Built from the ground up in response to customer and dealer feedback, Caterpillar’s first-ever utility vehicle (UTV) models will be available in summer 2018 in both a gasoline (Cat CUV82) and diesel-powered version (CUV102D).
“The utility vehicle business has been growing itself and it’s been growing in work-type applications,” Norma Aldinger, commercial supervisor for Caterpillar, told media at a recent reveal of the UTV in Peoria, IL, where journalists were also given an opportunity to test-drive the CUV82. “Our customers have asked for us to deliver a product like this; our dealers have asked for us to deliver a product like this,” she said.
The company previously announced it had entered into a manufacturing and supply agreement for the UTVs with Textron Specialized Vehicles Inc. in Thief River Falls, MN. The new Cat UTV models were developed in collaboration with the company, a division of Textron Inc.
Aldinger explained that customers and dealers specifically were looking for a Cat utility vehicle that is Cat tough and represents the brand. And, they wanted it designed for work. “More of our customers are using these vehicles in their work applications,” she said.
Beginning with a clean design sheet, Caterpillar gathered customer and dealer input to build a UTV that delivers a combination of durability and comfort, as well as maintenance simplicity.
Quiet and comfortable operation was a priority. According to Aldinger, during the event “quiet” was the feedback heard most from journalists following a CUV82 test-drive on a closed course.
Subjected to what the company describes as “unprecedented levels of testing,” the two-seater CUV82 and CUV102D feature a steel cargo bed and offer 1000-lb (454-kg) total rear cargo capacity and 2000-lb (907-kg) towing capacity for performance in a variety of applications.
These new Cat UTVs offer speeds up to 45 mph (72 km/h), depending on model. The CUV82 is powered by a 0.8-L three-cylinder Chery gasoline engine delivering 50 hp (37 kW), while a 1.0-L three-cylinder Kohler diesel engine delivers 25 hp (18.7 kW) to the CUV102D.
A speed-limiter setting is available on the CUV82 that can be customized in the machine’s display to lock speed down to 25 mph (40 km/h), a feature that could be useful for rental fleets. "It gives the customer that flexibility to go at the higher speed or set it at a lower speed," Aldinger noted.
Both models feature a continuously variable transmission (CVT) with primary and secondary clutch, tuned specifically for work applications. The intuitive column shifter allows the driver to easily maneuver through all the gears.
The new CUV82 and CUV102D UTVs offer a four-wheel independent suspension system with a front sway bar to provide stability at full load. A long swing-arm suspension, custom-tuned springs and shocks deliver a balance between a smooth ride and hauling loads. Ground clearance of 267 mm (10.5 in) helps the vehicles navigate rough terrain.
Features such as smooth acceleration, clear sightlines and engine braking capability make the Cat UTV suited for hauling and towing. The UTVs offer a choice of two-wheel drive, four-wheel drive or four-wheel drive/lock modes, which permits the driver to match vehicle drive to ground conditions.
More than 50 accessories such as roofs, doors and windshields will be available as options on the new CUV82 and CUV102D. Aldinger said that as the UTVs go to market, “we will be listening very closely for customer feedback on other offerings and how we may need to expand.”
According to Caterpillar, the CUV82 will have an MSRP of $14,999; the CUV102D, $16,299. The two UTV models will be available through participating Caterpillar dealerships beginning in summer 2018. In addition, Caterpillar plans to launch a crew version of the UTV in fall 2018 in both a gasoline and diesel variant, Aldinger said.