The high-performance sport UTV market is kind of like school in that every year the two biggest kids on the playground face off to assert some level of dominance. When everyone gets back from summer vacation, they all gather around on the playground once more to see who grew a little bigger and more powerful, again to see who is going to be the biggest kid in the sandbox. In the UTV world, the two big kids are Polaris and Can-Am, and every summer, we all gather around to see which one of these powerhouses is going to try to take over the playground again with the biggest, most powerful machine. Polaris brought out the RZR Pro R and Can-Am just took the wraps off the Maverick R. Which one will rule this year? Let’s take a look at them as they go head-to-head for the king of the hill. Here’s the Can-Am Maverick R vs Polaris RZR Pro R by the numbers UTV comparison.
The power crown
The newest kid on the block, the Can-Am Maverick R takes the horsepower title this round with a 240hp turbo-charged 999cc Rotax triple that is fuel injected and has an integrated intercooler and a massive high-volume air filter system to feed the R when it wants to eat. The motor is completely new for Can-Am and is based somewhat on the ACE 900 motor they have used for other machine platforms. The turbo is massive at 54mm and the whole thing runs off of Can-Am’s iTC drive-by-wire electronic throttle control that has three settings including Sport and Sport+, which cuts down on lag and widens the spacing between shifts.
Yes, you read that right – Shifts. The Maverick R takes a play from the Honda playbook and runs a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission with paddle shifters on the steering column. This cuts any CVT lag from the drive and puts you in direct control of how the power is delivered from the engine.
Polaris comes at the power title from a different angle. The Pro R comes with a massive 1997cc inline four-cylinder ProStar Fury 2.0 liter, 16 valve motor that produces 225 horses of naturally-asperated horsepower. This beast is designed for cool running, making it great for applications like desert racing. It is fed via electronic fuel injection and runs through Polaris’ PVT belt transmission, making it a more common transmission mated to a very large motor.
About that suspension
If you can’t already tell, Can-Am did something very different with the suspension design for the Maverick R. The front system uses a forged aluminum, heavy-duty tall knuckle double A-arm system with a sway bar. With the top model, they used FOX 2.5 PODIUM piggyback shocks with bypass and Smart-Shox technology featuring Live Valve generation 3 internals. This is good for 25 inches of wheel travel. The tall knuckle design is certainly eye-catching and is the center of much of the buzz surrounding this new machine. The rear setup uses a 4-link trailing arm with forged aluminum heavy-duty tall knuckle design and shocks bump up to the FOX PODIUM 3.0 Live Valve. They are good for 26 inches of wheel travel.
Polaris uses their Dynamix system for the top model of the Pro R. The DYNAMIX DV system uses selectable ride modes with Comfort, Rock, Track, and Baja modes that also learn from your driving habits and adapt the suspension to suit you. The front suspension setup uses a lightweight, boxed dual A-Arm with a three-piece stabilizer bar and a FOX PODIUM 3.0 Live Valve shock. This combines for 27 inches of suspension travel. The rear system uses a boxed trailing arm with a toe link design and high-clearance radius arms. It also has a three-piece stabilizer bar and also uses FOX PODIUM 3.0 Live Valve shocks for a combined 27 inches of suspension travel.
Ground clearance is 17 inches for the Can-Am and 16 inches for the Polaris. The Maverick rolls on 32-inch ITP Tenacity XNR tires wrapped around 16-inch wheels. The RZR Pro R rolls on 32-inch Maxxis Rampage Fury tires wrapped around 15-inch wheels.
Can-Am outfitted the Maverick R with a new 10.25-inch touchscreen that connects to your phone by way of the BRP Go! app, letting you access your apps through the Maverick and adjust the setting through your phone. The screen displays all of the R’s metrics as well as access to a front and rear camera.
The RZR uses the tried and trusted Polaris Ride Command system with a 7-inch glove-touch screen with full connectivity including shareable GPS, machine metrics, communications, and more. The Ride Command system also works with your phone and lets you connect with friends so you can communicate and track each other on the ride, even if they don’t have a Ride Command-equipped machine.
Tale of the tape
The 2024 Can-Am Maverick R comes with dimensions of 140 inches long by 78.1 inches wide and 71.5 inches in height for a two-seat machine. As of this moment, there is not a 4-seat version of the R, but we suspect that will change soon. It has a 108-inch wheelbase and a dry weight of 2,250 lbs dry. It has a 13.2-gallon fuel tank.
The 2024 Polaris RZR Pro R comes in at 136.5 inches long by 74 inches wide and 72.8 inches tall for the two-seat version. There is a 4-seat variation of the Pro R available, too. The two-seater has a 104.5-inch wheelbase and weighs 2,187 lbs dry. The Pro R has a 12-gallon fuel tank.
Pricing for the Maverick R X RS is $44,299 for the Smart Shock-equipped model. The Polaris RZR Pro R Ultimate Trim with Ride Command and Dynamix is priced at $40,999. Each machine is customizable with a bevy of accessories and options that will ultimately add to the cost.
To learn more about the Can-Am Maverick R, go to the Can-Am website.
Likewise, to learn more about the Polaris RZR Pro R, hit up the Polaris website.
Better yet, hit your local dealership up and check them out in person.