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by Nick Olson

We’ve been waiting patiently for our Speed UTV… Should we be concerned about what Polaris or Can-Am has in store for us come 2022??


where’s the speed UTV and will we see it before this desert season what’s happening everybody Nickolson chupacabra off-road and it’s April of 2021 we have not seen the speed UTV in real life in the customer’s hands but there has been a lot of progress since I made this last video about the speed which was me accessorizing my el jefe when that was almost six months ago so hard to believe that uh the speed team’s been going at it with the live presentations for over a year I think they’re about 54 or 55 presentations deep at this point it was about a year ago where they started telling us what this vehicle would be which ended up being far different than the prototype they showed at the sand show in September of 2019. so fast forward six months from my last video let’s bring you guys up to date on what’s been going on if you haven’t been following closely like i have so while the speed team did miss some of the deadlines originally they were hoping that the first car is gonna be in production by around thanksgiving time uh they’ve been slowed down they want to make sure that the vehicle’s right fast forward to about a month and a half ago and they have built and have been testing a prototype ljfa4 seater now this is the second prototype vehicle they’ve been testing uh they put a lot of mileage on this vehicle in and around parker arizona as well as more recently taking it down to baja and using it to pre-run the san felipe 250 which robbie gordon raced in his trophy truck a few weeks back now this prototype isn’t 100 production the chassis is similar but it was built house a couple other little things like there are no inner door panels the front differential is machined from billet versus being cast like the production model will be and a couple other little changes it does have a carbon fiber body but they did say all the stock driveline components have been used and tested and testing has gone really well uh they did surprise us with a outer cvt belt cover which had a built-in fan now this is a fan that probably wouldn’t work well for those of you guys who are putting these things in the mud in the water moisture uh deep river crossings that type of thing but for those of us in the southwest it’s probably not going to be a big deal they they talked a little bit about it and i’m sure i’ve been using it to make sure they keep their belt temperatures low and from what we’ve seen and heard so far from the team the belts have held up really well so if you want to see some of the testing videos you can check out their youtube channel we’ll link it below or you can join the speed utv facebook group which is really good if you want to stay up to date on what’s happening and speaking of which there was an important update on april 9th from the team and speed which states we have kicked off production of 10 full assembly line builds 100 production cars with production bodies these are the same cars the customers will be receiving these cars are a month away and mid-may is when we will see these production cars so in my opinion this is a big deal finally we’re going to see some production vehicles with all the production components 100 we’re going to see these things being tested and it’s going to be our first real look at what the customer can expect to bring home in their garage hopefully sooner rather than later speaking of assembly line robbie gordon has shared some production components being welded up they were talking about the robots they’ve been using to build all these chassis components now they’ve been teaching the robots to weld more efficiently and put out higher quality welds than any other brand on the market to get back to testing as a whole they said it went really well which it appears to be it seems like the car when they were testing and it was running you know every single day there were no big times where i had a lot of downtime or major critical issues that occurred with the driveline components or the motor etc and they’ve also been really transparent robbie gordon mentioned that the steering rack had something that it didn’t really like the feel or how it was working so they re-engineered a lot of parts to kind of test and make some changes to the steering rack so by the time we all get our production models this issue will have been resolved so since the vehicle has been running around there have been a lot of customers that have been out and seen the vehicle sat in it some have been lucky enough to go for some rides in it and i can only imagine this is going to continue to happen once these next 10 production cars are out and about they’re going to need a lot of bodies to output more miles on them and make sure the fit and finish of all the components are good and ready to go to really turn on that assembly line and get those production units cranking so once these cars arrive the game plan for the speed team is put them through one final test to confirm the assembly process along with the look and the feel of production plastics now coming from the utv sales background this is something that is uh might not seem a little trivial but it’s very important on the showroom floor and for years different brands have battled it about this and i’d say as a whole can-and probably has done this the best but i have to give up polaris some props for stepping up their fit and finish quality more recently with the turbo s coming with the ride command digital dash a nicer steering wheel and more currently the pro xp having upgraded seats and a lot better fit and finish than the previous generation polaris models so like i said for some people this isn’t that big of a deal if you’re like me you really care about the performance numbers you’re looking at the beefy chassis and a nice fit and finish