This article originally appeared in Issue 6Â of our...
As civilians, we often find ourselves envious of all the high-tech equipment that's only accessible to military organizations. From innovative weapons and communication systems to cutting-edge vehicles and aircraft, costly new technology is often developed for military use first, and eventually trickles down to the civilian market as it becomes more common and affordable. This can be seen across the board in many industries. Even the internet that you're using right now was originally funded by the U.S. Department of Defense.
If you've ever looked into purchasing a small off-road vehicle, you've likely heard of Polaris. The company has been producing ATVs, snowmobiles, and side-by-side vehicles for decades in the commercial market. However, you may not know that Polaris also has a large division focused on the development of military vehicles: Polaris Defense.
Recently, Polaris Defense has been working in conjunction with the Canadian military to develop a new “Twin-Track Fully-Suspended Amphibious Terrain Vehicle”. It's known as the Polaris Rampage, and it's designed to traverse virtually any type of terrain. The Canadian military needed a small and agile vehicle that could handle dirt, sand, mud, water, snow, and ice, even in sub-zero Arctic conditions. Polaris drew on its experience developing wheeled vehicles and snowmobiles, and delivered.
The Rampage is powered by a 1000cc Polaris RZR engine under its rear deck, which can propel the vehicle to over 60mph. It also uses a standard steering wheel to control the rotation of its dual tracks, and it can rotate 360 degrees on its own axis.
The rear deck we mentioned earlier is designed to accommodate a shipping pallet for transporting gear over rough terrain. With doors installed, the fully-enclosed and heated cab can keep occupants comfortable and safe in freezing conditions. There are even charging ports for laptops and other electronics.
The Rampage is not available to the public at this time, and is exclusively a military-spec project. However, the editors of Dirt Trax Television got their hands on one for some initial testing, and called it “a complete force to be reckoned with”:
Based on what we've seen so far, we hope that Polaris eventually brings the Rampage to the civilian market. At the very least, we're sure some of its innovations will continue to make their way into the company's commercial and recreational side-by-sides in the near future.