In January of 1991, a photo of a Special Forces soldier riding a dune-buggy-like vehicle appeared in a number of media outlets. Until the photo surfaced, Americans had been in “shock and awe” over the precision bombing display that had occurred in the first Gulf War. It wasn’t until the photo appeared that many realized the pinpoint accuracy had been possible because of the guys who risked their lives “painting” the targets with lasers from the ground.

Call us crazy, but that’s what came to mind when we saw the photo of the new two-seater Ranger that Polaris recently released. The upgraded version of the two-seat Ranger, which is modeled after the popular, larger Ranger 900 series, makes it look like something that was just driven out of the Arabian desert after completing another reconnaissance mission.

The new Ranger is part of a broader effort for 2015 in which Polaris is enhancing products across its range. A key part of that enhancement is greater use of a new ProStar 570 44 hp engine that’s finding its way into more products from a single-seat Sportsman Ace to the new multi-place Ranger Crew.

Polaris has also enhanced is diesel line and for 2015 is moving to a Kohler three-cylinder Tier 4 engine, but it achieves emissions limits without worries about a particulate filter.

The company’s upgrade of its two-seat Ranger gives it a more-aggressive stance for 2015. The two-seater also gets the PRO-FIT cab technology that makes it easy to add features to the rollover-protective structure frame on the machine. The two-seater gets an upgraded 570 engine too, with 44 hp and more towing capacity.

An interesting product in the Polaris line, launched earlier this year and getting an enhancement for 2014 is the Sportsman Ace. The all-terrain vehicle is a single-position machine that doesn’t look like your standard ATV. Instead of the common “motorcycle” stance and handlebar controls, this machine has a comfortable, upright seat, a flat-floor operator position and a steering wheel. With the company’s popular continuously variable transmission, it’s easy to drive this smart-moving ATV.

The enhancement for 2015 is to add a model with the 570 electronic fuel injected engine horsepower to 44. The original model is powered by a 38 hp engine. With the larger engine the new machine can pull 1,500 pounds and carry a 360-pound payload.

Enhancing a flagship

Polaris isn’t standing still with that popular Ranger 900 XP. For 2015 the top end machine gets a boost to 68 hp. In addition there are two other power options for the line – the 570 engine offering 44 hp; and the Ranger diesel powered by that Kohler engine. Further proof that the company isn’t standing still with design.

The top-end Ranger also gets a range of improvements. For 2015 the full-size vehicles get new intake openings on the pillars behind the driver and passenger for improved airflow for the engine and clutch air intake systems. They also get new graphics packages and edgier headrests too.

ATV enhancements

The Polaris Sportsman lineup gets an upgrade with six new product models. The new X2 570 features the same chassis as the Touring 570 EPS, but gets a second seat that doubles as a 400-lb. dump box. The company will offer the new Sportsman Touring XP 1000 and the Sportsman XP 1000 each featuring a ProStar 88 hp engine. The new engine is a single overhead cam 1000 twin based on the popular 850 twin.

The new models also get a new high-performance, close-ratio on-demand all-wheel drive system for better traction. The machines also feature engine breaking and active descent control for improved operation downhill.

There’s also a new entry-level Sportsman the ETX with a 570 chassis but a smaller and lower profile design. Power comes from a 30-hp electronic fuel injected engine, and it’s the market’s only entry-level machine with electronic fuel injection.

The company has made improvements across the line – you can learn more by visiting www.polaris.com.

You can also download pricing information on the new models. Check out the ATV 2015 price list. And you can get the side-by-side list too.