CAN-AM TURBO MAVERICK

Turbo systems are nothing new to the powersports world. Snow machines and watercraft have been using this power booster for years. However, until now, only the aftermarket offered turbo systems for off-road vehicles. Companies like Boondockers, MCX and Pro Charger have been bolting on power enhancers for well over a decade. The primary customer of this type of product has been the sand dunner, wanting that extra boost of juice in the power-robbing sand.

Now with Can-Am offering the first OEM off-road vehicle equipped with a turbocharger, the range of uses will no doubt expand, as will the competition. The big question we have is, how well will Can-Am’s Mitsubishi turbocharger-equipped Maverick work in the varying terrain of our off-road world? We will not only test it in the dunes, we will drive it in the mud, over rocks and through the dust at different altitudes.

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NEW CHASSIS
Can-Am not only added over 20 horsepower to the Maverick, they increased its suspension travel 2 inches and the wheelbase almost 4 inches. All three of these items were desperately needed for it to keep up with its competition. Out back, the trailing A-arm suspension was lengthened, gaining that extra wheelbase and helping increase travel. However, the new, longer Fox 2.5-inch Fox shocks should be given some credit for the extra travel and added adjustability. On all four corners, these Fox shocks now offer high- and low-speed compression adjustments, along with preload and rebound tuning. The front arms, too, have been moved away from the center a full inch, allowing a wheelbase of 88 inches, which is two inches shorter than the RZR 1000.

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FIT AND STYLE
On the outside, Can-Am still gives you one of the coolest-looking UTVs you can buy. The bodywork has a great design with a mean, aggressive look. It will surely intimidate anyone on the trail who looks behind them and sees it reeling them in. The Turbo model has bright green steel tubes, making up the roll cage and suspension. The black bodywork on our test unit is accented with fender flares and a center nose section coated in a carbon fiber-looking finish.

Inside the cockpit you are treated with the best-finished cabin in the industry. The seats mount solid, but are plush with high backs and sliders. The steering wheel is well placed and feels like an Italian sports-car quality. Passengers enjoy the same comfort ,a solid hand-hold opportunity and a very spacious glovebox. The only difference the Turbo model has over the standard in this area is that the inter-cooler sits centrally located just behind the driver’s seat. It does block the view out of the back of the car, so adding a rear-view mirror is a little higher is on any customer’s wish list.

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TEST DRIVE
When you rev the Rotax engine, it sounds about the same as the non-turbo-equipped model. However, it do
es seem like Can-Am refined the drive-by-wire throttle system a little, removing some of the lag. When you let off the throttle, you can hear the turbo wind down slightly. There is nothing slight about the power increase you feel, however, when you mash the throttle. At first punch, there’s not a huge hit. It takes a split second for the power boost to be noticed. But when it kicks in, oh boy, hang on. The power ramps up quickly and spins the tires wildly. The feeling is exhilarating, to say the least. If the machine wasn’t 4WD, it would be hard to control with a heavy foot.

With a talented driver behind the wheel, the power is still impressive. You really have to modulate the throttle to get the tires to hook up on loose, sand-covered hardpack. At 50 mph, you still feel the tires searching for traction. In a drag race between the Can-Am Maverick Turbo and a Polaris RZR XP 1000, it’s no contest. The Maverick launches forward off the line about equal with the RZR, but then within three car lengths, the Maverick is two car lengths ahead. The results are the same in deep sand as well. The Maverick’s clutch and ignition are tuned to limit the machine at 82 mph, just like the RZR 1000. However, you can tell the motor has at least 10 mph left to offer. But at those speeds, the car is still loose, so unless you had perfect traction, we wouldn’t hold the throttle down for very long. During high-speed lap runs, we found it best to come out of the corners at about half throttle and give it no more than 3/4 throttle to keep the machine tracking forward. It has that much power.

In the bumps, the new refinements weren’t as impressive as the turbo being added to the motor. The front end was plush and forgiving, but the back was still harsh on the big bumps. There is very little body roll, which helps it in the tight stuff, but we had to play with the spring rate and compression clickers a little. To get the machine a little plusher, we removed a half-inch of coil spring and backed the high-speed compression five clicks. We added three clicks of slow-speed compression to offset the spring change. This setting was much better than what was delivered from the factory. It drives through the smaller bumps and skipped off the bigger ones. Still, we wish bottom-out protection was more forgiving just in the rear only.

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CONCLUSION
The Maverick X ds is improved over last year’s model. The longer wheelbase and added suspension travel help a ton in the rough stuff. It still corners well and is a blast to drive over any terrain. The added horsepower will help people that ride in the dunes for sure. It will also help guys who want to drag race and beat their buddies in RZRs. If you are more into precise handling, the Maverick will take a little tweaking, but we think the parts are all in place to do so.

2015 CAN-AM MAVERICK X DS TURBO
Engine…..976cc turbocharge, V-twin,
liquid-cooled, SOHC,8-valve
Bore x stroke………………91mm x 75mm
Fuel system….54mm EFI throttle body
Fuel capacity…………………………10 gal.
Starting system……………………..Electric
Final drive………………………………..Shaft
Suspension/wheel travel:
Front………………Double A-arm w/ 15”
Rear……………Trailing A-arms w/ 16”
Tires:
Front……Maxxis Bighorn 2.0, 28x9x14
Rear….Maxxis Bighorn 2.0, 28x11x14
Brakes:
Front……………….Dual hydraulic discs
Rear……………….Dual hydraulic discs
Wheelbase……………………………………88”
Length/width/height…117.3”/64”/74.2”
Ground clearance………………………..13”
Total rack capacity…………………200 lb.
Curb weight………………………….1399 lb.
Colors…………………………….Black, white
MSRP……………………………………..$21,499

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