A new UTV horsepower king and new models, colors and options
— By the staff of Dirt Wheels:
We once enjoyed watching a TV cartoon show where two mice came up with a new plan every day plotting to “take over the world!” As you ponder the sheer magnitude of the 2018 Can-Am lineup for UTVs and quads, it is clear that someone at the Canadian company is working with the same plot line as Pinky and the Brain. In fact, Can-Am goes so far as to say that the new 172-horsepower Maverick X3 Turbo R lineup is “an effort to change the game in the off-road world and take over the super-sport segment of the side-by-side vehicle industry.” In other words, take over the pointed end of the UTV world. To work that magic, Can-Am took the already high-performance X3 Turbo R’s three packages—X3 (base), X3 X ds and X3 X rs—and redesigned the intercooler and fan to maximize heat transfer by up to 49 percent. In return for the better-cooled intake charge and a new fuel pump, the X3 Ace engine produces 18 more horsepower and 10 percent more torque. All of the X3 X rs models—the high-end package with the 72-inch width, 26 inches of rear-wheel travel and 22 inches front-wheel travel—will come stock with factory-installed, retractable, four-point harness-type seat belts. Reportedly, the new X3s will leap from 0 to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds but will not leap in price at all for 2018!
And in further good-money news, Can-Am added to the X3 lineup for 2018. The new model is simply designated Maverick X3 Turbo, and it is available in two-seat and four-seat Max versions. The Turbo is non-intercooled, so the power output tops out at 120 horsepower, and it shares the Ace engine and 20-inch suspension with its more muscular siblings, but the starting price is under $20,000. All of Can-Am’s X3 models have been selling extremely well, and these changes should just build that momentum.
Before the arrival of the Can-Am Maverick X3, the regular Maverick sport models were the pointy weapons in the Can-Am quiver. Powered by potent Rotax V-twin engines, the Maverick line still has a lot going for it. We have always liked the cockpit accommodations the Maverick offered, as well as the great torque of both the 1000 engine and the Turbo engine. There are some cool new colors in Maverick land, as well as new Gen2 Can-Am Dynamic Power Steering (DPS). The Maverick X mr and Maverick Max X mr are specialized mud-edition UTVs. When you hear “mr,” think “mud racer.” The mr models get new 30-inch ITP Cryptid mud tires.
In terms of pure sport prowess, the next step down for Can-Am is the recreation-utility hybrid that Can-Am calls “Rec-Ute.” The Commander line is slotted between the Maverick line and the utility-oriented Defender line. The step up from a pure utility machine to the Commander is a giant one. The Commander can work, but it has a definite sporting bent. There are lots of new colors in this 15-model line. The two-seat and Max Commander 1000R jumps up to 92 horsepower (7-horsepower increase) for 2018 thanks to getting the Rotax V-twin 1000R engine, transmission and air-intake system from the Can-Am Maverick 1000R. It also gets a wider stance, larger brakes and new 14-inch cast-aluminum wheels. All this and the price is the same as 2017! In the U.S., the Can-Am Commander 800 boasts a $1000 price drop for the new model year.
There are changes for the Commander Limited packages too. They get new Fox 2.0 QS3 Podium shocks that allow you to adjust the damping without tools. The Limited models also have a standard Bluetooth connector.
Though the tough Defender line is the most utility of all Can-Am offerings, it is also considered part of Can-Am’s Ute-Rec offerings. Remember that many full utility offerings never see a farm, ranch or building site. They are used for fishing, hunting, sightseeing, camping and other outdoor activities that are recreation in anybody’s dictionary. Two new models were added to the Defender line for 2018. The first is a value offering—the Can-Am Defender Max HD8 crew cab that retails for $12,399! That is a great price for an 800cc crew model from an established brand that can haul up to six people and still haul 1000 pounds in the bed.
At the opposite end of the spectrum is the new 2018 Defender Max XT Cab HD10 super model. It features enhanced ground clearance, arched A-arms with a greater footprint and an integrated heater system. The heater works because the Defender Max XT Cab HD10 has a full cab enclosure from the factory, including a full glass windshield, wiper/washer kit, full doors with front electric windows and hinged rear windows, a hard roof with liner, an interior dome light and a sliding rear glass window.
Four additional Can-Am Defender side-by-side vehicle family improvements were added for 2018. All XT packages get a new front bumper. New larger 27-inch Maxxis Bighorn 2.0 tires are now standard on both the HD8 and HD10 convenience vehicles. All Can-Am Defender family vehicles also receive a cargo box deflector to eliminate debris from the cargo bed reaching the engine compartment and a revised shifter gate for smoother operation and durability. And, naturally, there are new color combinations.
Can-Am has a full deck of ATVs to deal you a winning hand. There are youth, performance 4×4, and sport 4x4s bolstered with special hunting, winter and mud-specific models. Can-Am’s Outlander X xc 1000R returns to the line delivering true crossover-type “Sport-Rec” performance. Joining the 1000R are winter-equipped special Outlander North Editions powered by either a Rotax V-twin 650 or Rotax V-twin 850 engine. North Edition ATVs are available in one-up and Max (two-up) platforms, and they include a full windshield, mud guards, heated grips, heated throttle, and visor outlets for driver and passenger (Max package only). For work, the North Edition has an extra-low low range for plowing snow and includes a 3000-pound Warn winch. New ITP Terracross tires on 14-inch aluminum wheels ensure ample traction. The package, which includes Tri-Mode Dynamic Power Steering, has a starting price of $10,699. The Can-Am Outlander Mossy Oak Hunting Edition ATVs now have three available engine packages as a new Outlander 450 package (starting at just $8,999) joins the existing 570 and 1000R Rotax V-twin-powered offerings. Mossy Oak Hunting Edition ATVs have comfort and convenience features like heated grips and thumb throttle, reinforced seat skin, black cast-aluminum wheels and a Warn winch. Full skid plates and new A-arm guards provide ample underside protection in rugged terrain. The units all feature water-dipped Mossy Oak Break-Up Country Camo.
Beefy 30-inch ITP Cryptid mud tires are now standard on the Outlander X mr 850, Outlander X mr 1000R and Renegade X mr 1000R. But, 28-inch ITP Mega Mayhem mud tires are stock on the Outlander X mr 570, Outlander X mr 650 and Renegade X mr 570. You’ll find 26-inch Carlisle ACT tires come on the Outlander 6×6 DPS 650.