Here’s the thing about white-knuckling: You don’t realize you do it until your foot is off the accelerator. You only begin to comprehend how much adrenaline is pumping through your veins when you loosen your grip and come to a complete stop. That’s the moment you realize just how fast you’re moving across terrain that would barely be navigable in the Oregon Trail days.
This is exactly what happened to me behind the wheel of a Polaris RZR: After pushing 40MPH off-roading through the desert, I started to feel pins-and-needles in the palms of my hands from my white-knuckling. Like all high-stakes driving, it’s thrill that must be experienced to be described.
In the words of the great Hunter S. Thompson, “anything that gets your blood racing is probably worth doing.”
A couple Thursdays ago I spent the afternoon in Nevada’s high desert with Chevy and Polaris. The mission: Drive the brand-new 2018 Chevy Tahoe Custom (…which boasts tons of cargo room and hauling capacity) into the remote desert southwest of Las Vegas, where we kicked-the-tires in two of the most advanced off-road vehicles ever engineered: The Polaris RZR XP1000s and RZR XP Turbo DYNAMIX Edition. Both are the ultimate white-knuckle machines, especially when pushing their engineering limits on rugged desert trails. Designed for off-road racing and adventure-loving hobbyists looking to get way, way out there, these Polaris RZRs can handle breakneck speeds on rugged Nevada desert terrain without a hiccup.
The devilish details are in the suspension: RZR XP Turbo DYNAMIX Edition boasts an “intelligent” suspension system designed for off-road hauls. According to the people at Polaris, it monitors critical driver and vehicle inputs hundreds of times per second, causing the vehicle to continuously adjust each individual shock on-the-fly. The result: A smooth, buttery ride through apocalyptic terrain that feels one-step removed from a Mad Max movie. It hugs the trail with the best AWD in the off-road industry, engaging in just 6% slip for those moments where velocity makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. And thanks to a 168hp/925cc engine, there’s lots of giddy-up under the hood of the RZR XP Turbo DYNAMIX to get you to wherever you’re going at jackrabbit speeds.
Here’s why high speed desert off-roading is a thrill every person needs to experience as a group: It’s remarkably easy (get to the trail, press the gas, and just… go. Polaris RZRs literally operate like cars). The thrill of white-knuckin’ while kickin’ up desert dust at high speeds really is the ultimate adrenaline bonding moment: Every bump is a chuckle or “woo!”, every slide around a sandy turn at 30 MPH a momentary gasp for breath. You get to play in the dirty like a group, with dust caking your beard hair and delightful clogging every exposed pore on your body.
It’s the ultimate bachelor party activity away from a casino or whatever your usual group bacchanalia looks like.
Once the adrenaline rush subsides, the best thing about this long, off-road rollercoaster ride: The zen of being miles away from anything.
Throttle down in the middle of nowhere, have a couple laughs about your adventure with some buddies, and absorb the quiet and serenity of a true wilderness.
That’s what getting out there is all about. The dynamic duo of a Chevy Tahoe + Polaris RZR is just the vehicle to make such treasured memories.
That’s your own to make.