In late 2012 Polaris presented its new Non-Pneumatic Tire (NPT) technology to the Association of the United States Army (AUSA), a “non-profit educational organization that supports America’s active Army, National Guard, Reserve, Civilians, Retirees, Government Civilians, Wounded Warriors, Veterans and family members.” By mid-2013 the company had signed deals with both US Special Ops and the German Army to provide tactical vehicles, giving the option of having those vehicles equipped with NPTs. The tires feature a honeycombed interior design to ensure they never go flat. Polaris asserts that the NPTs will operate normally even with 30% of the web damaged. To test its claims the company put in over 350 miles after an NPT took fire from a 50-caliber round. Further testing included 1000 miles with a three-inch rail-road spike lodged in the webbing.
Up until now NPTs have only been available on military vehicles, but in early 2013 the company promised the technology would eventually make its way to consumer markets. The announcement of the new Sportsman WV850 H.O. with Terrain Armor is the realization of that promise and Polaris will make a limited quantity of the vehicles available to consumers in December 2013.
“We have seen great success with NPTs in military and disaster relief scenarios and are excited to bring this technology to the consumer market for extreme work applications,” said David Longren, vice president of Polaris’ Off-Road Division.
The Sportsman WV850 H.O. is powered by the same fuel-injected Twin found in the XP 850 H.O. The WV is equipped with a high-capacity liquid-cooling system to handle extended rides and high temperatures. It shares the same double A-Arm front and rear suspension set-up as the XP, but comes with an updated shock package for better handling over harsh terrain or while carrying a heavy load. Carrying capacity for the WV850 H.O.’s steel racks is rated at 600 total pounds, 200 out front and 400 on the rear. The WV850 H.O. is a bigger beast than the XP, with a 57-inch wheelbase (up four inches over the XP) and a claimed dry weight of 1114 pounds. That’s 341 pounds more than the XP 850 H.O. The WV850 H.O. is also slightly longer, wider and taller than the XP but has a quarter of an inch less ground clearance as 11.25 inches.
The NPTs have been dubbed “Terrain Armor” tires and Polaris asserts that, in addition to never going flat, the tires will contribute to a lower center of gravity and help improve cornering ability on the Sportsman. Also included in the new WV850 H.O. is a military-grade, single-gear automatic transmission with forward and reverse. The machine comes with a two-inch receive hitch that can tow up to 1500 pounds and a 3500-pound winch. The WV850 H.O. will carry 11.75 gallons of fuel total, 6.5 gallons of which is held in reserve, and comes with Electronic Power Steering standard.
Other military-grade features include the shift-lever lock, push bumper, full body steel exoskeleton, updated chassis and wider footwells.
There is no MSRP listed as yet for the WV850 H.O., which will only be available in Polaris’ Avalanche Grey colorway.