Polaris surprised the snowmobile racing world Thursday afternoon by taking the wraps off of its 2022 race sled early – unveiling a refined snocross sled with a new holeshot device while also releasing some details on its modified hillclimb racing efforts and its 600 Indy Cross-Country machine.
Normally such announcements are saved for Hay Days weekend in early September, but this year Polaris is jumping ahead of the pack. Let’s take a look at what’s new and exciting.
2022 Polaris 600R Snocross
The snocross-racing focused 600R featured a major jump forward for 2021 thanks to a new engine package. For 2022, the changes are more subtle, but Polaris is hoping the updates will give its racers an edge in chasing checkered flags on the Amsoil Championship Snocross circuit and others.
It starts in the rear suspension, where Polaris has added a mechanical holeshot device that looks very similar to what’s been seen on some other brands’ sleds in recent years.
According to the Polaris press release, “To make sure the red sleds are into Turn 1 in the lead, the engineering team built an all-new rear suspension holeshot device. The mechanism holds the suspension in the optimum, compressed position for launches, then disengages and allows for full travel once the first bump is hit. The result is more consistent, immediate launches.”
“Being at the front in turn 1 is a huge advantage in snocross racing, and the 600R’s new holeshot device will give us an edge” said Ben Hayes, Polaris racing development specialist. “The new suspension device will give our racers better holeshots in every class.”
Polaris also updated their second-year engine with new porting, updated exhaust valves and an improved ECU that, combined, should deliver better performance and faster response, Polaris officials claim. No other details or specs have been released at this point – just photos.
Meanwhile, Polaris is upping its game in the western hillclimb competitions, starting with the new stock 2022 models unveiled last spring, according to hillclimb dominator Keith Curtis.
“I’m super excited to get the new Matryx Slash out on the track,” Curtis said in a Polaris release. “After seeing what it can do in the backcountry, and how precise and responsive it is, I know it will be extremely competitive on the race course.”
The 850 RMK Khaos Matryx Slash will challenge the 900 and 1000, with the 650 Pro RMK Matryx in the 700 class.
Meanwhile, Polaris’ race department is getting its hands dirty with unique engine packages.
“The first is a factory-built 650 mod, built for the 700 Improved class. The engine features a revised head and calibration, as well as purpose-built twin pipes, designed in Roseau, MN by the engineering team,” Polaris said in a press release. “The second is a production stock Patriot Boost engine package to compete in the new Stock Turbo class. After taking all 7 Mod King titles last season, the Patriot Boost engine is ready to defend its reign from any challengers.”
600 Indy Cross-Country Details
Polaris also released some more information on the all-new 600 Indy Cross Country that it announced last spring as a factory-built race sled on the Matryx platform.
In a press release, Polaris stated: “The Cross-Country features components and designs proven on the toughest tracks, with a heavy-duty 136-inch Pro-CC rear suspension, race ready bracing, PRT brakes, venting and more. The 600 Cleanfire engine features exclusive lightweight flywheel and cup, lightweight rotating assembly, and more aggressive engine calibration. From the ditches of Minnesota to the legendary Alaskan Iron Dog, the race-team exclusive 600 Cross Country is ready.
“The new Matryx platform is going to be a big upgrade on the track, with how easy it is to move around the sled” said Alex Hetteen, Polaris Racer and Powertrain Engineer.
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