2012 Polaris RZR XP 4 900 First Look

December 20, 2011
JC Hilderbrand
JC Hilderbrand
Off-Road Editor|Articles|Articles RSS|Blog |Blog Posts |Blog RSS

Hilde is holding down the fort at MotoUSA’s Southern Oregon HQ. With world-class dirt bike and ATV trails just minutes away, the hardest part is getting him to focus on the keyboard. Two wheels or four, it doesn’t matter to our Off-Road Editor so long as it goes like hell in the dirt.

2012 Polaris RZR XP 4 900
Polaris expands its four-seater lineup, now offering XP performance in a four-passenger package in the RZR XP 4.

The four-seater UTV market has expanded with the 2012 Polaris RZR XP 4 900. Polaris Industries unveiled its latest offering, which melds the extra passenger capacity of the RZR 4 with the increased performance of the XP model.

We’ve been wishing for it ever since the RZR XP came out, saying: “if only they put that engine in the RZR 4.” Polaris has gone a step further, not simply building up the four-seater’s engine, but adapting the XP 900 chassis to accept another set of passengers. That means the 2012 Polaris RZR XP 4 900 will have the three-link trailing-arm suspension introduced last year and even beefier high-performance shocks.

Sharing the off-road riding experience with a passenger is great, and with the introduction of four-seat models in the past couple years, it’s obvious that it can be even more fun with the whole family along. Polaris has been cranking out a new side-x-side every year since the introduction of the original RZR 800.

2012 Polaris RZR XP 4 900 Photos


The 2012 RZR XP 4 900 uses the specifically designed ProStar 900 engine tuned for extreme UTV use. This is an 875cc DOHC Parallel Twin with fuel injection that cranks out a claimed 88 horsepower. We constantly wish for the more muscular engine every time we drive the standard RZR 4 in the dunes, so this should be an excellent match for the added weight of a larger frame and human cargo. The ProStar is located in the traditional XP position behind the seats which helps keep the center of gravity down low. The intake system is routed up high and the engine is accessible through a removable panel in the small utility bed. Also, the engine is arranged so that the CVT transmission belt is accessible through the rear driver’s side wheel well.

We recently sampled another 2012 four-seater during the 2012 Kawasaki Teryx4 First Ride and it’s a safe assumption that the XP 4 will have more oomph in the engine department. The automatic PVT transmission uses final shaft drive to deliver selectable 2WD/AWD.

2012 Polaris RZR XP 4 9002012 Polaris RZR XP 4 9002012 Polaris RZR XP 4 900
The XP 4 shares similar features with its two-seat brother. A longer wheelbase and switch to Walker Evans shocks are the big changes.

As part of the XP family, the new four-passenger ride gets the three-link trailing arm independent rear suspension arrangement. This trophy truck-esque design allows the RZR to carry very high speeds over rough terrain. Suspension components deviate from the two-seat XP with new Walker Evans shocks instead of the Fox units. Up front are 2-inch body, piggyback reservoir shocks with compression and preload adjustment. Out back are slightly larger 2.5-inch body Premium Walker Evans shocks. These are also compression and preload adjustable. The new WE sticks offer 13.5 inches (front) and 14 inches (rear) of travel.

Wheelbase is stretched to 107.4 inches but offers 12.5 inches of ground clearance which will be great when loaded with four people. Overall length is 134.4 inches and claimed dry weight climbs to 1390 pounds. The RZR XP 4 is not equipped with power steering, but EPS comes standard on the Limited Edition version.

2012 Polaris RZR XP 4 900
Wheelbase is stretched to 107.4 inches, but still offers 12.5 inches of ground clearance, which can be an issue with four-seaters.

From the exterior it looks very similar to the two-seat version with aggressive red bodywork, high black fender flares, red suspension springs and trailing arm and a black roll cage. It has LED headlights which have proven ridiculously good on the two-seater. Bucket seats are all black and interchangeable. The entire seat removes allowing for easier cleaning and to be used around a campsite if desired. The XP 4 rolls on 27-inch ITP 900 XCT tires wrapped around 12-inch cast aluminum wheels. The base model starts at $17,999 with the accessory-loaded Liquid Silver LE with EPS upgrade version reaching $19,499.

Considering the RZR 4 and RZR XP 900 are two of our absolute favorite off-road machines, combining the two has us in a hurry to get our hands on the tilt steering wheel. Polaris still offers the RZR 4 800 Robby Gordon Edition ($14,999) and EPS Robby Gordon LE ($15,799), which now represent the budget-minded option of four-seat RZR performance.

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