POLARIS RZR XP 4 TURBO DYNAMIX EDITION TEST

— In the middle of the 2017 model year, Polaris offered Fox Edition RZR XP and XP 4 Turbos with high-end Fox IBP shocks. New for 2018, Polaris goes even bigger with the new Dynamix Edition XP Turbo (tested in November 2017) and XP 4 Turbo with Fox Live Valve IBP shocks controlled by Polaris’ Active Suspension SCM (suspension control module). Not only does the Dynamix (pronounced “die-NAM-ics”) smart suspension alter shock damping on the fly, it uses three modes to let the driver choose damping settings and a page in the Ride Command 7-inch display for monitoring the suspension. Let’s strap in and check it out!

Despite being a 168-horsepower turbocharged twin, the RZR XP 4 Turbo is a very capable machine at slow speeds. It has front and rear torsion bars and Dynamix Active Suspension to level the ride, yet it still articulates nicely in big rocks.

WHAT’S NEW FOR 2018?

Turbos got a big makeover for 2017, including improved cooling and durability, and Fox 2.5 front and 3.0 rear Podium LSC Internal Bypass (IBP) shocks with five compression-damping zones were added midyear. For 2018, RZR XP Turbos got a 900-watt charging system and new, much larger and higher-quality drive-shaft carrier bearing and sealed wheel bearings. Adding to the Fox Edition IBPs, Polaris’ Dynamix Live Valve suspension replaces the shock adjusters with magnetic solenoids or “intelligent electronic clickers” that adjust compression damping on the fly, effectively doubling the damping range. Seven vehicle inputs, including a three-axis gyro (yaw, pitch and roll) and three-axis accelerometer, are fed into the Active Suspension SCM, which sends damping orders to the individual shocks. The shocks alter damping in 40 milliseconds.

RZR XP Turbos, 1000s and 900s all use 93mm pistons, but Turbos have 9.0:1 compression versus 10.6:1 (900s) and 11.0:1 (1000s). A 68mm stroke yields 925cc, and the ProStar twin is fed by two 48mm EFI throttle bodies and the inter-cooled turbocharger to produce 168 horsepower. Driveline bearing upgrades for 2018 increase durability.

Dynamix stiffens the rear shocks on hard (over 95-percent throttle) acceleration, the outside shocks in turns and the front shocks under braking. The SCM stiffens the front shocks for 1.5 seconds if the brakes are quickly applied and released and throttle is applied, like one would do when approaching a washout. When the driver countersteers in a slide, the SCM keeps the outside shocks stiff, and a page in the Ride Command unit allows occupants to monitor what the Live Valve shocks are doing. Ride Command is also new to XP Turbos for 2018, allowing GPS tracking and ride sharing, GoPro controls, back-up camera use, vehicle setup and diagnostics, linking to smartphones and much more. Ride Command and Dynamix add 21 pounds to the overall weight. 

Triple-piston front calipers, two-piston rear calipers and 248mm rotors slow the XP Turbo down in a hurry, and the single master cylinder provides a much better feel at the brake pedal than the Maverick X3 Max’s dual master-cylinder system.

HOW DOES COST COMPARE?

The XP 4 Turbo starts at $22,499 with Walker Evans needle shocks and goes to $25,499 for the Fox Edition. The Dynamix Edition XP 4 Turbo is $28,499 with Ride Command. The 120-horsepower Can-Am Maverick X3 Max Turbo is $21,999. The X3 X ds Max is $27,499, and the X3 X rs Max is $29,399 to $29,599. The Maverick 1000R Max DPS is $19,599, and the Polaris XP 4 1000 starts at $20,499. The Ride Command LE is $21,999, and the High Lifter XP 4 is $23,899.

HOW FAST IS THE XP 4 TURBO?

