Airless—or non-pneumatic tires—have popped up from time to time over the past few years, and while they offer many advantages over traditional air-filled tires, they haven't been available outside of research labs—until now. Polaris is officially the first company to offer a vehicle with non-pneumatic tires on its new Sportsman WV850 H.O. all-terrain vehicle.
Military enthusiasts might recognize the ATV's design, and that's because Polaris based it on the U.S. army's MV850 ATV. So with a reinforced steel exoskeleton it can tow 1,500 pounds or slowly winch another vehicle up to 3,500 pounds. In other words, it's almost like a miniature badass all-terrain tank, minus the giant cannon.
But of course the real stars of the show are the ATV's TerrainArmor tires which Polaris claims can survive a hit from a .50-caliber round and still function just fine for 350 miles. They look similar to airless tires being developed by Bridgestone and Michelin, but there's no indication they belong to either company, so Polaris might have developed its own. And as for the ATV, it will be available next month for $15,000 in limited quantities, so if you're tired of fixing flats, you might want to get your pre-order in fast. [Polaris via Autoblog]