Polaris Beefs up for US Military
Polaris Industries Inc. of Medina, Minn. has delivered a new vehicle to the United States Army at Fort Campbell, Ky.
The MVRS800 is a brawnier, militarized version of the Polaris’ side-by-side Ranger. The company has already been supplying the military a vehicle based on the Sportsman platform—the MV800.
“We’ve kind of done to (the Ranger) similar to what we did to the Sportsman,” Polaris Defense managing director Mark McCormick told ATV.com. “We’ve taken off some of the plastic and beefed up the suspension and provided kind of an exoskeleton for extra durability.”
The MVRS800 is powered by a 760cc, 40hp Patriot Engine that operates on JP8, the US military’s standard fuel. This breakthrough engine was first introduced by Polaris earlier this year on the MV800.
The Patriot engine was developed in partnership with Australian-based Orbital Corp. and provides nearly twice the horsepower as a compression diesel engine in its size. Polaris also offers a gasoline powered version of this vehicle called the MVRS700.
Beyond the engine, Polaris added keyless ignition, wiring for infrared lights, run flat tires and a completely sealed power train which can ford up to 30 inches of water.
Adaptability is another key feature of the MVRS800. The vehicle has a steel, flat front storage rack and multiple D-rings. The rear bed has fold-down sides and a track system that allows for accessories, including rear seating.
Unlike the bench seat of the Ranger, the MVRS800 has conformal seating that acts like a bucket seat. It also comes with tilt steering, a concept borrowed from the new Ranger RZR.
“We’ve benefited from some consumer updates that made sense for the military machine,” says McCormick.
The tilt steering is important since the vehicle needs to accommodate a variety of military personnel, including soldiers with gear and a full pack.
Polaris is already working on another version of the militarized Ranger.
“The MVRS will actually have the capability to be purchased next year in the 6X6 variant,” says McCormick.
Polaris began supplying the military with standard consumer vehicles in 2001. Though some militarized versions are now available, McCormick doesn’t think the military will buy those versions exclusively.
“I don’t think that all of our military customers that have been buying the consumer Ranger are necessarily going to buy an MVRS style,” says McCormick. “For base operations there is probably going to be some military customers that will be fine with a straight Ranger vehicle.
“But we were seeing a growing need for military customers that are going to have a real need for these vehicles to have more capability in the field. They needed something more than just a consumer vehicle.”