We are a lucky bunch here at DOOTalk. Each December we anxiously await an invitation to the upcoming Ski-Doo new model release event. It's exciting for the obvious reasons-- we get to see the new iron first hand and we also get to hobnob with the small army of BRPer's that descend on the event from the mother ship in Valcourt. Having DOOTalk.com embroidered on your golf shirt isn't a great way to get invited to the other manufactures' media events, so we also enjoy talking to all the snowmobile media at the Doo event to help us get a reading on the snowmobile industry in total. Although we could be accused of seeing things through yellow tinted glasses, here's the general conclusion we came away with this year--even with major platform changes by others in the industry over the last couple years aimed clearly at challenging Ski-Doo, the others are still only fighting for being second best.
What's new for 2013?
Summit to new heights - The new REV-XM platform brings a totally customized powder riding sled to the masses right from the factory. The new Summit highlights a radical new rear suspension, the tMotion, and a major track innovation that will make mountain sled maneuvers easy for new riders and let experienced riders interact with a sled like never before. Add aggressive new styling to the equation and the Mountain Doo gang will be a happy bunch next winter.
tMotion rear suspension: A swiveling rear arm and split front arm allow the skid frame to flex laterally, reducing the sled's resistance to banking. A higher rising-rate motion ratio also adds capacity and comfort.
FlexEdge track technology: The fiberglass reinforcing rods are only 12 inches wide on the 16 inch wide tracks. When the rider initiates a roll, the edge of the track flexes and enables the sled to have the maneuverability of a narrow track but still maintain the flotation and traction of a wide track--genius!
REV-XM ergo package: Compared to the 2012 Summit, riders on the REV-XM will be able to place their feet about eight inches more forward on the sled which will make many powder maneuvers much easier. The rider will basically be able to be directly to the side of the handlebars. Running board openings on the XM are 87% larger for better snow removal and improved grip. The Summit will get minimalist handlebar controls for less interference with the rider along with a rigid grab handle that offers more leverage than past versions for improved sidehilling. The Summit seat will have storage, but still be smaller than last year's which will make it easier to swing a leg over. The gauges are mounted flat for easy viewing when standing (a request that DOOTalker's have asked for in the past) and a new heated glove box under the windshield will be perfect for keeping small important items close and safe.
REV-XS body style: BRP is introducing a fresh body style for the REV-X platform, the REV-XS. It's a modernized look with a host of new features as well. The style is called "layered floating edge". Body panels are deconstructed like in the past, helping to give the feeling of compactness and aiding in weigh reduction. Different textures, materials, and floating elements give a great new look along with gloss black (yes!) side panels. Like in the past, different color options will help differentiate between models. The layering elements of the design are not just for looks, they also add key functions like hidden venting and overlapping panels that hide gaps and improve overall appearance. The headlight design is also much improved allowing for better low-beam visibility and ease of adjustment for beam height. Running boards on the REV-XS have a 300% stiffer extruded edge/grip and new LED taillight has increased intensity for better visibility. Add a heated glove box and only four bolts to take off the hood and headlight pod for easier servicing and we believe the REV-XS will be a big hit with Ski-Doo buyers for 2013.
rMotion rear suspension expanded:
BRP made one mistake with the rMotion last year--they offered it on too few models and left many potential buyers wondering if they should wait for the new benchmark of comfort, capability and adjustability to show up on the model they wanted to buy. Good things come to those that wait. In 2013, the rMotion suspension is expanded to several more trail riding models. Most MX Z and Renegade sleds gain the advantages of the pioneering suspension. Spring buyers of all models also will have the option to add the rMotion Quick Adjust system, which mounts the rear spring preload and rear shock compression damping controls on the running boards for ultimate convenience.
eDrive 2 clutch: The eDrive primary clutch is adapted for the four-stroke power of the Rotax 4-TEC 1200 engine for better response, durability and longer belt life.
