Bungee jumping, skydiving, stunt boats, black-run heli-skiing… There’s legitimacy to the claim of New Zealand’s Queenstown to be the adventure capital of the world.
It’s certainly a fitting venue for CarAdvice’s introduction to a developing breed of transport that aims to offer recreational fun for families as well as serving as a utility vehicle for farms and commercial businesses.
The Yamaha Wolverine X4 has nothing to do with Hugh Jackman’s most famous character but it is designed to claw its way up mountains and across other challenging terrain.
It’s a four-seater side-by-side vehicle – or SSV – that you could describe as a hybrid vehicle mixing elements of an ATV (quad bike) and a small car. Colloquially, of course, we also know them as ‘buggies’.
Yamaha already provides an array of SSVs, or ROVs (recreational off-road vehicles) as they’re also known, though the X4 is the first to seat more than two people and be intended for sporty use not just commercial applications.
“The recreational [off road] market isn’t as developed in Australia and New Zealand as it is in America,” says Lance Turner, Yamaha Motorsport Australia’s marketing supervisor. “But we hope it will develop over time. We have graphs indicating growth is going in a positive direction.