Seriously fast. The 168-horsepower output is put to good use by aggressive clutch tuning, making it faster than an X3 from a standing start, yet the XP 4 is very controllable on gnarly rock-crawling obstacles. It tops out at 80 mph in high range and is very controllable in low as we tackled Sliplock and John’s Trail at Utah’s Sand Hollow State Park. The XP 4 Turbo is 196 pounds more than the two-seat XP, so, with only the driver aboard, the XP 4 is as fast as an XPT with two adults aboard.

Dual-sided intakes with frog skin feed the engine airbox and CVT cooling ducts, and all four seats get the T-Rail shoulder belt with adjustable top mount.

WHAT ABOUT THE CVT/EFI DELIVERY?

Aggressive and excellent. The CVT engages quicker than a Maverick X3, yet it’s very easy to control in rock crawling. There are no surprises, as the CVT spools up and the car gains speed in either range, and the EFI throttle map is spot-on. The Polaris On-Demand 4WD system adds to handling, as the front diff doesn’t engage until rear wheelspin is detected, which helps it turn in easier without the dreaded 4WD push.

HOW DOES THE DYNAMIX TURBO HANDLE?

Beautifully. The XP 4 Turbo is 27 inches longer than the XP Turbo, so it’s more stable in high-speed desert and dunes. Naturally, the XP 4 turns much slower than the two-seat XPT, but it turns tighter than the Maverick Max X3 with its 135-inch wheelbase. The XP 4 Turbo has a wheelbase that’s 18 inches shorter. Many top racers prefer the slower handling and extra storage of the XP 4. Front and rear torsion bars help the Live Valve shocks keep the ride level in turns.

The coolest part of the Dynamix is that, in sport mode, the SCM increases damping from 3 at 0–14 mph to 7 at 50 mph and above. In comfort mode, damping is 0–2, and firm maxes out damping at 10. Touch the shock icon on the main Ride Command page to access this page.

HOW DOES THE ACTIVE SUSPENSION WORK?

Very well. We like the ride quality of the Dynamix XP 4 better than the two-seat version. Comfort mode is great for rocks and choppy trail, and sport mode is great for most terrain. We bottomed the front shocks on G-outs in Sand Hollow’s dunes, and switching to firm ended bottoming with the flip of a switch. We also used firm for maximum ground clearance on Sliplock and John’s Trail obstacles. The coolest part of the system is that it increases damping forces as overall speeds increase and goes to full firm when the shocks extend fully during jumps; however, the Fox IBPs have a short secondary shock spring and no cross-over rings like Maverick X3s. Dynamix shocks are 95 percent conventional, so re-valving, shock piston and IBP port mods and aftermarket springs with cross-overs are still available improvements in ride quality.

Last year Turbos got the wider front end and grill for larger-engine and intercooler radiators. Although the Dynamix Edition has Ride Command, there is no front camera or door speakers, but they’re available accessories. Front travel is 16 inches, and front tires are 29x9R14 Maxxis Bighorns.

HOW STRONG ARE THE BRAKES?

Super strong. Triple piston front calipers and dual-piston rear calipers squeeze 248mm rotors via braided stainless steel brake lines. It slows down in a hurry, and feel at the pedal is excellent. By comparison, the dual master-cylinder setup on the Maverick X3 feels mushy and weak.

WHAT ABOUT ROCKS AND MUD?

The XP 4 Turbo is a fantastic rock crawler, and Dynamix makes it better. A front camera can be added to the Ride Command system for electronic spotting, and the Turbo has plenty of power for turning taller tires. It also has the power to tame deep mud, but the quarter doors don’t keep flung mud out of the cabin. Mudders will want half doors, a roof and over-fenders.

Beefier rear-wheel bearings join last year’s larger radius rods to increases durability. Fox Podium 3.0 IBP shocks have five damping zones and adjustable compression, but there is no cross-over ring for the dual-rate springs. Travel is still 18 inches.

WHAT ABOUT RIDE QUALITY AND CAB COMFORT?