LinQ cargo attachment system: We first saw this system last year at the 2012 Can-Am intro. It really is very slick and we think it will be a huge hit with DOOTalkers as it is the simplest and most secure way to attach accessories to a sled’s tunnel. One flip of a lever mounts items such as an auxiliary fuel can, cargo bag or 1+1 seat in just seconds. Holes for mounting LinQ receivers are predrilled in most 2013 sled tunnels.
New specialized accessories for REV-XM and REV-XS body sleds: An entire line of accessories was created in the development of the REV-XM and REV-XS body styles, ensuring perfectly fitting accessories from Day 1. Many new items are specialized for the riding styles of the different sleds, such as a powder deflector, updated 1+1 seating system and a 10 LED light array.
Expanded use of Sympatex technology in premium riding gear: The waterproof/breathable membrane technology is expanded to the Racing line of riding gear, including racing shells. Totally water and wind-proof, Sympatex membrane becomes more breathable the more active the wearer is riding. It is also extremely stretchable for long garment life and retains its breathability when soiled and through laundering. We have experience with Sympatex and we are happy to see it expanded to more BRP gear.
New wrap kit program: Wrap kits have become more popular for all riders, just check out all the custom wraps on DOOTalker's sleds. Buyers of 2013 Ski-Doo's will have more choices and flexibility for "factory wraps" than ever before through a partnership with SCS Sledwraps. Spring buyers of select models will be able to choose from more than 60 designs, which can be further customized with colors, names, numbers and tunnel decals. Overall, there will be more than 27,000 combinations....we did the math!
Ever since the REV-XP debuted in 2008, it has been packed with new breakthrough innovations each season, such as ultra lightweight pyramidal construction, the Rotax E-TEC 600 H.O., and 800R engines and rMotion rear suspension. For 2013, the MX Z exterior has evolved and the result is the new REV-XS body style, debuting on the MX Z X package and the MX Z TNT package with E-TEC 800R engine. Styled with a theme of “layered flowing edge” according to BRP, the REV-XS platform variation is a dramatic evolution of the "facetised" REV-XP body work. Complex flowing shapes, often with different textures, are layered on top of each other for a premium new look. Wind protection is improved and it’s possible to get even farther up on the sled in cornering because of new body panel contours. A heated glove box, brighter headlight, LED taillight also are new for 2013. The LinQ cargo attachment system, which debuted on Can-Am ATVs this year, is also new and makes bringing along an added fuel caddy, luggage or even a 1+1 seat hassle-free. We are also pleased that BRP is offering the addition of the rMotion rear suspension to the in-season MX Z TNT model. For those wanting a more economical MX Z sled, there's the MX Z Sport model that will be priced as one of the best values in the industry.
What's New for 2013 - MZ X summary:
- REV-XS body style in X and select TNT models
- rMotion rear suspension expanded to TNT package
- eDrive 2 primary clutch on sleds with Rotax 4-Tec 1200 engine
We will always have a Renegade in our DOOTalk stable. We are big fans for a couple reasons. You either like the Renegade because the long-track performs so well on the trail or because you like to do some serious exploring off-trail. BRP basically creates two groupings for those two types of riders. The Renegade Adrenaline and X packages are for the first group; and the Backcountry and Backcountry X packages are for the second.
We consider the Renegade one of the best handling trail sleds on the market already, but the addition of the rMotion rear suspension to the 2013 line-up should make for a significant improvement. The rMotion combined with the 137-inch track will make for an awesome combination for smoothing out the worst of trails.
Spring order Renegade X and Backcountry X models will also have the REV-XS body style featuring a heated glove box, better headlight, LED taillight and new snowflap design.
What's New for 2013 - Renegade summary:
- REV-XS body style on X and Backcountry X
- rMotion rear suspension now standard on X, Adrenaline, Backcountry and Backcountry X
- eDrive 2 primary clutch on sleds with Rotax 4-Tec 1200 engine
The redesigned 2013 Summit REV-XM should deliver a riding experience like nothing ever seen before. The BRP engineers re-thought every aspect of a sled that a rider interacts with -handlebars, switchgear, running boards, seat, grab strap and even the gauges--and also developed a brand new rear suspension and track technology that will change the way DOOTalkers can ride the high country.
