The fastest, sportiest Gator ever built
John Deere has been flirting with the sporty UTV segment in recent year, but for 2013 that flirtation has moved to a full-on love affair with the new Gator RSX850i. It’s been engineered to be faster, more powerful, and more agile than any Gator ever built. Think we’re blowing smoke? Does 62 hp and 53 mph get your attention?
“The Gator takes a huge evolutionary step forward with the launch of the new Gator RSX850i,” says David Gigandet, marketing manager, Gator utility vehicles. “Gators have always been known for durability, utility and safety. The RSX maintains all these qualities at its core, but the incredible power, exhilarating speed and precision handling are what set it apart in our portfolio. It’s the Gator fully evolved.”
To bring about these changes, the team at John Deere collaborated with design and engineering consultants for Formula One and NASCAR to create an all-new vehicle. The Gator RSX is the direct result.
There are three RSX models – the Gator RSX850i Sport, the RSX850i Trail and the Base RSX. The Sport model was designed for harsh desert and rocky, sandy terrains and includes sport seats, alloy wheels with Maxxis tires, PreRunner bumper, cargo box rails, sport steering wheel and FOX 2.0 Performance Series shocks.
The Trail Model was developed for hunting, fishing and back country trails. It features sport seats, alloy wheels with Maxxis tires, winch, front brushguard, two-inch front receiver hitch with recovery loops, rear bumper and cargo box rails. The Base RSX can be modified to need and taste with factory installed options. The RSX850i retails from $12,999 and John Deere has more than 70 attachments and accessories ready to fit the newest Gator.
All models come equipped with an 839 cc, V-twin, liquid cooled, four-cycle, gasoline motorcycle engine that produces 62 hp and a top speed of 53 mph. The engine also delivers 0-30 mph acceleration in three seconds. Advanced electronic controls and a fuel-injection system supply excellent starting, idling, and throttle response during operation. In addition, the closed-loop system offers dependable performance at high altitude and hassle-free cold weather starting (tested to -20 degrees F). The RSX also incorporates a large 7.4 gallon fuel tank.
The RSX utilizes a four-wheel independent suspension. A dual, wide arch A-arm design offer up 10.3 inches of ground clearance. The exclusive Multi-Link semi trailing arm independent rear suspension features 9.0 inches of wheel travel and moves wheels rearward in compression, which Deere says lowers the impact of terrain and improves the overall ride. Exclusive aluminum body monotube FOX shocks are standard on the Base and Trail models. While FOX 2.0 Performance Series shocks with full spring and compression adjustability come standard on the RSX Sport, and are available for aftermarket upgrade on the other models.
Entry and exit from the vehicle is made possible with an industry first automotive-style door for the operator and passenger. Side-by-side 35.5 inch high- performance sport seats combine proven, off-road riding experience and top automotive styling to enhance driver confidence and comfort. Deluxe high-back bucket seats on the base model are positioned to provide ample legroom, with large headrests for support during aggressive driving, and all seats tilt forward for ease of service and to keep dry during outdoor storage. In addition, the RSX features an ISO certified Roll-Over Protective Structure (ROPS) with three-point seat belts and multiple passenger-side grab handles.
As for storage, the Gator RSX offers 1.82 cubic feet of space in the glove box and under the hood, with additional storage in the center console and cup holders. An easy-to-read digital instrument panel displays a system diagnostic light, engine oil pressure light, park break light, seat belt indicator light, fuel level, and a 4WD indicator, among other vehicle gauges.
An 8.9-cubic-foot, polyethylene composite cargo box is a one-piece design with rounded inside corners to ensure material removal when tilted and has a 400-pound payload capacity. The tailgate can be opened or removed for easier cleanout and to carry longer items. The dumping mechanism is as simple as lifting a lever. Integrated tie-down points offer increased versatility and are incorporated in all four corners, on multiple points along the side walls and via tie-down bars on either side of the cargo box.
The new Gator RSX850i is available in Realtree Hardwoods HD Camo, olive and black or traditional John Deere green and yellow.
ATV.com will have a full review of the Gator RSX850i in the coming weeks.