Caterpillar is synonymous with big, rugged construction equipment. Yet, for its latest product launch, think smaller but with the same Cat quality, durability and, of course, color scheme. The company invited journalists to the company’s Edwards Demonstration and Learning Center, just outside Peoria, Illinois, to unveil the first-ever Cat utility vehicles--the gas-powered CUV82 and diesel-powered CUV102D.
The robust UTV market is already crowded with worthy competitors, but Norma Aldinger, UTV commercial supervisor, stresses the move made perfect sense for the 90-plus-year-old company. “Our dealers and customers have been asking us for a UTV. It was a natural fit in segments Cat already serves--construction, agriculture and landscaping.”
The new Cat UTV models were developed in collaboration with Textron Specialized Vehicles Inc., which already manufactures utility vehicles under several brands--Cushman and Textron Off Road (Textron recently purchased Arctic Cat).
CAT DNA. Steve Schoening, product manager, points out Cat relied on extensive customer and dealer input to build the machine. Starting with a clean design sheet, he says the UTV had to excel in three areas:
• Robust. “The UTV had to be Cat tough,” he says. “And since it has Cat DNA, it had to have Cat quality and reliability.”
• Utility. “The UTV has to be able to do the work and handle the load.”
• Intuitive. “The emphasis is on driving ease and comfort.”
A 0.8-liter three-cylinder Chery gas engine delivering 50 hp and a top speed of 45-plus mph powers the CUV82. The CUV102D sports a 1.0-liter three-cylinder Kohler diesel engine rated at 25 hp and work site speeds of up to 25 mph.
Both two-passenger models feature a rugged steel cargo bed, conveniently sized to fit most pallets, and a total capacity of 1,000 pounds. Towing capacity is 2,000 pounds.
The UTVs boast a four-wheel independent suspension system with a front sway bar to provide superior stability at full load. A long swing arm suspension and custom-tuned springs and shocks deliver a balance between smooth ride and hauling loads. Ample ground clearance (10.5 inches) allows the vehicles to navigate rough terrain.
Electric assist power steering makes for responsive handling and tight turning capabilities. The belt-driven continuously variable transmission offers smooth transitions, while the four-wheel disc brakes keep you in full control regardless of load weight and road grade. A choice of 2WD, 4WD or 4WD/lock modes permits the drive to match vehicle drive to ground condition.
CAB ENGINEERING. Cat designers’ influence is unmistakable on the UTVs; they have the same styling and look of other Cat product lines. The design minimizes noise and vibration during operation for a quieter ride.
Cab comfort was not overlooked either. The rollover protective structure front bars extend forward for easier access in and out of the UTV. There’s ample leg, elbow and headroom for two riders side-by-side. The shift lever (high, low, neutral, park, reverse) mounts on the steering column for easy access. And, the dash-mounted instrument gauge offers clear viewing of critical operating information.
There’s generous storage throughout the cab. The passenger seat base can be removed and stowed to create floor space for hauling oversized items. More than 50 accessory options are available to customize the UTVs.
Both models will be sold and serviced through participating Cat dealers in summer 2018. Manufacturer’s suggested retail price is $14,999 for the gas-powered CUV82 and $16,299 for the diesel-powered CUV102D. A crew cab version will be available next fall.
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