Ride quality with the Fox Podium IBP shocks is an improvement over the Walker Evans needle shocks, and the three-mode Dynamix system is a huge improvement over the Fox Edition with twice the adjustment range.  Aftermarket companies like Shock Therapy and Race Tech can improve the ride further still.

Cabin comfort is very high with adjustable front seats and a nice tilt steering wheel, and all four bucket seats have the T-Rail lap/shoulder belt with adjustable top mount. Elbow- and legroom are ample, but large adults will find the rear-seat legroom cramped. The adjustable passenger T-bar is nice, and rear passengers have a full-width grab bar, but it’s not padded. Noise and vibration in the cabin are low, and the four drink holders are handy, but most will want to add an accessory roof and half-door kits. Audiophiles will want to add accessory speakers, as the Dynamix has AM/FM radio in the Ride Command but no door speakers or sound bar.

Polaris introduces the 2018 RZR XP 4 TurboDynamix Edition with Fox Live Valve Fox Podium IBP shocks controlled by Polaris’ Active Suspension SCM and Ride Command with 7-inch touchscreen readout. It’s the most high-tech XP 4 to date.

WHAT’S OUR FINAL ANSWER?

We like the Polaris RZR XP 4 Turbo better than the XP Turbo, and the Dynamix Edition with Ride Command and Active Suspension raises the performance bar even higher. Great throttle and CVT response make the XP 4 a super-capable, confidence-inspiring ride in all conditions, and the shock adjustability improves the ride quality further still. Ride Command puts the icing on the cake with next-level technology, including GPS and Bluetooth. Considering the Ride Command system, mount and camera come to $1900, the Dynamix Edition Active Suspension system costs $1100 when compared to the MSRP of the Fox Edition XP 4 Turbo. 

SPECS:

2018 POLARIS RZR XP 4 TURBO EPS DYNAMIX EDITION

ENGINE/TRANSMISSION

Engine type Liquid-cooled, 8-valve, DOHC 4-stroke twin

Displacement 925cc

Bore x stroke 93mm x 68mm (x2)

Compression ratio 9.0:1

Lubrication system Wet sump

Additional cooling Auto fan

Induction Turbocharged, 48mm EFI (x2)

Starting/back-up Electric/none

Starting procedure Turn ignition switch

Air filter:

  Type Paper pleat

  Access Tool-less, undo two straps

Transmission Dual-range CVT w/ reverse

Reverse procedure Move range selector to “R”

Drive system Selectable 2WD/4WD w/ auto diff-lock

Final drives Shafts

DIMENSIONS/CAPACITIES/WEIGHTS

Fuel capacity 9.5 gal.

Wheelbase 117.0”

Overall length/width/height 146”/64”/73.75”

Ground clearance 13.5”

Claimed dry weight 1,696 lb.

Bed weight limit 300 lb.

Hitch No

Towing limit N/A

ROLLING CHASSIS

Frame Steel round tube

Suspension/wheel travel:

  Front Dual A-arm w/ prel./comp.-adj.

Fox Live Valve IBP shocks/16”

  Rear IRS Trailing-arms w/ prel./comp.-adj.

Fox Live Valve IBP shocks/18”

Brakes/actuation:

  Front Hydraulic discs/left-side pedal

  Rear Hydraulic discs/left-side pedal

Parking Lever on console

Tires:

  Front AT 29x9R14 Maxxis Bighorn

  Rear AT 29x11R14 Maxxis Bighorn

ELECTRICAL

DC outlet Console

Lighting:

  Front 2 LED hi/lo headlights

  Rear Dual LED brake/tail lights

DETAILS

Instrumentation…Ride Command, Speed/odo/trip/hour/

rpm/fuel/gear/clock/2WD-4WD

Colors Ghost Grey, Velocity Blue; Fox Edition: Matte

Sunset Red; Dynamix Edition: Black Pearl

Minimum recommended operator age 16

Suggested retail price $22,499; Fox Edition: $25,499;

Dynamix Edition, $28,499

Contact Polaris, (800) POLARIS

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