is just candles on the cake but a lot of people really obsess over these details how the plastic fits the fasteners how the doors feel the whole experience of just sitting in the vehicle on the showroom floor particularly if you’re new to the sport or you just really associate that with the value of what you’re spending your money on and that’s why you made your purchase decision so the team at speed really needs to make sure they get those little things dialed so they don’t get nitpicked by a lot of people where yeah it’s maybe not something you can really relate in terms of the big performance numbers that really sell these vehicles we’re talking suspension travel horsepower you know features 32 inch tires bead lock wheels all those things that are really important but trust me there’s a lot of customers out there you guys would be surprised that really care about the overall finish details and i think all of us can be looking very carefully to see what that looks like when the complete door inner panels outer panels were all put together everything else of that nature once you get in the vehicle how everything feels what the finishes feel like and what the vehicle looks like i think it needs to be high quality because robbie and the team have really been touting the overall quality and the step up in quality you’re expecting to see from the welds of the chassis the thoughtfulness of the design all these things together so they’ve really got to put a bow on this project by making sure all those final details come together and they look good so jumping back into the timeline what this means according to the team is after final validation of the parts the speed team says this puts us into august that these cars should be hitting the street so there you go guys uh i know they’ve missed a couple deadlines so far but august is the new deadline and to further that point they said they have not seen anything that would slow the process down now that’s an important thing to say because right now at this point in time you guys have probably seen or heard if you’re trying to buy a new side by side or buy parts and accessories everyone’s backed up uh almost everything in the outdoor space is hard to find if you’re trying to buy a motorcycle or a bicycle our whole world utv everything is just really backlogged so you know i’ve heard lots of stories of of electrical components being hard to come by tires being delayed these type of things so i really hope the speed team has been stockpiling a ton of parts or has vendors that have committed to them these production capabilities so this doesn’t slow them down which seems like a tall order right now just from like i said what i’m hearing in the marketplace due to kova due to macro economic conditions that no one really could have predicted i hope it doesn’t slow the team down but i wouldn’t be surprised if it did so let’s talk about what i’d still like to see of course i’d like to see my speed in my garage but you know since the testing has been going on there’s a couple things that i i didn’t really see that it would be cool to see them put into play over these next few weeks test wise i’d like to see some real rock crawl situations in the speed i like to see them take it to utah moab sand hollow something that nature maybe out to johnson valley and do some real low gear rock crawling i think that would really help them sell this car to a big demographic of people outside the southwest and also a lot of us in the southwest like like to use it for that or want to use it for that as well so i think that’d be a big selling point if they can run the prototype and these production cars in those environments not many of us are concerned the car is going to rip down wash roads like some of the videos they’ve been posting and that’s great i think that’s what we expect but we all could be delightfully surprised as well as you know new customers can be sold if they can really show this thing’s capabilities in the rocks i’d also like to see some testing with the clutch cover that does not have the fan on it they said they haven’t burnt any belts which is good and promising to hear but i think that outer clutch cover isn’t going to work for a lot of potential customers um so it’d be cool to see them run it and then kind of relay to us what they’re experiencing and then maybe could lead to some more clutch and belt improvement now one of the big selling features i haven’t really seen a whole lot of video or talk about has been the three speed transmission now they’ve said specifically this car is not designed to be shifted like it is a manual transmission but you can bump it between gears so it’d be cool uh like when robbie was down in ba i talked about the third gear as a baja gear when he’s jumping on the highway in between sections would have been cool to see some video of that thing in action and see them using it so i hope to see some video of that feature specifically in the coming weeks finally i’d like to see some 35-inch tires on the el jefe now they did run a couple video clips some 35s on the diablo two-seater and they did mention that because the ljf8 does have a carbon fiber body and they didn’t really want to trim into it and cut it to make the clearance for the 35s is one of the main reasons why they haven’t but to be honest everyone and their brother is going to want to try to put 35s on the vehicle i know i am i know a lot of you guys watching probably are it would be nice just to see what else they learned from running the bigger tires and they did also mention that the clutch is going to be somewhat adjustable so be really cool to see if these production clutches can be adjusted enough to uh make the 35s work nicely and not increase belt temperatures and reduce belt life i also think they’d learn more and only be able to prove more if the bearings are more resilient the hubs all these other components are holding up to a bigger heavier you know over 50 