There’s no denying nature’s power of attraction. Stop by any fancy-pants camping store and you’ll see throngs of city dwellers spending vast sums of money on a bet they’ll soon spend more time out in the woods. These shopping aisles are fertile grounds where future snowmobilers can be fished – and Ski-Doo has built just the machine for tech-enabled people looking to escape the concrete jungle.
The Ski-Doo MX Z Sport 600 ACE’s appeal reaches beyond that, however. In our testing, we found that the Sport is charming enough to also entice families with young riders, newcomers, rental operators or even older riders looking for something smooth, dependable, quiet and relaxing.
MX Z Sport 600 ACE: A Different Kind Of Sled
With its bright colors, the MX Z Sport 600 ACE is flashy enough, but it’s not posing as a rip-roaring trail racer. Instead, it’s small and maneuverable, easy on gas, nice to look at and ultra smooth – yet without looking like the sensible, boring choice.
It’s built around a 60 hp, twin-cylinder Rotax 600 ACE engine that, along with its 900 sibling, are the most refined, technically advanced engines in all of snomobiledom. It’s built atop the REV-XS platform with the SC-5 rear suspension, while the engine spins the 1.25-inch RipSaw track. Shocks are of the basic Motion Control variety, and Pilot 5.7 skis are of the typical, groomed trail type.
Other niceties include analog-and-digital gauges, reverse and electric start, a 15-inch windshield with side wind deflectors, selectable standard, sport or ECO driving modes through the Intelligent Throttle Control (iTC), a digital anti-theft system and a 10.6-gallon fuel tank. As an added bonus, ACE engines only require 87-octane gas
Low power, you say? Yes, indeed, but enough to exceed 60 mph and get where you’d like to go as long as you’re not looking for throttle-blipping, ski-lifting and bump jumping. This is a different kind of engine for a different kind of rider. If you’re generally a leisure-oriented pilot, a novice rider not ready for 100 hp or one who wants the quietest way into the woods, this could be the perfect sled to complement your lifestyle.
For 2015, along with other Ski-Doos with ACE engines, this MX Z Sport 600 ACE comes with another feature that applies to beginners and old hands alike – a rotating throttle mechanism that, with a quick twist of the throttle block, allows riders to apply the throttle with the pointy fingers rather than just the thumb. This is great for anyone who occasionally gets thumb cramps on long rides; the whole setup is pretty darn slick.
MX Z Sport 600 ACE: On The Trail
Like other REV-chassis Ski-Doos, the MX Z Sport 600 ACE has light, easy steering that’s sharp enough for apex cutting, but perfect for general cruising. The rear suspension is bouncier and not as plush as the rMotion rear suspension available on other MX Zs, but we found no objections to its bump-stopping performance.
Putting a positive spin on reality, this is the most gradual acceleration you’ll find in a modern trail snowmobile, but the buttery smoothness is mesmerizing. Combine this engine with the avant-garde throttle controls and sport, standard and ECO modes and it’s clear this isn’t just some low-power, entry-level machine, but rather the closest a gas-powered sled has ever come to matching the silence and serenity of an electric car. Test rider impressions didn’t view that as the backhanded compliment.
“The throttle mechanism is extremely well executed, is easy enough to switch on the fly and I’m surprised how much I enjoy using my fingers instead of my thumb to control the throttle,” read one test rider’s notebook. Other impressions about the engine were that it is quiet and smooth.
And “friendly” might be the best descriptor for the MX Z Sport 600 ACE. It’s not a trail-blazing bulldog, but rather, the outgoing face that could draw in a stranger or two, as well as a few old friends still interested in snow-based exploration. That’s something any snowmobiler can smile about.
Engine: 600cc fuel-injected, four-stroke twin
Bore x stroke: 74 x 69.7 mm
L x W x H: 114.4 x 47.9 x 47.6 inches
Ski stance: 42.2 inches
Listed dry weight: 459 pounds