FIRST LOOK: CAN-AM’S BRAND-NEW OUTLANDER 500/700
News of updated machines often leaves people wondering if real changes were made or just simply new colors were added. Truthfully, it’s been a handful of years since Can-Am has had a release of new 4×4 quads with changes this significant. We’re happy to see the updates and believe they will get even more people on board the brand. Can-Am is known for getting people outside and having fun with an array of awesome machines, but they have recently radically revamped the mid-size Outlanders to better fit consumer needs.
SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE
Mid-year 2023 will see a wide range of new 500 and 700 Outlander models, including standard models, 500 2×4, DPS, XT 700, X mr 700, MAX DPS and MAX XT 700. For needs beyond just having fun, the Outlander PRO HD7 and HD5 are designed with getting work done in mind, whether that work is hauling, towing or the need for more storage capacity. Work-oriented models will absolutely have no issue being fun play toys as well.
The PRO utility lineup will similarly have a standard PRO model, the PRO XU and PRO Hunting Edition. Can-Am claims all its new 500 and 700 models will have class-leading power, ground clearance, suspension travel, towing capacity and rack capacity. Can-Am obviously wanted to be the leader models to fit each customer’s personality.
Can-Am took a more streamlined approach when replacing the existing Outlander models. Now, they will be competing straight up against the other brands in the 500 and 700 or mid-displacement-class range. Despite major and significant changes and improvements that have specs that will be difficult for other brands to match, the Can-Am Outlander 4×4 quads still manage to match or beat other brands in pricing.
MID ENGINE OFFERINGS
Can-Am went all in with a completely new 650cc, single-cylinder, liquid-cooled, fuel-injected, Rotax four-stroke engine with a rear-exhaust, twin-cam cylinder head. In a move that BRP claims is common in the watercraft industry, both the 500 and 700 use the same 650cc engine!
Rotax was able to achieve a 10-horsepower difference between the 500 and 700 models with ECU calibration and different camshaft specs. There is 50 horsepower for the 700 models with 41 pound-feet of torque, while the 500s have 40 horsepower and 37 pound-feet of torque. In other words, Can-Am lived up to its reputation by again making the most horsepower in its class.
According to Can-Am, a new pDrive primary CVT clutch borrowed from the Maverick X3 side-by-side allows smoother shifting, increased durability and features L/H/N/R/P. The Out-lander PRO HD5 and HD7 machines are equipped with the same pDrive primary CVT and feature calibration for workloads, along with extra-low-range gearing.
Maintenance intervals for the new engine family appear to set a new standard with no break-in maintenance, along with 300-hour or 3000-kilometer/1867-mile service intervals—something Can-Am pushed for to streamline costs for the consumer. Airflow to the engine and transmission has also been increased to keep things cooler and lasting longer. Better airflow, along with the new rear-facing cylinder-head Rotax engine, allows heat to dissipate quicker and is said to not feel so hot on the legs while riding. Heat has been a complaint and is hopefully a diminished factor.
Can-Am again borrowed from the X3 Maverick Sport UTV to create the Outlander’s new 25-percent-lighter frame. They’ve incorporated arched A-arms front and rear. Remember that Can-Am previously used a torsional trailing arm suspension in the rear. This change has allowed them to get a class-leading 12 inches of ground clearance and almost 10 inches of travel in the front, and just over 10 inches in the rear. PRO models will feature stiffer suspension for heavier work and towing.
Can-Am says the new chassis design lends itself to better feel for the riders. The seat has been improved for better comfort, as well as a reshaped leg space for better grip and feel. Those two things are important to us for off-road riding performance. Some machines can feel much too wide and have a lifeless feel in that area.
You can see from the videos and pictures they’ve shared that the seating and leg area integrate the rider’s legs closer to the machine and look comfortable. Plus, Can-Am says reworking that area reduced noise and chassis feedback or vibration. A redesigned, more comfortable hand shifter is said to be much smoother than previous Outlander models.
STORAGE AND CAN-AM AFTERMARKET
Storage capacity is always nice, so Can-Am upped the space on the new models. On the front, right behind the handlebars, they’ve added an integrated 1-gallon compartment. On higher trim levels you’ll get a USB charge port and magnetic phone mount in that compartment. If that isn’t enough, Can-Am has created a platform that makes adding accessories easy, and they have a huge variety to choose from. Everything from heated grips, windshields, gun racks, and almost any adventure or work-related accessory you can think of. Extra cargo boxes of several sizes are also great aftermarket options.
GIANT STEPS FORWARD
Truthfully, we believe this is a big step for Can-Am and consumers. It may seem like a head-scratcher, but having a 500 and 700 with the same 650cc displacement has streamlined the Outlander platform. Can-Am was able to keep the cost extremely competitive among the other big brands while delivering a well-balanced and generously updated 4×4.
Details are almost endless on the new models, with features like an impressive plastic skid plate and plastic guards on the bottom of the axles on each four corners. You can also purchase extra skid plate pieces that extend beyond the stock one. Additional upgrades include redesigned brakes and brake levers.
Can-Am provided us with statistics on the cost comparisons to other brands that include maintenance over the lifetime of the machine. Impressive numbers, to say the least, and will put the Outlander in serious contention as a front runner in the mid-displacement market, especially considering recreational mid-size utility 4x4s are over 60 percent of the market. Combine those stats with killer new body lines and color options and you get all the boxes checked.
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