American LandMaster (formerly American SportWorks) recently held a Heartland Ride & Review Day near its headquarters in Fort Wayne, Ind., where it rolled out a new fleet of LandStar utility vehicles to be put to the test by members of the media, including yours truly.
Before we hit the trails near the home of Ty Bello, vice president of sales and marketing at American LandMaster, he sat us down in his basement to discuss the company’s past, present and future. In 1968, the company got its start as Manco Products, which manufactured go-karts, and then it entered the utility vehicle market with the purchase of Brister’s in Roseland, La., in 2006. American SportWorks then purchased Manco in 2007. Now, the company is headed in a new direction.
“We are in the process of rebranding ourselves as American LandMaster from American SportWorks,” Bello said. “Why? We think it fits what we do better.”
Bello explained that American LandMaster recently conducted an extensive survey of 2,500 utility vehicle users on every UTV brand, including its own, and he shared many of the survey’s findings. When it came to American LandMaster, the survey revealed that its utility vehicles were driven by people of all ages, ranging from those in their 20s who are thrill seekers to those in their 90s who use them daily to drive down their long driveways to get their mail.
“We really look at ourselves as utilitarian vehicles,” Bello said. “You’re going to be able to go 25 miles per hour in our vehicles, which is not that fast, and we’re good with that. We’re 25 (mph), and we’re going to get you where you need to be and what you need to do.”
And according to Bello, American LandMaster’s utility vehicles are priced lower than most utility vehicles, delivering greater value with manufacturer suggested retail prices ranging from $3,299 to $8,699.
Bello also explained that his company takes great pride that its utility vehicles are designed, built, and tested with a “born tough” attitude in the United States with a lot of American components, including engines from Briggs & Stratton and Kohler (one model has a Honda engine), as well as all of its steel from Texas. Briggs & Stratton and Kohler even agreed to not only custom build the engines to American LandMaster’s specs, but also brand them as LandMAXX commercial power engines. American LandMaster also partnered on its UTVs with RealTree (camo “pattern”); Hilliard (front gear boxes on 4WD); CVTech (torque converters and drive systems); Schafer Driveline (transaxles); Spencer Industries Inc. (plastics — top, hood and dash); Curtis Industries (controller for 48V); and Delta-Q Technologies (48V charger).
Bello then unveiled the 2017 LandStar lineup of utility vehicles, which is currently in production. Specs of each UTV are as follows:
* LSC4: This heavy-duty Gas Crew Cab UTV boasts 4-wheel drive and carries up to 6 passengers at a time. Specs include: poly bed, 4×4, 674-cc OHV V-Twin Kohler engine, 24-mph top speed, 18-mpg fuel consumption, 90-mile range and 4-wheel disc brakes. MSRP: $8,699.
* LSC2: This medium-duty Gas Crew Cab UTV can also carry up to 6 passengers at once, but it offers 2-wheel drive. Specs include: poly bed, 4×2, 674-cc OHV V-Twin Kohler engine, 24-mph top speed, 18-mpg fuel consumption, 90-mile range and 4-wheel disc brakes. MSRP: $7,199.
* LS670: This go-anywhere 4-wheel-drive UTV is powered by the company’s largest engine. It boasts enough torque to handle any project and can travel up to 90 miles on a single tank of gas. Specs include: 4WD Gas Standard UTV, poly bed, 4×4, 674-cc OHV V-Twin Kohler engine, 24-mph top speed, 18-mpg fuel consumption, 90-mile range and 4-wheel hydraulic brakes. MSRP: $7,099.
* LS750: This UTV offers the same features as the LS670, plus independent rear suspension. Specs include: 4WD Gas Standard UTV, poly bed, 4×4, 674-cc OHV V-Twin Kohler engine, 24-mph top speed, 18-mpg fuel consumption, 90-mile range and 4-wheel independent suspension. MSRP: $7,599.
* LS550: This heavy-duty UTV can conquer the backcountry. Specs include: 4WD Gas Standard UTV, poly bed, 4×4, 479-cc OHV Briggs Vanguard V-Twin engine, 24-mph top speed, 18-mpg fuel consumption, 90-mile range and 4-wheel hydraulic brakes. MSRP: $6,699.
* LS48V: This full-size, electric UTV is quiet and eco-friendly yet powerful. Specs include: 2WD Electric Standard UTV, poly bed, 4×2, 48V electric, 500-amp controller and 22-mph top speed (10 mph in M2 mode). MSRP: $6,699.
* LS450: Capable, durable and functional with a go-anywhere attitude, this rugged UTV packs power and endurance for the long haul. Specs include: 2WD Gas Standard UTV, poly bed, 4×2, 390-cc OHV Honda engine with electric and recoil start, 22-mph top speed, 20-mpg fuel consumption and 100-mile range. MSRP: $5,499.
* LS350: This able-bodied UTV is built to handle chores and explore all day at the ranch, farm, home and beyond. Specs include: 2WD Gas Standard UTV, poly bed, 4×2, 277-cc Kohler engine with electric and recoil start, 22-mph top speed, 32-mpg fuel consumption and 100-mile range. MSRP: $4,699.
* LS202: This light UTV is built to handle day-in and day-out chores with efficiency and confidence. Specs include: 2WD Gas Light UTV, poly bed, 4×2, 150-cc 4-stroke OHC single cylinder engine, 30-mph top speed, 45-mpg fuel consumption, 72-mile range and 4-wheel hydraulic brakes. MSRP: $3,299.
The LandStar utility vehicles are available with a variety of accessories, including hood racks, rear racks such as the CrewMate Tool Rack, hard tops, soft cab enclosures, windshields, side mirrors, plow blades and winches. In addition, the LandStar UTVs are also available in several colors: red, green, white, black and RealTree camo.
American LandMaster currently has approximately 200 dealers, but is seeking to add to that total. To learn more about American LandMaster and its 2017 UTV lineup, as well as how to become a dealer, visit americanlandmaster.com.