Ski-Doo has launched its 2023 snowmobile lineup and it includes many upgrades, including a narrower Generation 5 of the REV chassis for the mountains and for trails, new entry-level machines, a more powerful two-stroke turbo and much more.
There will also be more choices to make in select segments (including a rigid rear option on some Summits) and fewer choices in others (the full-sized MXZ line is paired down for the new year). A high-tech new touch-screen gauge option, three-position clicker shocks and more technology highlight another giant step forward for the marketshare leader in snowmobiling.
In this article, we’ll focus on the new REV Gen5 chassis platform and what is means for mountain and flatland riders. Click here to read about Ski-Doo’s new family sleds, and check back for more articles on 2023 Ski-Doos and Lynx snowmobiles that were unveiled on February 14.
Generation 5 of the REV
Anyone paying attention to the calendar knew that Ski-Doo would likely be launching a new version of its REV chassis for the new model year – supply chain problems be damned. And Ski-Doo didn’t disappoint.
Predictably, the new layout that replaces the REV Gen4 on models featuring Ski-Doo’s 850 E-TEC engine is called REV Gen5. Its application for Summit and Freeride models is actually more dynamic than for MXZ and Renegade riders, but there’s a freshness throughout.
It starts with narrower body panels that fit tighter to the inner workings under the cowl. On the trail sleds, the most notable attribute is a more aerodynamic look, a bit of a “beak-like” front end and dynamic LED headlights that are said to be dramatically brighter than the lights they replace.
Other shared features between the flatlander sleds and the mountain machines include new switchwork, a motor cradled by four engine mounts instead of three for less vibration and the option of a new, super-high-tech gauge that can be ordered in the spring.
That gauge measures 10.2 inches wide, integrates well into the chassis and can offer all sorts of information on the sled plus mapping options when tied into the BRP Go! app on your phone. It’s controlled by touch-screen capabilities on all sleds, though MXZ and Renegade buyers will also be able to control it through handlebar switches.
Mountain Specific Features
For mountain riders, Ski-Doo narrowed things up even further, shaving 3 inches in total width between the body panels while also narrowing the running boards by a similar amount. Those running boards feature a much more open design – particularly at the front – to let more snow slip through the holes.
The body parts on Gen5 mountain sleds have many interesting features, including a clutch guard that is built into the side panel, a smaller side-panel door that allows access to the oil tank, and an air intake that’s moved up on top of the windshield-less dash.
The go-narrow approach better matches the 34-inch ski stance that Ski-Doo put on some mountain sleds last year – with body panels and running boards now pulled in, there’s less to hang in the snow and cause a panel-out situation.
Ski-Doo designers also attacked the sleds’ weight, stripping between 6 and 16 pounds off of the machines, depending on track length. The track itself was actually a big part of that process – lighter tracks with a new lug design strip poundage while adding traction, Ski-Doo official say.
On top of all of this, Ski-Doo is also upping the output of its 850 Turbo powerplant – jumping from 165 to 180 horsepower thanks to new injectors, cylinder head, ECU and airbox, plus more boost. Reinforcements were made to the clutches and chaincase to handle the power.
Which Summit: Tilt Or Not?
Also new for 23, Ski-Doo is offering those who want a more connected feel to the ground a rear end that doesn’t tilt.
For its Expert package, Ski-Doo is introducing the tMotion XT rear suspension with a solid rear arm and grouser bars that run the full width of the track. For the “Expert” riders that this package is aimed at, it will give them more feedback from the terrain below the machine and should make sidehilling more confident, Ski-Doo officials said. However, it will be a bit more work to tilt on its side without the regular tMotion’s tilting rear arm and FlexEdge track.
That Expert package also gets Pilot DS4 skis with more aggressive keels.
The Summit X package machines will keep the tilting rear arm and FlexEdge for 2023, creating a true distinction between those two packages. Full season Edge and SP models also get Gen5 upgrades, as do the reinforced, hardcore Freeride mountain slayers.
MXZs and Renegades
Back to the flatland sleds, only MXZ and Renegade models with the two-stroke 850 E-TEC engine get the new chassis platform – 600-class two strokes and all four-strokes stay in the REV Gen4 layout. It should also be noted that Ski-Doo attached noise, vibration and harshness with the new chassis – which is reflected by the aforementioned motor mounts plus new sound-deadening efforts on both the clutch and exhaust side.
Ski-Doo is narrowing it’s full-featured, full-sized MXZ choices – with X-RS as the Spring-order package and Blizzard as the in-season model, with no more X Package or TNT. The MXZ Sport gets the RAS X front end for 2023 but otherwise is unchanged as the price-leader. Other than, of course, the Neos, 120 and 200 that are covered here.
In the Renegade lineup, though, is still more broad – with X-RS and X spring-order packages in Gen4 or Gen5 depending on which engine you choose; and Enduro, Adrenaline and Sport as in-season selections.
X-RS models in either lineup will come with new, three-position KYB shocks – simplifying suspension options like other shock brands have done instead of giving folks a choice between 20-some-odd clicker positions.
All Backcountry machines stay in the REV Gen4 chassis for 2023. Hey, they’ve got to save something for 2024, right?