pound 35 inch plus tire and one more thing i really like to see is just piles of parts now robbie has shown some photos of some production chassis being put together like i mentioned some of the production components but they’re saying sales keep growing i think they’re over 10 11 12 000 vehicles sold at this time that leads to 48 000 tires 48 000 wheels not including spares and so on so it’d be nice to just really see a lot of all those production parts because i think we all want to see that we all want to know and feel like it’s close and i’m sure if you’re the speed team yes they’ve been talking about cranking out 40 vehicles a day but let’s say if you’re lucky in the first 250 batch of cars well that’s going to be good for a short period of time and then everybody else who’s number 251 through 12 000 is gonna be screaming where’s my car so you know them turning on the production line doesn’t mean they can crank out one or two in our cars yes it will kind of silence a lot of the haters if you will but with so many people it’s only gonna build the hype so many customers that they need a huge stockpile uh a reserve of parts so hopefully uh they have those parts hopefully they’re building them and i’m sure they’re all you know working on this as fast as they can but it’d be nice to see that so that we know when the production line is turned on if your customer number 1500 2500 3 000 you can see that there’s a better feeling of when you’re going to get your vehicle and hopefully customers down in that master number range we’re also going to see their vehicles before the desert season so yeah desert season for us in the southwest pretty much ended but you know i mentioned august and right after august comes the sand show and then the desert season fever starts to set in for a lot of people in the southwest are really going to be anticipating and expecting to get their speeds before the season kicks off which for most people is going to be around october-ish so it’s going to come fast um one more point i want to make about coming fast is the potential first mover advantage now we all know what the speed is going to be the team’s been really transparent in terms of all the production specs the horsepower specs but we don’t know what can-am and or polaris are coming with for model year 2022. no one really knows i mean with all the issues macroeconomic conditions caused by covid these oems can’t even keep up with their current production vehicles might be easier for them to not make many or any changes and just keep trying to produce what they can because they’re having record sales record profits everything’s going as good as it can go as long as i can get the parts to build these vehicles and get them on the showroom floor i don’t think they’re sticking around on the showroom floor from what i’m hearing but that doesn’t mean that can-am doesn’t have something up their sleeve and or polaris so the point i’m trying to make is that if the speed gets delayed too long and can-am and or polaris surprises with a big release well that will put speed a little bit on their heels it remains to be seen who’s going to be the new king of the jungle in the utv world this desert season but i’m feeling pretty certain that polaris is going to launch that new pro r this year based on seeing the new class changes and racing so i do think that vehicle will come into fruition can-am who knows i think they’re really good at keeping their cards close to their chest and this kind of reminds me of when the yxz was released if you guys can think back or if you’ve been in the utv world that long the yxz was kind of hinted from yamaha for a while and unfortunately when it released it was already a few months behind the turbocharged razer turbo as well as the can-am maverick turbo and in my opinion had the yxz released one year sooner when there were no other turbo competitors it was going up right against the naturally aspirated options i think it would have done a lot better it would have taken a lot more market share it would have been a lot more formidable competitor to the xp 1000 and the lower horsepower can-am maverick so i just want to throw that out there i think at this point the numbers have grown so quickly i don’t really see can-am or polaris launching anything over 225 horse let alone with a speed key and that’s just one metric that we can go off of but i do think the competition is coming i think they’ve got things in works or in the hopper maybe even in production and i do think that uh it’s going to be an exciting year for releases so stay tuned for more of our videos we love doing those breakdowns every time all the oems release their new model your products which is going to be coming around the corner typically you can see polaris coming in july it sounds like can-am is going to be releasing in early august so speed team get it to market we need it we want it we’re excited of course as soon as we get our speed we’re going to be driving the heck out of that thing taking it as many places we possibly can we’re sure you as viewers are going to want to see how it holds up in the real world so just like you or an average joe we’re paying full retail for our car we’re gonna put it through the paces and give you our honest feedback and if you’ve seen our channel you guys know that we’re you know we’ve been going at this thing for a while and we do some racing we do some rock crawling we do a little bit of everything and uh want to give you guys the best honest feedback about the speed and maybe get you really excited about it if you’re considering one yourself so really excited to see this coming together excited for the speed team so we’ll keep you guys up to date here on any new uh breakthroughs that they might announce but uh until next time thanks for watching if you guys like the content please like and subscribe and we’ve got a whole lot more coming your way.


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