Utility vehicle manufacturer Polaris has launched a new electric 4-wheeler that it calls “the hardest-working, smoothest-riding UTV ever built.” The Ranger XP Kinetic features a new electric powertrain that Polaris developed in partnership with Zero Motorcycles.
Polaris points out that an electric powertrain offers many advantages for off-road utility vehicles. “It delivers smooth, precise control at low speeds, so customers will have full control and confidence while towing, backing up to a trailer or spraying a fence line. When it’s time to have some fun, the instantaneous torque also delivers quicker acceleration for an exhilarating ride.”
The absence of engine noise enables en route conversations, stealthy trips to hunting spots, and quiet operation around horses and other livestock. Fewer moving parts means less maintenance—scheduled maintenance costs are expected to be 70% less compared to similar gas-powered vehicles.
The Wuling Hongguang Mini EV costs the equivalent of just £3400 / CDN$5800 / USD$4500. So, what’s it like to drove on the road?
If you want a real motoring bargain, you need to go to China. The cheapest car on sale there is the Wuling Hongguang Mini EV, which will cost you the equivalent of £3400 – merely the PCP deposit on most cars. Unsurprisingly, such affordable motoring has proven popular: Wuling has sold 370,000 examples in just 12 months.
Wuling is a Chinese car firm you’re probably not too familiar with. It was founded in 2007 in the city of Liuzhou, near the border with Vietnam. But you will know the others involved in the joint venture that builds the Mini EV: General Motors has a 44% share and MG parent firm SAIC 50.1%, with Wuling the remaining 5.9%.
The Mini EV is a three-door electric microcar, and while those aren’t new in China, this is the first one to truly have success. Part of the reason for that is its stripped-back nature. Some of this stems from its development: the model supposedly went from clean sheet to production in only around a year – which is entirely believable when you get close to one. Compared with the heavier but more stylish Baojun E300, the Mini EV really goes back to basics. A dual waistline along with obvious arches for the 12in wheels accent very boxy looks.