like appearance with a painted hood and grill, low-profile LED inner and halogen outer headlights, front and rear bumpers as well as seating capacity for three in its contoured two-tone seats. While it has a recreational side, the MULE PRO-FXR is still built Kawasaki STRONG with steel cargo bed that has a 1000-pound carrying capacity (600-pound carrying capacity in California) and the ability to tow up to 2000 pounds.
The MULE PRO-FXR is built to be noticed with a refined front end and features a painted grill and hood designed to resist scratches and UV fading. New front and rear bumpers complete the tough truck-inspired look, and compact vehicle size and smaller Roll Over Protective Structure (ROPS) gives the MULE PRO-FXR a sportier look. It comes in Atomic Silver or Candy Persimmon Red; MSRP is to be announced.
ENGINE & TRANSMISSION
The strength of the Kawasaki MULE PRO-FXR comes from its 812cc, three-cylinder engine with efficient digital fuel injection, that has been tuned to deliver optimum performance throughout the rev range. With 48 lb-ft of torque, it has excellent pulling power when fully loaded, but also excellent acceleration and agility when combined with its four-wheel drive system. While the engine produces plenty of power, it runs quietly enough to hold a conversation in the cab.
Thanks to a high-output alternator, which delivers an incredible 60.8 amps at 2,000rpm (with the headlights on), occupants can power their accessories on all-day adventures and throughout the workweek with a pair of built-in, 12-volt outlets.
The CVT provides natural engine braking to help when descending slopes, with consistent engine hold-back to increase driver confidence, especially when the vehicle is loaded. The CVT is combined with an electrically selectable 2WD/4WD system that has a dual-mode rear differential.
Another benefit of the MULE PRO-FXR is the revised settings of its front and rear independent suspension. By soaking up the bumps better, it provides excellent comfort, and improves traction thanks to a generous 8.7 inches of suspension travel.
The suspension utilizes twin-tube, preload-adjustable shocks at each corner, with large diameter tubing for the A-arm design, ensuring Kawasaki’s legendary reputation for performance is maintained. Extra ground clearance (10.4 inches) also gives the driver confidence that the lower chassis will clear obstacles. The MULE PRO-FXR has been designed to be more nimble with an overall length of 121.8 inches and a compact 81 inch wheelbase that provides a very tight 14.1-foot turning radius.
The suspension uses rubber bushings at the attachment points to enhance strength, and the engine is rubber-mounted to reduce vibration and contribute to a high quality, comfortable ride. Hydraulic disc brakes use 212mm rotors on all four corners, and they combine with the dependable engine braking system to produce effective stopping power.
SPACIOUS CABIN & EPS
With the tremendous durability and versatility of the MULE PRO-FXR, all-day driving comfort is a high priority, allowing the driver and up to two passengers to get on with the job at hand. The cabin is particularly spacious, providing ample leg- and head-room, as well as a thick-cushioned contoured two-tone bench seat for up to three occupants.
Conventional three-point seatbelts and handholds are provided for each occupant, and doors are standard to ease entry. For the driver’s convenience there is a tilt-adjustable, thick-grip steering wheel, which provides up to 40-degrees of adjustment, to ensure a comfortable fit. It can also be tilted out of the way to ease access to the cabin.
The MULE PRO-FXR takes full advantage of Kawasaki’s advanced speed-sensitive Electric Power Steering (EPS) system that considerably reduces steering effort, but ensures the steering has optimal feedback as speed increases, enhancing handling. The EPS helps to reduce steering kickback, reducing driver fatigue. Furthermore, it helps the driver enjoy a tight turning radius of just 14.1 feet.
Occupants will appreciate the storage space under the front seat that securely stores equipment and gear in the standard 13-gallon storage bin with a water resistant lid. There is a handy glovebox as well as three dashboard pockets and two cup holders built into the bodywork in front of the dashboard.