Ski-Doo 2017 Lineup Revealed
Mountain Sledder | On 22, Feb 2016
BRP just revealed its Ski-Doo 2017 lineup, and even though there were a few images circulating the web and causing a lot of fuss leading up to the big release, the official reveal of all the facts is enough to knock the socks off Ski-Doo fans.
The big splash for mountain sledders is the change to the 2017 Ski-Doo Summit, which, amongst other improvements, is built on a completely new platform—the REV Gen4. The new Summit is driven by an upgraded 165hp E-TEC powerplant with 850cc displacement that was developed in conjunction with the chassis. And putting the power to snow is a new drive clutch for snappier response and less maintenance. There are lots of other big and small improvements as well, and we’ll get to them all in turn.
REV Gen4 Platform
With the fourth generation of the REV chassis, the BRP engineers set out to further improve the handling characteristics of the REV family with a renewed focus on rider control. That meant centralizing mass and keeping rider positioning forward. MY2017 is the first time that BRP has designed an engine and a chassis in conjunction to achieve this, making it impossible to talk about the chassis without discussing the engine, and vice versa. The idea was to narrow the powerplant, and get it centered laterally to make for more responsive handling. The drive clutch-to-can width has been reduced by just over 10cm, and side-to-side distribution is an equal 50/50 in the Gen4.
It’s not just for appearances that the body panels have undergone a significant re-tooling as well. The side panels have been narrowed to help alleviate paneling-out, and the knee area has been redesigned for better rider movement and increased support on downhills. The toe hold area has been opened up for movement and reduction of snow build up, but an optional toe hook accessory is available for those who can’t live without one. Foot placement can be up to 2.6″ farther forward than on the REV XM. The entire sled is more narrow, including redesigned running boards.
The look is fresh but old at the same time, with a throwback to Ski-Doo designs of the past. The designers clearly have moved away from the flowing style of the REV XM, and have chosen function over fashion with a design that fits a little tighter. BRP claims they were going for a “lean and mean” look, and I think they achieved it. As long as it serves the purpose of making the Summit better, then Ski-Doo riders will be happy.
The Gen4 sports a new tunnel with a narrowed, beveled edge that—along with a new, smaller seat—should making hopping back and forth a little easier. Don’t worry, there is still a 16″ wide track for those of you that are freaking out now and can’t wait to get to that part. Underneath, the t-motion rear suspension has been updated with new geometry that allows for easier roll up, and is lighter to boot.
The platform rides on a new RAS 3 front suspension, which is similar in design to the RAS 2, but has been updated to fit the new REV chassis and offers 0.8″ more stroke and at 0.7lb weight reduction. Ski stance remains at 36″, and the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” HPG shocks by KYB offered on the Summit SP remain unchanged as well. 2017 Ski-Doo Summit X models still offer upgraded shocks as well. The front end of both models ride on the popular Pilot DS-3 ski that was introduced back in MY2016.
Okay, you’ve been very patient. Here are the goods on the new 850cc powerplant. This second generation E-TEC engine brings more horsepower, but possibly even more important than that (did I just type that?) is significantly better responsiveness.
The direct injection system has been redesigned to show 30% better responsiveness in BRP’s testing. Part of that comes from intake “booster injectors” that come into play at mid- and high-rpm when the rider snaps the throttle. The engines RAVE valves have been improved to operate 3x faster, and ECM controls the electronics faster as well.
Inside the engine, the pistons gain some advantages inspired from diesel and 4-stroke engines. Forged aluminum pistons have a cast iron ring carrier that resists pressure better than aluminum. What about heat expansions rates you ask? Well, the cylinders are coated with a superheated steel alloy in a new plasma coating process that replaces Nikasyl, meaning that the cylinders and piston rings will expand and contract at the same rates. Pretty cool.
Also new is a process that delivers oil directly to the crank bearings. This allows oil to be used only where needed, and reduces consumption drastically. A new crankshaft is forged from only two pieces, thereby theoretically increasing durability.
The 850 benefits from gains to efficiency. BRP claims that despite the displacement increase, fuel economy remains the same at 19 mpg / 12.3 l/100 km. However, oil consumption is decreased, and riders can expect a 40% increase in range per liter of oil. Not bad for an engine that pumps out 165hp, a claimed 10 hp more than its 800cc predecessor. Sweet!
A new drive clutch—called the pDrive— comes as no surprise, since it was revealed on the 2016 MXZx 600 at Hay Days back in September. On the race circuit thus far it has proven to be reliable and fast.
Slider technology from the old TRA-VII primary clutch has been replaced with friction-free rollers which help improve responsiveness and offer 30% less rotational mass. The pDrive comes still offers with adjustable clickers for altitude and snow conditions adjustments. The over-sized rollers use needle bearings instead of bushings, and BRP is claiming their new pDrive to be maintenance-free. For real?! No more clutches that start to stick at 3000km? Sick.
Putting the power to snow are the options of a 2.5″ and 3″ lug on both the 154″ and the new 165″ tracks for the Summit SP and Summit X. The 163″ option has been replaced by the 165″ track. And no, there is not a 3.4″ track like the speculators would have liked you to believe! But get this, the track IS new, with a 10lb weight reduction that can attributed to stronger and lighter lugs, and an increased pitch of 3.5″, which BRP claims to increase traction and float.
The new Summit REV Gen4
Okay, so with all this cool new technology, here the rub. You’re only going to get it in certain models, those being the Summit SP and Summit X sleds. Freeride models remain unchanged, as do the 174″ Summits, with the exception of bold new colour choices. That will be a bummer for some folks, but the bread-and-butter of BRP’s loyal customer base will get their shot at a new Gen4 model, even if they don’t get their act together in time to put in a spring-check.
The REV XM chassis will also still be available in most variations of the Summit for those who want a new sled but are not willing to guinea pig the new platform, or those on a tighter budget. The old carbureted P-TEK 800 has gone the way of the Dodo, and the only engine option for the budget Summit Sport will be the 600cc housed in the now two-generations old REV-XP platform.
All in, BRP has made an impressive number of changes to the Summit model, including many more minor changes that we haven’t even touched on. We could spend all day with those, but if you’re really interested, you should go to the source (http://www.ski-doo.com/ca/home).
To upgrade to a new generation 850 E-TEC engine, improved drivetrain and completely new REV Gen4 chassis all in one year is a major undertaking, and an impressive feat to say the least. It’s going to be interesting to see how all the upgrades stack on each other to advance beyond the capabilities of the incredibly successful REV XM platform.