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Caterpillar today introduced its first-ever utility vehicle to meet a growing demand for tough work utility vehicles – while also expanding the company’s reach into the consumer market.
The gas-powered Cat CUV82 and the diesel-powered CUV102D will roll into dealerships in summer 2018 with the manufacturer’s suggested retail prices of $14,999 and $16,299, respectively, says Norma Aldinger, commercial supervisor for the Cat UTV.
Cat announced last month that it had partnered with Textron Specialized Vehicles to bring the UTVs to market.
“Not only has the utility vehicle business been growing, it’s been growing in work-type applications,” according to Aldinger, who unveiled the models to editors at Cat’s demonstration and training facility near Peoria, Illinois.
Built in Thief River Falls, Minnesota, by Textron, both models feature an all-steel cargo bed with 1,000-pound rear cargo capacity and 2,000-pound towing capacity. The machines come with a truck-style column shifter for easier shifting. The UTV is tuned for work uses, smooth transitions, and the ability to haul loads.
Both dealers and customers asked Cat for a tough UTV designed for work, she says.
“They wanted it to be quiet and comfortable,” she says. “They wanted the maintenance to be simple. And they said, ‘give me a Caterpillar that I can easily afford.’ So, we delivered that.”
Buyers can choose between two-wheel drive, four-wheel drive, or four-wheel drive/lock modes to best match vehicle drive to ground conditions. Plenty of ground clearance enhances navigation through rough terrain.
The company started with a “clean-sheet design” and a lot of dealer feedback, then applied the same discipline and product and development testing used in other Caterpillar products, she explains.
The design minimizes noise and vibration. The CUV82 and CUV102D comfortably seats two riders side-by-side with ample leg, elbow and headroom in the tall, deep and wide cabin. And the design of these yellow UTVs resembles the look and feel of other Cat machines.
In an indoor arena at Cat’s demonstration and training facility in Edwards, Illinois, Cat employees today offered spins on the gas-powered UTV to editors, whose most common observation centered on how quietly it runs.
That’s important for not only riders side-by-side, but also in jobsite situations when it’s important to hear what’s going on around you and to be able to talk with others who are near the machine, Aldinger notes.
The gas-powered model comes with a 0.8-liter three-cylinder, 50-horsepower Chery engine and can run up to 45 miles per hour. A safety-oriented feature provides the flexibility of locking down the top speed at 25, which could be useful in a fleet or if a driver who isn’t used to the UTV is going to use it, she says.
The diesel version comes with a 1.0-liter three-cylinder Kohler engine delivering 25 horsepower and a top speed of 25 miles per hour.
Features such as smooth acceleration, clear sightlines and engine braking capability make the UTV especially well-suited for hauling and towing, Cat says.
The CUV082 and CUV102D utility vehicles have a four-wheel independent suspension system with a front sway bar to provide “unmatched stability at full load,” the company says. A long swing-arm suspension, custom-tuned springs and shocks strike a balance between offering a smooth ride and handling loads.
Customers will be able to customize their UTVs for work needs through more than 50 accessory options. Offerings so far include snow plows, a heater, front winch and power dump. Also, optional cabs, roofs, windshields and doors on the ROPS structure can provide a weather-tight enclosure. Cat UTVs are prewired for do-it-yourself installation of all options.
The selection of accessories is limited for the rollout next spring but more will follow, Aldinger says, stating that a crew version, with two rows of seats, will be offered in fall 2018.
The machines provide behind-the-seat storage and a document holder for personal items and gear. The passenger seat base can be removed and stowed behind the driver seat to free up floor space for hauling oversized items.
Maintenance is simplified with easy access to filters and the drive belt, and on-board advanced diagnostics reduce troubleshooting time, the company says.
The new CUV82 and CUV102D UTVs will be backed by service and support from participating Cat UTV dealers, Aldinger says.
Both models will be available throughout the United States and Canada.