Ski-Doo is charging forward with its snowmobiles for 2016, thanks to changes that affect every layer of the company’s broad lineup. Plus, the company is bringing back the Blizzard moniker, introducing the Renegade Enduro and plans to build an Xtreme Expedition model.
So, what else is new? A revolutionary new, adjustable ski; some longer MX Z models; expansion of the Summit T3 package; hyper-targeted new Renegade, Summit and Expedition models; and the expansion of the intelligent Throttle Control (iTC) throttle-by-wire and three-mode driving systems to sleds with the 1200 4-TEC engine.
2016 Ski-Doo Snowmobiles: New Ski Technology, Tracks Highlight MX Zs & Trail Renegades
On popular trail-oriented sleds, Ski-Doo engineers put their focus squarely on the contact points with the snow for 2016 with a completely new take on skis and adding track length to popular MX Z models.
The news starts in the rear, where X-RS, X and new Blizzard models come with 129-inch tracks, following a trend started by Arctic Cat and Yamaha and teased by Ski-Doo with its late-build 2015 MX Z Iron Dog machine of having longer tracks on “short-track” machines to give more traction and improve flotation and bump-absorbing qualities without slowing down overall handling. TNT and Sport models will keep 120-inch tracks.
In front, Ski-Doo is introducing the innovative Pilot TS (for tunable ski). It features a narrow, blade-shaped runner in the center of the keel that can move up and down within the keel to 20 different positions by turning a large knob located in front of the spindles. It has about a half-inch of total adjustability. This enables a rider to adjust front-end bite to changing riding conditions during the day by jumping off the sled and dialing in the front end.
For example, a day might start out cold with rock-hard trails, but later the sun and warmth of the day may seriously loosen up the trail surface. With the TS system, a rider can pull over and easily change the setup.
Breaking it down within the MX Z family, the spring-order X-RS models plus the two-stroke X models will come with a 15- by 129- by 1.25 inch track (either a RipSaw or an Ice Ripper XT with carbide-tipped lugs) and traditional Pilot 5.7 skis, but the Pilot TS skis can be ordered as a part of the new Adjustment Package that also includes the rMotion Quick Adjust system with tunnel-mounted controls for the rear springs and shock.
New this year is the full-season MX Z Blizzard lineup – available with the 600 H.O. E-TEC, 800R E-TEC, 900 ACE or 1200 4-TEC engine – with a 129- by 1.25-inch Ice Ripper track, HPG Plus shocks and the Pilot TS skis as standard equipment. The MX Z TNT and Sport lineups return unchanged, except for changes made to models with the 1200 4-TEC (see below).
The trail-oriented Renegade models follow a similar pattern. Spring buyers of Renegade X-RS models can choose between a 15- by 137- by 1.5-inch RipSaw or 1.6-inch Ice Cobra track, and can upgrade to the same Adjustment Package with the Pilot TS/rMotion Quick Adjust setup. Renegade X buyers have the same upgrade option, but their track choices are a 137- by 1.25-inch RipSaw or Ice Ripper XT. In-season Renegade Adrenaline buyers get a 1.25-inch RipSaw, while Renegade Sport buyers get a 1.25-inch Cobra. The Grand Touring SE also gets the Pilot TS skis.
2016 Ski-Doo Snowmobiles: New Engine, Chassis Package For 1200 4-TEC Models
All Ski-Doo models carrying the brand’s largest four-stroke engine – the 1200 4-TEC – get notable changes for 2016, thanks to expansion of the intelligent Throttle Control (iTC) system first introduced on the 600 and 900 ACE engines, plus a switch in body styles.
The engine – a 120 hp, 1170cc liquid-cooled, fuel-injected triple – gets all of the gadgetry previous reserved for the ACE machines, including three selectable driving modes (Sport, Standard and ECO), learning key/tether and the light-pulling throttle that can be rotated around the handlebar.
Also, the 1200 4-TEC MX Z, Renegade, Expedition and Grand Touring models will be in the REV-XS chassis, replacing the previous REV-XR chassis that featured a wider front tub. The XS gives riders improved ergos, better wind protection to the legs and torso and a front storage box, plus a more modern look. The glossy/painted portion of the side panel on 1200-equipped models are more rounded to fit around the exhaust on the right, and to be symmetrical on the left. Otherwise the chassis will be the same as on other XS models.
