Ski-Doo unveiled its 2024 snowmobile lineup tonight with a live broadcast from its Houston, Texas-based dealer meeting, and it included many exciting pieces of news. We had a chance to do an initial test ride on select models recently and will share impressions below as well as in other linked stories, but in this piece we’ll cover the high ground.
Among the big Ski-Doo news for 2024:
- The brand is bringing its 180 horsepower 850 Turbo R engine to the flatland category in an MXZ model in a very unique way, including a water-and-methanol-based cooling system for the intake tract.
- An electric Ski-Doo Grand Touring snowmobile was unveiled. It will be a commercial-use-only vehicle in its first year, but it is an important and likely historic vehicle that may someday lead to enthusiast sleds.
- The Backcountry lineup gets several updates, including new cMotion X rear suspension geometry and rack steering, both aimed at making this crossover handle better on trails without giving up off-trail capabilities.
- The MXZ and Renegade lineups are being separated, with full-sized MXZs available in 129- and 137-inch track lengths with two-stroke engines, and Renegades being focused almost exclusively on four-stroke powerplants with one exception (a two-stroke Renegade Adrenaline with Enduro Package).
- Ski-Doo is also creating more space between its mountain sleds by utilizing new front geometry on its Freeride lineup, dedicating Freerides to true thrash-and-bash riders and separating it from Summit models.
- The REV Gen5 chassis upgrades originally only on 850s for 2023 get spread much deeper through Ski-Doo’s lineup for 2024, including to sleds powered by 600s and four-strokes.
There’s also a strong new brake on select models, a new naming/badging structure to learn and much more.
Ski-Doo Trail Lineup: New Tech And New Names
You know that Renegade 850 or 600 you’ve been dreaming about getting? Well you can’t have it – at least not with that name anymore.
A couple of years ago, Ski-Doo stopped building four-stroke MXZs, but now it’s made segregation within the trail segment almost complete for 2024 by also getting rid of all but one two-stroke Renegade and instead giving track length options to full-size MXZ buyers.
For 2024, buyers can choose between an MXZ in either a 129- or 137-inch track length with a 600R, an 850 or a 850 Turbo R powerplant in a mix-and-match of X-RS (with Competition Package), X, Adrenaline and “Adrenaline with Blizzard Package” trim. It’s akin to ordering a 129- or 137-inch Indy from Polaris or ZR from Cat. All of those models will be in the REV Gen5 platform, and all will have a fixed position riser that’s located more forward, in the position of X-RS models in the past.
Ski-Doo officials stressed that most full-sized MXZs are aimed at more aggressive riders no matter which package you get. There will, though, still be less aggressive MXZ Sport, Neo, Neo+, 200 and 120 models for smaller riders or newcomers that will essentially be unchanged. The MXZ X-RS with Competition Package is covered in another story.
Within the all-137-inch Renegade brand, engine options will be 900 ACE Turbo R, 900 ACE Turbo, 900 ACE and, in some instances 600 ACE within segment lines of X-RS, X, Adrenaline, “Adrenaline with Enduro Package” and Sport trim. Aside from four-stroke options, Renegade Adrenaline with Enduro Package will be able to be ordered with either a two-stroke 600R or 850, the one exception to the MXZ = two strokes while Renegades = four strokes rule.
All of those Renegades above the Sport are moving to the REV Gen5 platform – meaning they’ll benefit from new gauges, headlight and body panels, though the body panels will be formed a bit broader to cradle a four-stroke engine. It’s akin to the REV Gen4 Wide Body concept of the previous chassis. Renegades will typically have better wind protection and a steering post mounted deeper in the chassis, aimed at more high-mile performance cruising than the bump-chasing MXZs.
Cutting across the MXZ and Renegade divide, though, will be a new four-piston caliper brake and new adjustable brake lever on X-RS models. The brake should be most appreciated, Ski-Doo officials said, by folks who like to stab the lever with one finger when riding aggressively.
Ski-Doo’s Backcountry models have won the Snow Goer “extreme crossover” shootouts in the last two seasons due to their combination of agile deep snow capabilities and acceptable on-trail handling. Ski-Doo officials, though, felt they could improve the latter, and did in model year 2024.
The Backcountry X-RS, Backcountry X 850 and Backcountry Adrenaline 850 and 600R models all benefit from new geometry in the cMotion X rear suspension which features a longer front arm that lies flatter.
In addition, the Backcountry X-RS and X versions also get a rack steering system that helps tame bump steer in rugged corners.
The results were impressive on our brief ride on pre-production Backcountry sleds earlier this month. The sleds could be pushed harder down the trails with more confidence and stability in turns. Backcountry models keep their 39-inch ski stance and Ski-Doo officials said skid frame and steering system changes will have no trade-off in terms of off-trail prowess. We’re looking forward to testing that theory soon.
All of those models also move to the REV Gen5 chassis for 2024. The Backcountry Sport is back unchanged in Gen4 skin.
Freeride & Summit Changes
Within the mountain-focused segment, changes being made to the Freeride’s front suspension, ski and track are aimed at creating more separation between Ski-Doo’s top deep snow offerings.
The 2024 Freeride 850 and 850 Turbo R snowmobiles will get a revised spindle with less trail, Pilot DS4 skis, a 15-inch wide full-rod track and a rigid rear arm tMotion XT rear suspension. Together, these changes plus the existing high-end shocks and reinforcements separate it more from the Summits by making it even more of a hero sled aimed at big jumps and hard landings.
Our lead mountain tester T.J. Krob got to spend a day with Ski-Doo’s mountain sleds, and said the new Freerides “take aggression to a whole new level.” Freerides will be available once again with the choice of a 165-, 154- or 146-inch track. Krob said the 146er in particular craves momentum and track speed for the rider who wants to muscle their way through the environment. They can be more work, but also more fun for hooligan riding.
The Summit X with Expert Package may be a better match for many veteran riders who like to pick their way through the trees and climb to distant peaks. It’s essentially unchanged for 2024, returning with a rigid rear arm on the tMotion XT, a 16-inch wide PowderMax X-Light track with full-width grouser bars and standard SHOT hot restart.
The Summit X get a few upgrades, including an adjustable limiter strap, adjustable brake lever and shorter riser block. It’s the “every man’s” Summit, according to Ski-Doo officials, with a go anywhere, do anything appeal. Its tMotion skid with some movement at the rear arm plus FlexEdge track make it easier to initiate and hold tilts.
The Summit SP is gone for 2024, but a rebadged Summit Adrenaline and Summit Adrenaline with Edge Package are back, now with 600-class engine options in the Gen5 chassis. The smaller Summit Neo and Neo Plus return unchanged.
Sport, Utility & Touring
Ski-Doo’s lineup stays very broad for 2024, with a gaggle of Expedition (LE, SE, Extreme and Sport), Tundra (LE and Sport) and Skandic models (SE, LE and Sport), each with many engine options. They are mostly unchanged.
The Grand Touring Electric model is the big news in the two-up category – you can read about it here. Beyond that, the Grand Touring LE and LE with Luxury Package move to the REV Gen5 chassis while the Grand Touring remains a budget-focused entry option.