On a hot September afternoon in Costa Mesa, California, Robby Gordon took the stage in the middle of the Sand Sports Super Show under perfect southern California sunshine. Years of experience, racing, hard work, and hard lessons led up to this point and the announcement of the Speed UTV XX and XXXX—two brand new side-by-sides from Speed UTV, a brand new side-by-side manufacturer. On stage, he explained his philosophy behind the new machine: “My dad said you never get even, you always get ahead.”
What does it mean when he says the Speed UTV is ahead? The Speed UTV XX is a new turbo machine built on the same Wildcat XX chassis that Robby designed. The XXXX is the 4-seater model and the vehicle that he says is what customers really want. The specs themselves make it obvious why this 4-seater stands above the pack:
At first glance, a lot of those specs look similar to Polaris’s 4-seater Turbo S with just a few differences—Speed UTV has a 3 inch longer wheelbase, 3 inches less travel, half an inch less ground clearance, and the same size tires.
But that 77” wide suspension? That’s HUGE. A full 5 inches wider than both the widest RZR and the widest X3, and only about 50 pounds heavier. Let’s not forget that Robby Gordon is a racer, and he had racing on the mind when he laid out these specs. And 77 inches is the widest he could make it and still be race legal.
That brings us to the most eye-catching spec of all—225 horsepower with the option to upgrade with a 300 horsepower hell key for just $1. At 225 horsepower, the XXXX already blows away the RZR Turbo, the RZR PRO XP, and the Maverick X3 Turbo RR which has the most horsepower of any UTV out right now at 195.
And that 300 hp hell key? It costs a dollar and it takes the limits off the machine.
“Yes, Speed UTV is a manufacturer. Yes, we will compete against Polaris, Can-Am, Honda, Yamaha, and everybody else,” Robby said at the Sand Sports Super Show. “I’m not worried about the competition.”
Speed UTV didn’t appear from thin air. Most of you have heard of Robby Gordon, likely form his illustrious NASCAR career which spanned 19 years and made him a household name among NASCAR fans everywhere.
But Robby had more than Nascar blood in him. He raced in the Baja 500, the Baja 1000, and the Dakar Rally for years. His father, “Baja Bob” Gordon, got him started on the off-road path at an early age where he won five consecutive SCORE International off-road class championships before he started his NASCAR career.
He even went so far as to create his own race series called Stadium Super Trucks in 2013. Stadium Super Truck races take place on street and race circuits with 17 foot tall ramps that the 2900 pound Super Trucks hit at over 70 mph. It’s intense and awesome and exactly the sort of feeling that Robby wanted to put into a side-by-side.
When he designed the Wildcat XX for Textron, his new company called Speed made all the suspension parts and other accessories.
When Textron told him they weren’t going to do a turbo or 4-seater, Robby created Speed UTV so he could make them himself.
You might have noticed that the new Speed UTV XX and XXXX look an awful lot like the Textron Wildcat XX. That’s no coincidence: “It’s my body, it started with my body, it’s still our body, it’s still our suspension, it’s still our pivot points, it’s that car. We own the patents on all the suspension,” Robby said about the design. So he’s free to build of the same platform.
In the past he wouldn’t have been able to. He worked with Polaris on different RZR models in the early 2010s, but when the contract ended, his work and any money he hoped of making from it stayed with Polaris.
That wasn’t the case when he designed the Wildcat XX—he made sure he could take his design with him so he could keep pursuing his vision for UTVs—a high-power turbocharged 4-seater that outperforms anything else.
And now Speed UTV is doing something new.
The Speed UTV is a machine built for racing, built by one of the most experienced racers on the planet, and it’s already race-proven. In 2019, his team took three 2-seater race XX’s across the finish line of the Dakar Rally.
Speed UTV is coming out swinging for the fences. Instead of launching with a more modest, naturally aspirated machine like we saw Yamaha do with the YXZ, Honda do with the Talon, and Kawasaki do with the KRX, they’re aiming for the top.
And when they launch their first 250 limited edition machines in October of this year, we’ll see if they get there or not. After that, they plan on making another 4000 in 2021.
So far it’s looking good, and when Robby Gordon says he’s getting ahead instead of getting even, we tend to believe him. Parts are built with NASCAR quality. The chromoly suspension has clean welds and look sleek and strong. The bed is capable of holding a 33” tire and the seats are carbon fiber race seats. The cage is made with 1.75 inch diameter steel and comes with intrusion bars from the factory. It comes with 4-point harnesses and a roof too.
Sounds expensive, right? It is, but at $32,000 for the 4-seat model and $29,000 for the 2-seat model, it’s in the ballpark with existing high-end models like the RZR PRO XP 4 Ultimate and the Maverick X3 MAX X RS Turbo RR, even though it edges them out on performance.
It’s the highest power factory side-by-side we’ve ever seen, and Robby’s not going to build something that was already done in 2010, 2015, or 2019. As he puts it, “I’m gonna bring you something from 2025.”
Is it going to shake up the industry? We’re not sure, but we can’t wait to find out.