When it comes time to beef up the performance of your Polaris RZR, there’s no better or easier way on the planet to make horsepower than by adding a turbo. For the last few years, several companies in the turbo game have entered the market. However, none produce a kit that installs as easily or provides as much reliability as the turbo offered by MCX-USA. Take one trip to Glamis and you can’t swing a dead cat without hitting someone rocking a turbo on their rig. In my neck of the woods in heavenly Appalachia, though, turbos on side-by-sides aren’t nearly as prevalent. The main reason is that running an intercooled turbo in the mud creates a different set of challenges than running one in the dunes. Dependent upon your wheeling locale, MCX-USA or Complete Performance has you covered if a turbo is at the top of your wish list!
At the heart of both kits are a number of parts they share in common. A head shim, boost gauge, complete exhaust system, the MCX turbo, MCX’s magical EFI controller and MCX’s proprietary altitude adjusting Turbo Control Valve (TCV) are present no matter which kit you choose. The main factor needed to pick which company you buy your kit from is dependent upon what type of intercooler you need.
The MCX-USA air-to-air intercooler contains less parts and weighs less, mainly because the intercooler contains no fluid, requires no fan, has no coolant tubing and no pump or extra wiring harness. On this kit, heat from the turbo is dissipated by the air that flows through the air-to-air intercooler. This kit (clutch not included) is most ideal for wide-open spaces like the desert where airflow is prevalent and a day of mud riding isn’t in your daily routine.
Complete Performance’s turbo kit (clutch included) replaces the typical air-to-air intercooler with a water-to-air intercooler and a separate heat exchanger hidden under the hood. This not only makes the intercooler mud-tolerant, it also is said to produce quicker boost, generate less heat and provide more power! The other added benefit is the fact that, since the intercooler and air filter somehow fit into the location where the stock airbox once lived, the RZR still retains the full use of its bed. To the untrained eye, the vehicle also looks practically stock!
The Complete Performance kit also provides a high-flow Donaldson airbox, a severe-duty EPI belt and clutch springs, adjustable STI clutch weights pretuned for the mud and a wiring harness that makes plugging in the intercooler water pump and fan a breeze. CP will also modify the 2011 RZR-S hood to incorporate a functional hood scoop vent that delivers fresh air to the heat exchanger if your heart desires.
For the average Joe possessing a fair amount of mechanical experience and a lot of patience, the installation is manageable. The most difficult task for me was pulling the head off the engine to install a shim that lowers compression. If you hit a snag, both Dave and Keith from Complete Performance or Trey from MCX-USA are all a phone call or text message away from bailing you out. I required their assistance several times during the install, and they always picked up the phone. Now that’s customer service!
For the bean counters out there keeping score, these boosted RZRs with an otherwise stock engine double the horsepower of a stock machine at 11 psi of boost! After experiencing both kits firsthand, I can envision our RZR-S landing a starring role in the next Transformers movie, sporting the name “Sleeper.” During our travels, nobody had any idea we were running a turbo until we explained how we could absolutely roll by them at will. The ability to do that is absolutely euphoric!
My favorite feature about either turbo was the fact that our RZR immediately assumed a Jekyll and Hyde personality. If I had it on a tight trail, went rock-crawling or wanted to putt around the farm, it was very drivable and nearly transparent. However, if raising hell was in my plans, all it took was mashing my right foot into the floorboard for immediate boosted satisfaction. If dreams of turbocharged RZRs dancing in your head keep you up at night, give our pals at MCX-USA and Complete Performance a ring! -Lance Schwartz
|+||A turbo to meet every RZR owner's individual |
|needs! Double the horsepower of your buddy's RZR!|
|-||An expensive investment|
|=||A significant but reliable power increase with a high price tag|