John Deere unveiled a new evolution of the Gator last night in Charlotte, N.C., with the introduction of the 825i Gator, a machine that sports quick acceleration and a top speed of 44 miles per hour.
With a tip of the hat to the fact that the "work machine" label tends to turn off thousands of outdoor enthusiasts who want to do more than amble, Deere's tactical marketing manager in charge of the new machine, David Gigandet says performance is definitely part of the equation for where the Gator line is going.
The 825i is a 1,600-pound machine that will tow 1,500 lbs. and has a cargo box payload of 1,400 lbs and is powered with a three-cylinder 812 cc. in-line, fuel-injected, liquid-cooled, dual-overhead-cam, automotive engine developed by Chery Automobile in China (builder of millions of similar powerplants for automotive use in Asia as China's largest domestic auto maker.) The 50 horsepower mill features a coil-per-cylinder electronic ignition, four valves per cylinder housed in an aluminum head, and breathes through headers completely redesigned by Deere to accommodate the space requirements of the 825i.
Gigandet says the engine provides the same torque as the Gator 850D diesel model, and tests are showing the engine has a similar life expectancy as a diesel engine.
Despite the new power and an all new independent front and rear suspension featuring double-wishbone architecture and other engineering to provide far better ride and handling that previous Gators, Deere is pricing the 825i at $11,199 to compete with other crossover side-by-sides in the market.
The new lineup also includes an improved XUV625i, which will sell for $9899, and the 855D diesel, which lists for $11,299.
A three-cylinder, inline, fuel-injected liquid cooled automotive engine from collaboration with Chery Auto in China gives the new Gator 50 horsepower and engine life approaching that of a diesel.
The 825i cargo box (mechanical or electric assist) is the largest in its class at 16.4 cubic feet, and sports removable sides for a flatbed configuration.
For a look at the unveiling and a walk-around view of the new machine, watch the video above.