Rather rest on its laurels, Ski-Doo released revolutionary E-TEC direct injection technology across its 2009 snowmobile lineup. The company also pulled the wraps off a new, three-cylinder four-stroke engine for performance and touring sleds. The lightweight REV-X chassis has been expanded to include several new platforms for the new four-stroke and provide more touring comfort and utility work ethic.
E-TEC has been part of BRP’s Evinrude outboard lineup since 2004. Ski-Doo claims E-TEC engines have 15 percent better fuel economy than its semi-direct injection engine and use half the oil, provide a smokeless start-up and near-zero smell.
The technology features the industry’s first automatic summerization. At the push of a button, the oil pump coats the cylinders with oil then shuts down the engine automatically. The 600 H.O E-TEC engine replaces the SDI powerplant in MX Z, Summit, GSX and GTX models.
Ski-Doo has taken direct aim at the performance four-stroke market with the new Rotax 1200cc, high performance, three-cylinder, dual-overhead cam engine rated at 130 hp. The fuel-injected, four-valves-per-cylinder engine is fed by a single 52mm throttle body.
The 1200 4-TEC is available on MX Z, GSX and GTX models. We found the engine in the prototype MX Z 1200 X to have strong, smooth power. Mid-rpm acceleration through the tight trails we rode in Ontario in January was especially impressive and it seemed to have more pull than a 600cc two-stroke.
With a new, larger engine, Ski-Doo needed a platform to house its 1200cc four-stroke. The new REV-XR is home to MX Z, GSX, Premium GTX SE and GTX LE models. It rides on the same front and rear suspension as the XP-based machines, but a new engine cradle and glossy body work provide more room for the powerplant.
On the utility side, the Expedition TUV is built on the new REV-XU platform. It has wide running boards and a bevelled tunnel for more seating comfort than a straight tunnel that houses the 20-inch track. The XU runs on same front suspension as the REV-XP, but it uses a special utility-bred rear suspension.
Full-Season MX Zs
The TNT package returns as the lightweight platform in Ski-Doo’s lineup. It also represents the top performance, full-season machines available with the liquid-cooled, 105 hp 500SS, 600 H.O. E-TEC and 1200cc 4-TEC.
The MX Z 1200 TNT is based on the XR platform and it weighs a claimed 499 pounds, according to Ski-Doo. TNT trim includes a low windshield and hand guards; a lighter, low-profile seat sculpted for easy cornering, HPG Take Apart shocks, an aluminum handlebar with hooks and mechanical reverse on the four-stroke. Two-strokes get electric reverse.
The Adrenaline package is unchanged, except for the new E-TEC engine option. The 800R is available, too. HPG shocks are standard. The MX Z Trail and MX Z 550 X come with the 500SS and 550 Fan engine, respectively.
Hybrid Renegade models have the 1200 4-TEC, 800R or 600 H.O. E-TEC. Suspension packages are identical to Adrenaline models, but track lugs are 1.25 inches tall.
The GSX Limited runs with the 600 H.O. E-TEC in the XP body or the 1200 4-TEC engine in the XR platform. The four-stroke gets push-button reverse, but it uses a stepper motor to engage the shift fork. The fully loaded Limited package includes HPG shocks front and rear, a 12-volt power outlet and tunnel bag that adds 5.5 gallons of storage behind the seat. The Sport package is standard with the 500SS engine.
Touring riders get serious upgrades for 2009. The GTX moves to the glossy REV-XR package for more comfort, storage and style.
Each GTX model comes with traditional comfort features and more wind protection than solo models. Four-stroke machines have push-button mechanical reverse. The sleds are available with 1200 4-TEC or 600 E-TEC engines.
The SE package hauls one to three riders with the accessory third seat. SE features include new tilt steering, heated seat and shift-on-the fly Air Control rear suspension and Pilot 5.7 SL skis. The 1200 4-TEC is the only engine option.
SE and LE packages get the new Touring handling package that puts the passenger lower and the rear suspension higher in the tunnel for a lower ride height. The sway bar is stronger for flat cornering and the revised steering ratio requires less effort. The new SilenTrack has a molded rubber band that reduces the sound of track’s grauser bars against the idler wheels.
The Everest package remains the gold standard in Ski-Doo’s Summit line, but liquid-cooled value has been added with the new Everest 500SS. It’s standard with a 16- by 146- by 2-inch track. Other Summit Everest engine options are the E-TEC (154-inch track only) or the 800R (154 or 163 inches). All Summits are standard with the PowderMax track.
The X package is available on MX Z and Summit models during Ski-Doo’s spring promotion.
MX Zs get hand guards, HPG Clicker Take Apart aluminum shocks, a steel-braided brake line and racing brake pads. A white, black and yellow color scheme is also available.
Summit X machines get aluminum HPG Take Apart shocks. Summit Everest models can get HPG shocks and electric start during the spring promotion.
For more information on the 2009 Ski-Doo lineup, including details about E-TEC technology, pick up the Spring 2008 issue of Snow Goer on newsstands later this month.