There are times when being an editor at this magazine is much like being a big game hunter on safari in Africa. We're always on the prowl for the biggest and baddest machine that companies have to offer. On rides where we're either testing or just out for fun, we're always keeping our eyes open to spot a new or unusual machine a company might be testing but has never shown to the public eye. Coming across a find like that can only be compared to finding the most elusive animal in the Sahara Desert that we've been tracking for days on end. At other times we're completely taken off guard when a company calls us up to let us know it has a brand-new machine ready for us to test and inform our readers all about.
Most recently while surfing the web I visited the Polaris Industries website and came across information on a brand-new side-by-side machine so unique that I was surprised we hadn't heard about it before it was released to the public. Ever since the SxS market took off there has been a high demand for a machine that could carry more than two people but also offers good performance and handling. While Polaris already had those two individual wants met with the Ranger Crew and Ranger RZR S models, it took it one step further by merging the designs and releasing the all-new Ranger RZR 4 Robby Gordon Edition. There it was right on the Minnesota company's homepage, a sport-performance four-seat SxS. I was instantly on the phone with Polaris to find out how soon I could get my hands on one to do some testing.
Not long after that phone call, I was on my way to a local dealership to pick up my brand spanking new RZR 4. As I pulled up to the dealership, the machine was out front waiting to be loaded onto my trailer. At first sight this is one very sharp-looking machine with its Board Walk blue and pearl white-painted plastic complemented by the Robby Gordon graphics kit. Another eye-catching feature is the set of cast-aluminum black Bruiser wheels wrapped by 26-inch Maxxis Bighorn tires on the front and rear. A simulated carbon fiber hood and special color-matched seats added a nice touch to the RZR 4 as well.
There is no mistaking this machine was designed to carry four adults because you can see the difference in the length of the machine compared to the RZR or RZR S. The new RZR 4 is 30 inches longer than its siblings to accommodate the passenger capacity. While the rear seats look compact, I jumped in to give them a quick test and was relatively comfortable; mind you, I am also 6-foot-1 and weigh in at just over 250 pounds. Part of this could also be that Polaris also raised the rear seats compared to the front, giving passengers more legroom. This also bumped up the overall height of the machine from 70 inches on the RZR S to 75 on the RZR 4.
Back on my feet, I continued my walk-around of the unit to give the suspension a closer look. If you get back and look head on at the RZR 4, it would be hard to tell the difference between this model and the RZR S since they use all of the same suspension components. The width and amount of suspension travel on the RZR 4 are exactly the same as the RZR S, the only difference being the front and rear shocks. The RZR 4 comes with the Fox Podium X 2.0 shocks that feature piggyback reservoirs and are preload- and compression-adjustable only. The springs installed on these shocks are definitely beefier than the S model to accommodate the increased load capacity. I've driven the RZR S and was very happy with the handling of that machine, so this left high expectations for the RZR 4.