Which UTVs Have the Most Horsepower?

Derrek Sigler
by Derrek Sigler
Which UTVs have the most horsepower? We decided to find out by looking at the specs to find the horsepower leaders in each UTV class.

There are two basic types of ATV/UTV buyer. On one hand, there are those that care about the numbers, with horsepower being at the top of that list. The other type of buyer cares more about function. Now most of us fall in between these two types, and that’s a good thing. I want a machine with enough power to get the job done, whatever that is, and have the functionality to do it right. We’ll cover some of the functional aspects in future articles, but know that functionality is truly in the eye of the beholder. What we can talk about is raw power. Horsepower numbers, as claimed by the manufacturer, are a big selling point across all the categories, so let’s dive in and see which machines can lay claim to the most horsepower.

Super Sport

Nikola NZT

These are your turbo-charged sport machines built for speed, speed and more speed. When we looked at this a few months ago, the Can-Am Maverick X3 Turbo R held the title with a whopping 172 horsepower claimed by the factory. Is that still the case? Yes and no. Now that the details are out of the Nikola NZT with an electric-driven drivetrain that produces up to an unbelievable 590 horsepower! Of course, you can’t buy one yet. You’ll have to wait for another year it seems, but the specs are out there, so we know it’s a real thing. Not to mention that Yamaha offers a turbo kit for the YXZ1000R now based off its snowmobile design. No official number from them, but we know from driving one that it’s high.


2019 Textron Wildcat XX

How about some naturally aspirated fun? Non-turbo sport machines offer up plenty of power and fun at prices that are often lower. Again, when we talked about this back in November, the top spot was held by the stellar Yamaha YXZ1000R with an impressive 112 horsepower, though Yamaha doesn’t advertise that number. Yamaha never likes to make horsepower claims because it likes to focus on the overall quality and usefulness of the machines. I can totally see it, too. I’ve never driven a Yamaha I didn’t love. Of course, now that Textron Off Road has brought out the Wildcat XX with its 125 pones, it can hold up the crown for having the most horsepower in its class for the time being. Of course, Yamaha still has something to say here, as there is some relation.


Textron Off Road Havoc X and Polaris General

This fast-growing segment of the market is a lot of fun too. These are the machines that can play hard and work hard, with a little more emphasis on the playing part. The most horsepower title is shared for the time being between two contenders. The Polaris General and the Textron Off Road Havoc X both boast 100 horsepower. Can-Am’s Commander 1000R is knocking on the door with 92 horses, which is an increase over previous models, but not quite enough to take the title.


2018 Can-Am Maverick Trail 1000 DPS and Polaris RZR 900 EPS

The 50-inch sport segment is a unique market for the manufacturers. The trick is to have a machine with enough power for a good time, yet not so much as to overpower the limitations of the width. Polaris held the edge over Textron’s Wildcat Trail until last year’s release of the Can-Am Maverick Trail. Now it and the RZR 900 share that title with a claimed 75 horsepower each. As competitive as those two brands are, that will undoubtedly change. Pretty cool for a smaller segment, too.


Mahindra Retriever 1000

This is a segment that rivals the super sports in the competitive nature of the manufacturers. After all, this is the segment where they make the most money, as more utility-class machines are sold over all other segments. Polaris held firmly onto the title of most powerful utility machine until Can-Am released the Defender HD10. Polaris fired back and last year released the new Ranger XP 1000 with 82 horsepower and a bold new look. Did this mean that the title would go back to the Ranger? Not just yet, as a new challenger stepped into the ring. Mahindra partnered up with Intimidator to come in swinging with the new Mahindra Receiver 1000, a sweet utility machine with lots of features and options – and a crowd-pleasing 83 ponies – the most horsepower in this class.

So, there they are – the horsepower leaders for the time being across the major categories. Is horsepower the final determining factor behind which is the best machine? No, of course not. That actually falls on you, as only you can decide which machine is best for you. We’re just here to give you some information to help you along the way.

Derrek Sigler
Derrek Sigler

Derrek's love for all things ATV started when he was a mere 11 years old, growing up on his family farm. His mom gave him and his sister a choice - get a horse, or a three-wheeler. The sister wanted the horse, and Derrek wanted the ATV. Luckily he won out, and was soon burning up the trails on a Yamaha Tri-Moto 200. By the time he was 14, he had saved enough of his own money by working on the farm and in his folks restaurant to buy a new 4-wheeler. That happened the day he and his mom were driving past the dealership and saw 1987 Banshee. His mom had no idea what he was buying, and he never looked back. He's been riding ever since, and been writing professionally for many years. He has ridden all over North America and been behind the controls of just about every machine out there. And yes, he still has his 1987 Yamaha Banshee.

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