UTV’s fundamentally changed off-road road culture forever. They lowered the barrier to entry so that nearly everyone can afford to have incredible off-road experiences. The UTV platform continues to evolve with recent variations including Honda’s Talon, Kawasaki’s KRX, and Yamaha’s YXZ. So what do we define as a UTV? Size? Horsepower? Belt drive? Cost? Most of those barriers have been broken with new entries such as Honda with their DCT transmission and Yamaha’s Sequential 5-Speed Transmission. I remember test driving the Arctic Cat WildCat in Barstow thinking immediately that this was a mini Class 1 Car with 4 wheel drive. UTV’s are no longer Utility Terrain Vehicles rather they are now Unlimited Terrain Vehicles.
It’s ironic that the next evolution of the UTV platform was not created by a factory but rather racer, builder, stunt driver, and all around renaissance man Rhys Millen. Like many other racers Rhys fell in love with the UTV platform’s cost effectiveness and diversity. He dove head first into UTV racing building his own UTV race car and relatively quickly winning the Baja 1000 and competing in multiple stage rallies. But there is not a replacement for displacement and Rhys has driven everything from trophy trucks to rally cars and pretty much everything in between. Speed is a drug that is undeniable. It will always call you back for more. Topping out at just below 100mph the current UTV platform begs for more horsepower, just a little more. As proven in recent races the UTV platform continues to climb, Mitch Guthrie Jr. not only won the Pro Turbo class at The 2019 Mint 400 in his Polaris RZR, he beat all the 6100 TT Trucks on time!
After finding success in UTV racing Rhys wanted to take all the positive attributes of the UTV platform and scale it up, add some horsepower and further increase the durability. So he basically scaled up the current UTV platform and incorporated parts from rallycross cars including SADEV 6-Speed sequential gearbox and SADEV front differential. He also beefed up the driveline and axles with OC Driveline prop shaft with RCV custom axles.The vehicle platform now fills the gap between the UTV platform and the larger faster off-road racing vehicles such as 6100, Class1 cars and Trophy Trucks. It’s absolutely more logical for the current UTV racers to want a similar vehicle that is still 4 wheel drive, that drives similar to a UTV than switch back to two wheel drive vehicle platform.
This new vehicle platform also opens the door for all 4 cylinder manufacturers to get involved in off-road racing. Look at the recent success of two recent entries from Honda’s Truck and Subaru’s Class 5 unlimited both of which garnered more publicity for the brands than traditional pavement racing programs. Honda, Acura, Subaru, Toyota, Ford, Chevy, Mercedes, BMW, Audi, Volkswagen, Porsche, Nissan, Mercedes-AMG, Mazda, Lexus, all make 4 cylinder power plants that could work for this new class. What does that mean for Polaris, Can-Am, Honda, Yamaha, Textron, and Kawasaki? It remains to be seen, but it’s safe to assume that a $200K+ consumer UTV is not high on the priority list. With 4 cylinder vehicles coming from both Polaris and Can-Am the future of UTV racing is going to get interesting. The Jackal platform Rhys has created has a lot of potential and room for flexibility. It’s got all the features of a UTV but is it a UTV or should we call it a Trophy Car?
Interested in test driving or buying a Jackal? Contact Rhys Millen Racing today.
|Builder:||Designed in CAD by Triton Engineering and Built by Rhys Millen Racing|
|Date Completed:||April 2019|
|Chassis:||Rhys Millen Racing Jackal|
|Weight:||3,000lb Dry Weight|
|Engine:||2.3L Ford Ecoboost|
|Cooling:||CBR Radiator and Intercooler Setup with a CBR remote engine oil cooler|
|Exhaust||Custom made by Rhys Millen Racing|
|Plumbing||All Plumbing and fittings supplied by BMRS|
|Transmission||SADEV 6-Speed sequential gearbox and SADEV front diff|
|Driveline:||OC Driveline prop shaft with RCV custom driveshafts|
|Tires:||Tensor DS 37”|
|Wheels:||Method 401-R High Offset wheels|
|Paint/ Graphics:||Chassis done in Steel-It Coatings and all graphics done by The Tint Pros GFX|
|Body:||Custom Made Body done by Rhys Millen Racing|
|Front Suspension:||Fox 2.0 Coilovers w/ Fox 2.5” Bypasses|
|Rear Suspension||Fox 2.5” Coilovers w/ Fox 3.0” Bypasses|
|Steering:||Howe Steering Rack w/ EPS|
|Paneling:||Done by Rhys Millen Racing|
|Wiring:||Done by Rhys Millen Racing|
|Lights:||Lights provided by KC HiLites|
|Navigation:||LeadNav setup on a 12” iPad|
|Communication:||Rugged Radios radio and intercom with Msat system from PCI|
|Seats:||Sparco Ergo seats|
|Safety:||Safecraft auto suppression system and handheld system|
In recent years The UTV class has exploded, so if you are a UTV racer with a couple of seasons under your belt this class is the perfect option.
This is a lightweight 4 wheel drive turbo charged 4 cylinder engine class. Those specifications open up to all the major manufacturers FORD, Chevy, Honda, Toyota, Volkswagen, Hyundai all make engines that fit this class.
Rhys Millen has built a lot of different types of race cars from rally cars to drift cars to multiple off-road vehicles. Now he brings all of his knowledge together to create this new trophy car class.
Photos by Ernesto Araiza // OffRoadRacer.com