Once again, Ski-Doo proves it’s not a company that likes to sit back and rest on its laurels with existing snowmobile technology. For 2011, the leading snowmobile manufacturer has a new engine, and use of E-TEC direct injection technology has been expanded.
E-TEC is now available on the 800R, boosting mileage and power from the torquey powerplant; a new small-displacement four-stroke engine powers some economy and utility sleds with fuel economy figures unmatched in the snowmobile industry. Summits get significant upgrades to improve their deep snow performance and a new model for the backcountry might start a new class of snowmobile.
It’s all about efficiency
The new four-stroke is called ACE 600, meaning Advanced Combustion Efficiency (ACE). It is the first in what Ski-Doo says is a new family of engines designed for maximum efficiency. Peak 60 hp is made at 7250 rpm. Claimed fuel economy is 29 mpg!
The inline twin is fed by a 42mm throttle body and exhausted through twin pipes that feed into a muffler next to the chaincase. A new primary clutch — from BRP’s Can-Am ATV lineup — is 3 pounds lighter than the TRA IV. At 95 pounds, the ACE 600 is within a pound of the Rotax 550 Fan currently used throughout Ski-Doo’s sled lineup.
The ACE 600 is available in MX Z, Renegade, Grand Touring, Expedition, Skandic and Tundra models. Utility machines include a cooling radiator and fan.
More E-TEC, more excellence
E-TEC direct injection debuted in the Ski-Doo lineup in 2009 on the 600 H.O. engine. The awesome fuel delivery technology brought one-pull starts, improved fuel economy, a lighter throttle pull and better running quality than Ski-Doo’s semi-direct injection system. The Rotax 800R gets the fuel system for 2011.
The Rotax E-TEC 800R engine debuted on a limited number of MX Z X and a few Summit models in January, it will also be available in Renegades when it goes full production for 2011. The technology required Rotax to tool up a new crankcase to accept the electronic oil pump; a new piston with a 2 mm ring, up from 1.5 mm, fills each cylinder. Other than those parts, the engine is same as the previous carbureted 800R powerplant.
Other changes include the Dual Air Intake system positioned on each side of the console. Since the 799cc engine needs more fuel, injectors have 25 percent more volume than the 600 H.O.’s. Ski-Doo claims 19 mpg from the E-TEC 800R – 15 percent better than the carbureted 800R PowerTEK – and half the oil usage.
We have an E-TEC 800R MX Z X demo sled and are enjoying a smoother pull than the carbureted 800R sleds we’ve driven since 2008. And just because it has a more buttery pull doesn’t mean it’s less lively; if anything, it’s more responsive, feels more powerful and playful because throttle response is right-on at any point in the power band.
The E-TEC 800R is available in MX Z, Summit and Renegade sleds. The carbureted 800R is still available in MX Z TNT trim, Renegade Backcountry, Renegade Backcountry X and Summit Everest with 163-, 154- or 146-inch track.
Adrenaline gets the axe, merges with TNT:
TNT and Sport are Ski-Doo’s full-season MX Z packages for 2011. The TNT represents the merging of the TNT and Adrenaline packages. The TNT is dressed in white, yellow and black with HPG Plus rebuildable shocks in front and rear, a new mid-height windshield and Rip Saw track with 1-inch lugs.
Sport machines are the low-cost package with Motion Control twin-tube shocks with the same Rip Saw track. They wear the Ski-Doo traditional yellow and black body. The ACE 600-powered model has a Rip Saw with 0.75-inch lugs.
The TNT is available with many engine options; E-TEC 800R (in limited numbers, electric start is standard), 800R PowerTEK with 40mm carburetors, 600 H.O. E-TEC, 1200 4-TEC, 600 (105 hp, carbureted two-stroke), 550 Fan or the new ACE 600 engine. Sport models can be powered by the 600, 600 ACE or 550 Fan. The 1200 four stroke comes in the wider REV-XR body.
Special MX Z X and X-RS models return for spring order with upgraded shocks and 1.25-inch tracks. The X package gets a new 12-inch windshield for better wind protection and larger hand guards with stronger mounts designed to resist vibration. The X-RS package includes KYB Pro 40 clicker shocks and race-style warmer controls and aluminum throttle block.
A new Summit
Ski-Doo developed the new Summit Freeride to compete with the Polaris Assault RMK and Arctic Cat HCR. The Freeride runs the E-TEC 800R engine and has a 16- by 154- by 2.25-inch track wrapped around the new SC-5MR rear suspension that is designed for better weight transfer control, improved handling, more-consistent ski pressure in rough conditions and bottoming resistance. Engineers moved the skidframe’s rear arm 4.5 inches farther back than the SC-5M to achieve this.
The Freeride is built on the RS race chassis with an adjustable ski stance from 41 to 43 inches. Buyers will receive one of eight graphic wrap kits of their choice to customize the appearance.
Ski-Doo made some big changes to the rest of the Summit platform, too, hoping to improve the sled’s performance in deep snow. The S-36 Handling Package reduces the ski stance to 37 inches and includes new Pilot DS (Deep Snow) skis with thinner edges than the Pilot 6.9 skis they replace so they cut into the snow more easily.
Summits now have a non-ported PowderMax track to improve their climbing ability. Ski-Doo claims its testing showed that identically equipped sleds with non-ported tracks climbed up to 150 feet farther than machines with ported tracks.
Renegade models are unchanged, except for the return to a 16-inch track after going to 15 inches for 2010. Spring X models get the 12-inch windshield.
New class of off-trail sled?
Ski-Doo says there’s a group of riders in “the East” who venture off trail to boondock through trees, play in meadows and explore the backcountry. But because the trees are so dense and lower elevation doesn’t require as much horsepower, Summit models aren’t ideal. Enter the Tundra Xtreme with 600 H.O. E-TEC engine.
This unique sled has a 32-inch ski stance for maneuverability, Narrow seat, tall handlebar riser and 16- by 154- by 2.25-inch Rip Saw track. To round out this odd package, it’s dressed in a sleek black color scheme.
“Sport Touring” on a GSX
The 2011 GSX LE comes in a white-and-yellow color scheme modeled after the MX Z. The package – available with 600 H.O. E-TEC (XP body) or 1200 4-TEC (XR) – also gets straight handlebars with hooks to suit touring riders who like to “get after it” every now and then.
The four-stroke GSX SE is Ski-Doo’s premium solo cruiser, equipped with the 136-inch track with Air Control rear suspension, tilt steering and heated seat. Red color and subtle graphics make a quiet, sophisticated statement.
Grand Touring SE gets new paint: black or blue with the 1200 4-TEC. The LE package is built on the REV-XR body with 600 H.O. E-TEC or 1200 4-TEC power. Sport models are powered by the new ACE 600, 600 carbureted two-stroke or 550 Fan engine.
For more details, the full model lineup and other photos of the 2011 Ski-Doo sleds, pick up the Spring 2010 issue of Snow Goer magazine.