When you are the industry leader, what do you do to stay in front – how do you remain a moving target? You have to dig deep and continue to innovate with fresh new technology and brand new machines that continue to push the envelope and make the riding experience even easier, more fun, more rewarding. Sounds good, but easier said than done, right?
For 2017 BRP/Ski-Doo is presenting new product we think will set the benchmark in the industry for years to come with a powerful engine, precise flatland chassis, and effortless mountain chassis.
The original paradigm-shifting Ski-Doo REV platform BRP launched for 2003 was not, at its heart, about technology or breakthrough materials. It was built with a well-established rear suspension and engine. The core idea of the REV was enabling riders to have more control of the vehicle than they ever had before. It unlocked a whole new way of riding snowmobiles and rider position and centralized mass became the focus.
Now with the 2017 REV platform – the fourth generation – BRP again puts rider control and mass centralization at the center of the development process and surrounds them with the very best technology, thinking and processes the company has developed and refined over the past 14 years.
The goal was to give riders the most powerful, responsive, precise and agile sleds, and most importantly, deliver more fun. Engineering and design briefs even used the term “unadulterated fun.” There’s also a lot of breakthrough technology, especially in the engine, drive clutch and mountain features.
For 2017 Ski-Doo is introducing their 4th Generation REV, and it is simply once again being called the REV. No XP, XS, XR designation, just REV. For 2017 there are MXZ, Renegade and Summit mountain versions.
The next generation REV is the re-thinking of a snowmobile from a blank sheet of paper, developing an all-new chassis and engine together, allowing more freedom in the final package. Ski-Doo wanted to bring the riding experience to the next level for ALL riding styles in ALL segments.
At the heart of the new REV is an all-new second generation E-TEC engine, the 850 E-TEC II. Here we find a more power and more compact powerpack that combines the character of a lightweight 2-stroke with the durability benefits of a 4-stroke. This is an all-new engine package that maintains the same 82mm bore but with a longer stroke to give us more displacement, more torque and more power. The engine features Siamese cylinders, narrower clutch and magneto and is 1.6” narrower overall, allowing the engine to be placed more towards the center of the vehicle for even better mass centralization in the left-to-right manner.
Borrowing from 4-stroke and diesel technologies, the new crankshaft gets rid of the 5-piece crank with Isoflex-lubed bearings and goes to a new 2-piece forged crankshaft with direct bearing oilers so they are lubed constantly for the ultimate in 2-stroke crankshaft durability. New pistons feature a cast iron ring insert to better secure the rings for extreme durability. Cylinders are now Plasma coated, being naturally porous and better at heat dissipation.
Power is rated at 10 more HP than the 800R, up from 155 to 165 HP. Torque is a stunning 106.6 ft-lbs and this is what you feel when you crack the throttle. It pulls harder quicker, making it extremely fun to ride. The power is linear and smooth, controllable and predictable, none of this on-off switch type delivery. Operating RPM is up slightly with the power peak coming at 8000-8100 RPM, but it comes on faster with many more upgrades. First we have a DC motor controlling the eRAVE valves for 3-times faster powervalve response. Second we have the next generation E-TEC system that features booster injectors on the throttle bodies that supply fuel when you snap the throttle for instant response, allowing the use of smaller direct injectors on top of the cylinders for increased efficiency. The throttle bodies are now much closer to the cylinder (47mm to be exact) so when you crack the throttle it responds immediately. It is incredible how sluggish this makes the 800R feel in comparison.
The engine weight and fuel economy is said to be the same as the 800R, despite the added power, but of significance is the improved oil economy that is said to be now capable of 420 km per litre of oil, compared to 300 km per litre for a 40% improvement in reduced oil consumption.
On to the Gen 4 REV platform, we find a pyramidal frame now with a die cast front bulkhead that allows new mounting points for the RAS 3 front suspension with a constant 22-degree caster (where it used to vary from 18 to 24 degrees). This makes the new RAS-3 geometry even more predictable and controllable, less busy in the wicked trail junk and extremely confident going through the roughest of terrain.
We also find a beveled tunnel which allows the sled to be narrower as it is a full 6” narrower in the knee area. It is also better balanced with the engine being better centered. Left to right weight distribution is very balanced, almost exactly a 50/50 balance as the engine has been moved 2.25” to the right. The rider’s feet are 2.6” more forward, placing them in line with the drive axle for the ultimate in chassis responsiveness. But what you notice when you ride this platform is how you can wrap yourself up around the cowling and lean even further forward and further out, giving you incredible control over the machine. It is like an extension of your body as you and the machine become one.
Looking at a new REV you instantly notice how it is a simpler, less busy design that is very bold, very muscular. Many cues embrace its REV heritage and Ski-Doo’s racing legacy. One can recognize styling cues from the likes of a Ski-Doo 245 RV racer, or even an F3 Spyder. Designers sought a lean and mean look, tightly wrapping the mechanicals. The Gen 4 REV invokes speed, agility and performance.
The new Gen 4 REV models are only fitted with the new 850 E-TEC II and are found in a limited number of models for 2017, primarily the X-package MX Z & Renegade and X-package Summit X (all Spring-order only) but also in-season Summit SP and MX Z TNT models.
True to the REV name, these next-generation REV models will once again create a revolution in how snowmobilers ride and what they are capable of. Each of these new models are intuitive and truly make riding easier as the machine is even more responsive, taking snowmobiling to the next level. They just did it to us – again.