Alright folks, I decided to go on the ride today to see what this thing looked like. Unfortunately, since it was a prototype, law enforcement busted the shop manager for not having license plates on them (he had his RZR clone and another 2011 prototype ATV) so they couldn't take them up the mountain.
However, after we got back, I checked out the clone for a bit and even was allowed to drive it. Here are some pics:
There are definitely some differences with this thing. A couple of them are that it has built-in brights, a fully digital cluster, and built-in turn signals. I wish Polaris would note these things.
However, when I drove it (when the Forest Service rangers were not around), my opinion changed a bit. It felt under-powered and the throttle was a bit mushy. I really had to romp on it to get it to go. Clutch engagement did not sound good and it squealed and lurched a bit every time I stopped and started.
The ride was a little rough and there were quite a bit of squeaks and rattles. I was a little nervous about the clearance and took it quite slow over some of the larger stuff, but it never bottomed out. Something about it just felt... big - it might have been that I am used to the slimmer body style of the RZR - I don't know.
The positives were that it sounded good, ran well, and the instrument cluster was a pleasure to look at. I also appreciated the hand brake. The brakes in general felt solid too. I wish I could have driven it further to really understand the suspension, but at the end of the test drive, I was ready to jump back into the RZR. Biased? Probably - I'm a Polaris fan. I think I really made the right choice with a tried and true and high-quality model.
I also rode one of their prototype ATV's, and, I have to say, the ride was surprisingly cushy. Very impressed. It handled much better than I thought and felt good. My right leg got a little toasty though from whatever component was putting out the heat. Maybe some of that ride quality will rub off onto their RZR clone.
Here's another picture for fun on top of the mountain we climbed. The orange/red vehicle in the back left is a fellow RZR (had a blower, modified exhaust, and some kind of tricked-out shocks and springs - I also got a chance to drive that thing and it really moves!).
The yellow ATV next to my RZR is a CF Moto as well.
So there it is folks. I did my homework and now I appreciate my RZR even more than before!