With the RSX850i, John Deere enters the recreational utility vehicle category with an all-new Gator that was engineered to be faster, more powerful, and more agile than any Gator ever built.
Deere first created its AMT (all materials transport) in 1987, which it claims as the launch of the entire utility vehicle (UV) category, and the first Gator UV in 1992. It says the addition of advanced power, high top speed, and precision handling are integral parts of the current evolution of the Gator line of utility vehicles.
There are three RSX models—the Gator RSX850i Sport, the RSX850i Trail, and the Base RSX—all designed in collaboration with engineering consultants with expertise in Formula One and NASCAR. The Sport model was designed for harsh desert and rocky, sandy terrains and includes sport seats, alloy wheels with Maxxis tires, Prerunner bumper, cargo box rails, sport steering wheel, and Fox 2.0 Performance Series shocks.
The Trail model was developed with hunting, fishing, and back country trails in mind. It features sport seats, alloy wheels with Maxxis tires, winch, front brushguard, 2-in (50-mm) front receiver hitch with recovery loops, rear bumper, and cargo box rails. The Base RSX can be modified and personalized with factory-installed options. And all three can be well appointed with over 70 available aftermarket attachments.
All models come equipped with an 839 cc, V-twin, liquid-cooled, four-cycle gasoline motorcycle engine that produces 62 hp (46 kW) and a top speed of 53 mph (85 km/h). The engine also delivers 0-30 mph (0-48 km/h) acceleration in three seconds.
Advanced electronic controls and a fuel-injection system supply enhanced starting, idling, and throttle response during operation. In addition, the closed-loop system offers dependable performance at high altitude and hassle-free cold weather starting (tested to -20°F, or -29°C). The RSX also incorporates a large 7.4-gal fuel tank.
RSX Gators are equipped with a unique four-wheel independent suspension for what the company says is "an unparalleled ride" over challenging terrain and precision handling through corners. A dual, wide-arch A-arm design delivers maximum front-wheel control, precise steering, and 10.3 in (262 mm) of ground clearance. An exclusive Multi-Link semi trailing arm independent rear suspension features 9 in (229 mm) of wheel travel and moves wheels rearward in compression, lowering the impact of terrain and improving ride.
Exclusive aluminum body monotube Fox shocks are standard on the Base and Trail models. While Fox 2.0 Performance Series shocks with full spring and compression adjustability come standard on the RSX Sport, they are available for aftermarket upgrade on the other models.
Easy entry and exit from the RSX850 is the benefit of "an industry first" automotive-style door for the operator and passenger. Side-by-side 35.5-in (902-mm) high-performance sport seats combine proven off-road riding experience and automotive styling to enhance driver confidence and comfort.
Deluxe high-back bucket seats on the Base model are positioned to provide ample legroom, with large headrests for support during aggressive driving, and all seats tilt forward for ease of service and to keep dry during outdoor storage. In addition, the RSX features an ISO-certified ROPS (roll-over protective structure) with three-point seat belts and multiple passenger-side grab handles.
Best-in-class sealed storage includes 1.82 ft³ (0.05 m³) of space in the glove box and under the hood, with additional storage in the center console and cup holders. An easy-to-read digital instrument panel displays a system diagnostic light, engine oil pressure light, park break light, seat belt indicator light, fuel level, and a four-wheel-drive indicator, among other vehicle gauges.
A high-density, 8.9-ft³ (0.25-m³) polyethylene composite one-piece cargo box has rounded inside corners to ensure material removal when tilted and has a 400-lb (181-kg) payload capacity. The tailgate can be opened or removed for easier cleanout and to carry longer items. Deere says it features "truck-like performance and can be operated with one hand." The dumping mechanism is as simple as lifting a lever. Integrated tie-down points offer increased versatility and are incorporated in all four corners, on multiple points along the side walls, and via tie-down bars on either side of the cargo box.