For anyone that got a chance to see the wreck-fest that was also known as the 2012 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb (PPIHC) , you may have noticed an odd vehicle resting just inside the top-10 standings. This vehicle was a Polaris RZR-X... That’s right, a UTV managed to sneak its way into the top-10 with a finishing time of 10:40.669.
This is not a normal RZR-X that you would see sitting in a local bike shop. Oh, no. It’s owner, Doug Siddens, and his crew have this RZR-X tuned to the gills, making it outrun some of the most exotic cars in the world.
In addition, if you were to sit this RZR next to any other RZR in the world, you would barely be able to tell that they are the same vehicle. Doug’s beast features all of the fixins needed to make it into a true race car, err, race UTV.
Mr. Siddens was so kind to actually take the time out to send us a laundry list of what the vehicle has and we chose to provide our readers with a full review of this amazing Polaris RZR.
Click past the jump to read this entire review, as well as see some awesome pics and videos of Doug’s impressive Polaris.
Let’s start by having a look at a standard Polaris RZR-S, which is what this monster started its life as. As you can see, the Polaris RZR boasts essentially your basic, everyday UTV look: a short snout, open doors, a roll cage, a short rear end, and knobby off-road tires. Not much is too awful exciting about it. They are cool, but nothing phenomenal.
Having a look at Doug Sidden’s Polaris RZR, you may not see the actual vehicle in there at first. When you look a little closer, you actually can see the stout front end. This front end is well hidden by a huge carbon fiber front element by DHP Composites that gives this UTV a sort of sprint-car-like look. The headlights were removed and all that remains are empty cavities, which is obviously just to save a little weight.
The doors, which are normally wide open, are sealed by a set of body-colored panels, which is likely a requirement to race this RZR in the PPIHC. Affixed to the top of the RZR’s roll cage is another body-colored panel to help keep the cockpit closed off and reduce drag.
On the rear section, you’ll notice that it is slightly more enclosed than the standard RZR-S. Also attached to the back end is a massive DHP Composites carbon-fiber wing to add a little more downforce to the rear wheels.
In total, Siddens’ RZR comes in at 1,500 lbs, which is about 478 lbs more than it started its life weighing. Not too much weight gain, considering all of the extra muscle it has packed on through its development.
The outside of this beast is amazing in itself. All of the work that went into what Doug calls his “farm implement” to make this thing not only race ready, but a top-10 finisher in one of the most notorious cult races in American history, is simply awe inspiring.
Siddens calls his creation’s driveline simply “beefed up,” leaving a little mystery to it. We do know that it boasts the stock RZR-S CVT system and Billet STM Clutches. Typically, these RZRs come as 4-wheel-drive vehicles, but Doug and his crew converted it to rear-wheel drive so they could fit all of the aero pieces and slick tires on it.
The RZR-S comes stock with a 760cc high-output twin-cylinder engine. The exact horsepower output of the stock RZR engine is not disclosed, but we assume it is somewhere in the 40-horsepower range. This, of course, was not nearly enough for the PPIHC, so Doug and his crew ripped the 760cc powerplant out and installed a 998cc Yamaha Apex 4-cylinder engine, which makes this a RZR-X convert. To help keep things cool, this RZR-X had its radiator moved, while adding a front-mounted oil cooler and a rear-mounted fuel cooler.
The additional displacement still wasn’t enough, so Siddens strapped a little forced air to the Yamaha plant by way of MCX-USA 19T turbo kit, which includes an air-to-air intercooler. We’re not too sure how much boost this puppy is pushing, but it’s enough to get his RZR-X to 300 horsepower. The engine swap alone runs $18,500, per MCX-USA’s site. Phew. But this thing sure makes one sweet noise – a noise I have never heard from a RZR, and I used to service them. Check out the video below to see Siddens’ RZR-X in action at this year’s PPIHC and hear this amazing noise.
Handling and Braking
This year, the PPIHC was a paved course, so the knobby tires on the RZR-X wouldn’t work too well. For this reason, Doug and his team tossed a set of racing slicks under the body of this beast. In addition to upgraded tires, they also installed full-floating Brembo brakes on the front end – full floaters help reduce brake drag and heat on the braking system – and they left the rear brakes as they were from the factory.
In all, we find Doug Siddens’ RZR-X an absolute phenom in the world of racing. Not only is it compact and easy to handle, but it is also super fast and pretty sexy in a way. To see it run a 10:40 on Pikes Peak is amazing too and is a tribute to Doug’s ingenuity and driving skill.
Hats off to everyone involved in building this beast. Now all we need to do is convince Doug to let us drive it, so we can figure out if it’s as fun as it looks...
- 300-horsepower 100cc engine!
- Sounds phenomenal
- A UTV beating up on supercars
- Had to be expensive
- We haven’t driven it yet
- Doug and his team likely won’t let us drive it...