New 2016 Ski-Doo Renegade Enduro
The most intriguing new model in Team Yellow’s 2016 lineup may be the new, full-featured Renegade Enduro. Inspired by adventure motorcycles and off-road-capable SUVs, Ski-Doo’s new Enduro doesn’t come with the hard-side bags like some competitive models, but it has other features that make it unique to the Polaris Switchback Adventure and Yamaha S-TX DX models offered in this same niche.
The Enduro comes in the REV-XS chassis with a 137- by 1.25-inch Ice Ripper XT track surrounding the rMotion rear suspension, plus the adjustable Pilot TS skis. On the rear arm of the rMotion is the Air Ride Suspension shock previously only found in the GSX and Grand Touring lineup. Utilizing an on-board compressor controlled by buttons on the handlebar, riders can add or subtract air from the air spring bladder remotely and on the fly.
The Enduro also includes a large front bumper, 12 volt power outlet, heated visor outlet, electric start and a big, wide window and unique clay brown side panels. The Renegade Enduro will be available with the 600 and 800 E-TEC packages as well as with the 900 ACE and 1200 4-TEC.
2016 Ski-Doo Snowmobiles: Focused Backcountry, Expedition
Ski-Doo is more sharply focusing its Backcountry and Backcountry X models to off-trail riding for 2016 by giving them the tMotion rear suspension, 16- by 146-inch FlexEdge track and REV-XM platform bodywork. All of this will create more separation between the Backcountry models and other Renegades, as these machines will be much better powder carvers but less friendly on the trails.
Another new Ski-Doo for 2016 is in the often overlooked Expedition lineup, which is now 10 models deep. New to this line of utility/touring crossovers is the Expedition Xtreme. It has the 800R E-TEC in the REV-XU chassis and features a new 20- by 154- by 1.75-inch track. Ski-Doo officials described it as “a Ford F-150 Raptor of snowmobiling,” thanks to its large rear rack, hi/low/reverse transmission, hitch, radiator, articulating rear suspension, available 2-up seat and generally rugged persona.
2016 Ski-Doo Snowmobiles: Summit T3 Expansion, New Burton Model
Last spring, Ski-Doo made a big splash by introducing longer, more aggressive and full-featured T3 package Summits. For 2016, the T3 benefits move deeper into the Summit lineup for all-season availability. Also, a new Summit Burton model is aimed at attracting more skiers and snowboarders, while Freeride models get a new color and a new front end.
For next winter, all Summit X models plus the new Summit SP 800R E-TEC with T3 will come with a PowderMax FlexEdge track hosting huge 3-inch lugs – whether in 154-, 163- or 174-inch lengths. The T3 combo also gets those buyers the 7-tooth drive sprocket, Pilot DS 3 skis, RAS 2 front suspension geometry, standard ice scratchers and weight saving in various locations, including the chaincase.
There still is a standard Summit SP model without T3, available in 146-, 154- and 163-inch track lengths with 2.5-inch lugs, and with a 600 or 800 E-TEC engine. Their notable upgrade is the switch to the RAS 2 front suspension geometry. Summit Sport models, with either a 600 or 800R PowerT.E.K. carbureted engine, get upgraded running boards with wide snow evacuation holes for the new year.
New for 2016 is the Summit Burton model, part of an on-going cross-promotion between Ski-Doo and Burton Snowboards. It is essentially a Summit SP 154 model with a two-passenger seat (without a backrest – just a grab strap) and a side-mounted snowboard/ski rack on the left side.
The Freeride line features huge visual changes for 2016 – the shocking Manta Green color has been relegated primarily to the skis and suspension rails; most of the body and the tunnel is now in Lava Red. The sleds do get one mechanical upgrade: The switch to the RAS 2 geometry.
The April 2015 issue of Snow Goer magazine includes more quotes, photos and further model information – plus a complete list of the 2016 Ski-Doo snowmobiles.