The result is the most specialized mountain sled ever developed from a factory. The machine is more flickable and predictable in all deep snow conditions, and technical riding and tricky maneuvers are much easier on this new Summit.
For the first time, accessory design was fully integrated into the development process at Ski-Doo and you can expect a full line-up of products that are unique to the functional needs of mountain riding.
For the price shoppers, BRP has turned back the calendars to 2003 and will be offering a Summit Sport 154 model for less than $10,000US. Not bad for a REV-XP Summit with S-36 handling package, SC-5M suspension and PowerT.E.K 800R.
What's New for 2013 - Summit summary:
- Mountain specific REV-XM platform
- tMotion rear suspension
- FlexEdge track technology
- REV-XM body style
- REV-XM mountain specific ergonomics
- New colors
- SC-5M 2 rear suspension on Sport package
- Value priced Sport package
The Freeride sled is for those that don't want to be confined to trails and want to express themselves in various riding styles. Snowmobilers are doing things with sleds never imagined just a few years ago and the Freeride is tailored for the high-flying and hard-nosed freeride style. The Freeride is not a "reinforced Summit". It starts with a REV-X RS chassis from a MX Zx 600RS snocross race sled, adds snocross KTB PRO 40 shocks and a SC-5M 2 rear suspension that comes in 146 or 154 versions (137 version uses SC-5 rear suspension).
What's New for 2013 - Freeride summary:
- Available in-season
- One track option for 146 and 154: PowderMax II with 2.5 inch lugs
- Standard temp gauge
- Squadron Green/Day-glo orange color combo
BRP made a comment to us recently that made a lot of sense. The GSX model isn't about taking things away (as in, not as cool as an MX Z), it's about adding high tech and comfort features to an award winning chassis, suspension and motor combination to heighten the experience for those that want to put on big miles or just ride in comfort. Items that set the GSX apart from other performance trail sleds are standard electric start, push button reverse, high windshield, mirrors, multi-function gauge cluster, 12V accessory outlet, heated visor outlet, expandable tunnel bag and refined graphics and colorations that would be right at home in an Audi dealership. 2013 will bring a more efficient and durable eDrive for 1200 4-TEC equipped sleds and a great new magnesium color for SE buyers.
Sometimes it's hard to improve upon a good thing. That's the case for the 2013 Grand Touring which sees few changes from last year. The Grand Touring is suited for those that like to head out on extended excursions, often riding two-up, and enjoy all that winter has to offer.
Touring is also about creature comforts and the Grand Touring delivers the goods with air control suspension and heated seats for driver and passenger. Seating and storage flexibility also abound on this Ski-Doo flagship. The two-up can be reconfigured in seconds without tools for one, two or three (when 2+1 accessory seat is installed) riders and varying amounts of cargo.
For 2013, the Grand Touring is offered in the the SE, LE and Sport models.
Sport Utility Sleds
The Expedition is such a versatile snowmobile it is truly difficult to classify. It can act as a trail touring sled, go off-trail for some exploring and end the day as a work horse. BRP calls the segment Touring Utility Vehicles--maybe TUV is the new SUV.
For 2013, the Expedition will come in SE, LE and Sport trim.
The Tundra has a near cult following as snow machines go. No other sled in the industry offers a ski-like bottom pan and telescopic front suspension--mated with Ski-Doo's SC-5U rear suspension and the REV-XU platform. The Tundra is unmatched for off-trail flotation and nimbleness.
Similar to the Tundra, the Skandic is a sled without peers. From ski hills to trail grooming to pulling a ice fishing hut or a load of firewood, the Skandic is the world's most popular work horse on the snow.
That wraps up the highlights of the 2013 Ski-Doo lineup. We think that our mountain crew will be thrilled with the new Summit and that our trail lovers will be excited about the new look and features available on the MX Z and Renegade models. Be sure to check out www.skidoo.com for full details on all the product models.
Here are some shots from the new model intro.