by Jon Crowley on 23/09/12 at 4:24 pm
By Jon Crowley, UTVGuide.net
With the new Can-Am Maverick unveiled at the Sand Sports Super Show, everyone is wondering how it stacks up against the Polaris RZR XP and the Arctic Cat Wildcat. This marketing video is obviously from Can-Am/BRP and shows the new 101 horsepower Maverick besting the competition. I cannot wait to get behind the wheel so I can report back my findings. In the meantime, lets dive into the specs and see what we can learn. You can actually gleam quite a bit if you look at how these vehicles stack up on paper.
Maverick vs. RZR XP vs. Wildcat
Overall Length and Wheelbase
The new Maverick has an overall length of 118″. This compares to 108″ for the RZR XP and 120″ for the Wildcat. Wheelbase is 84.3″ for the Maverick, 81.3″ for the RZR XP and 90″ for the Wildcat. And just for illustration, the Commander has a 118″ overall length and a 75.8″ wheelbase. The comparison between the Maverick, RZR XP and Wildcat puts the Maverick right in that mix. The longer wheelbase creates a much more stable platform for going fast in rough terrain, and this is clearly evident in this comparison.
Overall Width and Wheel Travel
64 inch track width seems to be the magic number because the Maverick, RZR XP and Wildcat are all 64″. When it comes to stuffing as much wheel travel as possible into the 64″ width, the Maverick and RZR XP are right at 14″. but the Wildcat has 17″ front and 18″ rear wheel travel. Clearly the Wildcat is king but we will have to see how the whole package works before drawing further conclusions.
When comparing the three current sport UTVs, it would be hard to not look more in-depth into their rear suspension. Can-Am has taken a different path with the new Maverick and used what they call Torsional Trailing A-Arms (TTA) Independent Rear Suspension. The innovative TTA rear suspension on the Maverick 1000R is engineered to be compact, lightweight, efficient and deliver the performance sport enthusiasts demand. This is a compact version of a five-link suspension for no bump steer and the lowest scrub for optimized bump absorption and tire-to-ground contact. It also has less rear unsprung weight than other sport side-by-sides. The system features a double A-arm setup where each A-arm acts as two links and uses a toe-control link as the fifth link. The result is a more condensed and lighter package with less pivot points and spherical ball joints making it more durable because it reduces free play and wear, and is more resistant to undercarriage damage. Engineers designed the TTA to allow for optimal geometric weight transfer to enhance the tire-to-ground contact, while at the same time increasing its bump absorption, traction and, ultimately, overall control of the suspension.
If you read the marketing hype from each manufacturer, each of theirs is the best design. Figuring out which works best will probably depend on riding terrain and driving style. I think it is awesome that we have choices!
On paper, the Maverick tops the scale with 101 HP. The RZR XP has 88 HP and the Wildcat has 85 HP.But when you add in vehicle weight and divide by horsepower, it tells even more of a story.The Maverick is 1295 lbs., the RZR XP is 1190 lbs. and the Wildcat is 1305 lbs. Doing a little math, the Maverick sits at 12.8 lbs. per horsepower. The RZR XP is at 13.5 lbs. and the Wildcat is at 17.12 lbs. Obviously you want the least amount of weight per horsepower and the Maverick more than makes up for the extra 100 lbs. over the RZR XP by adding power.