Just one year after Yamaha Motor Corporation launched its three-passenger side-by-side (SxS) utility vehicle called the Viking, the company has come out with an even bigger machine called the Viking VI. The “VI” stands for six-person seating, which is a first for Yamaha.
“The first thing customers asked us after we introduced the Viking was, ‘When are you going to come out with a 6-seater,” says Travis Hollins, Yamaha’s ATV and SxS product planning manager. “Now we can offer them a bigger vehicle without sacrificing the comfort, handling or performance they found in the Viking.”
The Viking VI is classified as a multi-purpose off-road utility vehicle, which means it combines features from the sporting, utility, and offroad market segments. Hollins says Yamaha’s niche is providing the best balance of all of those features without sacrificing speed or ride comfort. “Other companies may focus on one or two of those things but at the sacrifice of something else,” Hollins says.
The demand for six-person seating coincides with the popularity of “crew cab” pickup trucks, which can haul cargo and carry up to six passengers, Hollins says. “Buyers have expressed the need to haul more people,” he says. “You could buy three Viking VIs for the price of one pickup truck and do the same work.”
Yamaha says it was the first company to enter the off-road utility vehicle market nearly a decade ago with the launch of the Rhino. “By reentering this segment, Yamaha can offer more customers the durability they have come to expect from us,” Hollins says.
The target market for the Viking VI is high-end customers with a lot of land and who are looking for something agile and roomy enough to transport people to and from the field. One feature that farmers, in particular, may appreciate is that both the Viking and Viking VI are “row-crop capable,” meaning the axle spacing allows you to drive in between rows of standing crop.
Farm Industry News got to test drive the new Viking VI last week during an exclusive media preview outside of Austin, TX. The event was held in conjunction with a Yamaha dealer meeting. Hollins and Steve Nessl, Yamaha’s ATV/SxS group marketing manager, gives us a breakdown of the vehicle’s key features so you’ll be brushed up and ready compare before it hits dealer lots later this summer.
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