The all-new Ultima Series will change the way you mow your lawn. And that isn’t hyperbole. This line of zero-turn lawn mowers combines next-level comfort and durability, superior speed and control, and best-in-class cut quality to create the ultimate mowing experience. But the perfect mower isn’t made overnight.
It starts with design, and we don’t take that lightly. We convened focus groups. We hosted a design fair. We went to the homes of zero-turn owners. It all pointed to one thing: zero-turn lawn mowers are begging for a refresh.
In-home discussions especially led our industrial design team to better understand the likes and dislikes of current zero-turn users about competitor products, as well as our own. We heard a lot of feedback about ergonomics, overall usability and visual design. The industrial design team then drafted more than 40 unique renderings that ranged from traditional to sports-car-inspired and narrowed it down to a final seven designs to use in consumer focus groups. We delved into what the next generation of a zero-turn could look like and accomplish.
The input from the multiple focus groups showed a consistent favorite among the seven designs shown, and it closely resembles the Cub Cadet Ultima we know today. One participant noted, “The engineering behind the project definitely showed.” Another mentioned, “There is nothing typical about this mower.”
Our research highlighted a few key areas of consumer preference.
It was clear what people wanted—strength, durability and sleek style—so we developed a prototype and hosted a blind shopping experience for potential customers at a third-party research facility in Columbus, Ohio.
Our research paid off. The Ultima Series performed exceedingly well in a mock shopping environment, scoring the highest in just about every attribute under review, such as design, comfort, adjustability and ease of maintenance. Blind shoppers especially liked the design and strength of a unique tubular frame. Overall, consumers were impressed. “It brings things to the table I have never seen in other mowers, let alone other zero-turns,” one said. “[It’s] a night-and-day difference from my current mower.”
In all, the full journey of the Ultima Series took nearly a year and a half, included input from 1,300 consumers, and received more than 63,000 hours of engineering and testing. That’s equivalent to more than 2,600 days or slightly more than seven years.
From each bolt to the comfort of the seat, we created the Ultima Series with you in mind.