Polaris Introduces Innovative UTV Tank in Recent Patent Filing

No roads needed for our destination ahead.

Side-by-sides are highly versatile vehicles that can conquer various terrains. They are resilient to weather conditions such as rain, snow, and darkness, as long as they have a skilled driver and the right equipment.

However, this is not consistently true.

There are times when even the skills of top side-by-side vehicles and expert drivers can be thwarted. Thick mud, swamps, sand, and dense backcountry vegetation can all present obstacles for these vehicles. While you can make modifications to your UTV to improve its performance in these conditions, there is no solution that works flawlessly every time.

However, do you know what never gets stuck or stopped in its tracks? A tank. And that is apparently why Polaris, manufacturer of the Ranger and RZR UTVs, has patented a UTV tank. Or as they refer to it, a “Tracked All-Terrain Vehicle.”

UTVs have been equipped with accessory tracks for quite some time, however, these tracks typically attach to the vehicle’s hubs. Due to being added as an afterthought, they are likely to malfunction and can make it challenging to control the UTVs.

However, there is no central connection present in this design. Although the patent’s illustrations may resemble the interior of Polaris’ two-seater Ranger UTVs, the vehicle takes a different direction by incorporating a waterproof hull design and using two sets of tank-like tracks for propulsion.

The vehicle is designed to be both land and water-resistant, as stated in the patent disclosure, “More particularly, vehicle 10 is configured for both land and amphibious operation. In the case of amphibious operation, the waterline of the vehicle with a capacity load would be represented by line 26, as best shown in Fig. 3.” It is capable of supporting up to “1,600 kg” of payload in its current state, but the patent suggests that this capacity could be expanded.

The front of the tracked Polaris resembles the rear deck of a Ranger or RZR, complete with elevated lights, a tow hitch, and two tow hooks. Similarly, the rear of the vehicle has a nearly identical setup. According to the patent, each of the two tow bars is expected to have a rating of “500-1,000 lbs” each.

Additionally, the entire system is driven by a “twin-cylinder engine,” possibly sourced from Polaris’ RZR lineup, and linked to the tracks using a CVT. This is corroborated by the patent filing, which states, “In one embodiment, vehicle 10 may be configured to travel at speeds of approximately 50 mph during land operation.” It is likely that only a few engines would have the capacity to manage the weight and torque needed for the operation of this vehicle.

It is equipped with snorkels as well.

However, the most striking features are the tracks themselves, which cover the entire sides of the vehicle. It truly resembles a compact tank or a civilian variant of the remarkable Ripsaw tank tested by the Department of Defense.

This is all the information we can gather from the patent, since there are limited details on suspension configurations, power output, and potential release date of the Polaris tank UTV. The patent does reference controls similar to skid steers, suggesting separate pedals for each track, although without additional patent illustrations, it’s hard to say for certain.

Honestly, I truly wish that this becomes a reality as this product seems very exciting and I hope Polaris decides to release it for sale.

What are your thoughts on this? Would you drive a tank-like UTV? I certainly would.

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