Impressions from our first time driving the 154-horsepower monster
After months of anxiously waiting, BRP finally took the covers off the new Can-Am Maverick X3, which you can read about here. The morning after the big reveal, we had a chance to get behind the wheel and take it for a spirited drive around a test track in Orlando, Fla. Giddy up!
On a bright and very early morning, it was time to get in, sit down, hold on and grin like a jackass eating briars. Let us be clear that the ride was short. It had rained an abnormal amount the day before and the test track, which was set up in an unused lot portion of sandy, mud-ridden Florida soil, was beat out and sloppy. But let’s also be clear that at this point we did not care because riding the Maverick X rs Turbo R was a must do.
Slipping down into the high back, comfortable driver seat and strapping the three-point harness over our shoulder, it was go time. With a simple pressing of the center console-mounted switch, the 154-horsepower, fuel-injected engine came to life. The sound of the triple cylinder engine was familiar and it was hard to believe it was only 900cc.
The seat feels deeper and lower in the Maverick than in previous models. Adjustability for longer legs was sufficient and the specs show that larger riders can lower the seat for about two more inches of headroom. Once the gated shifter was dropped into high gear, we had a total of about six laps to get as familiar with the machine as we possibly could, with a lead and chase escort.
Standing on the gas pedal gives a thrilling response, but the muddy, low-grip slightly muted the acceleration. However, when the power curve begins to make its presence known, not far at all from when the gas pedal contacts the floor, you get an aggressive jolt of grin-inducing power. We can’t wait to test this unit out on a hard pack surface to feel the full brunt of its acceleration.
The suspension of the new Maverick X rs Turbo R is unlike anything else offered on a factory UTV. In the manmade two and three-foot deep, 70-foot long whoop sections, this was very evident. Built of light sand, the whoops were wet and trenched out after the first couple of laps, but hammering the throttle out of the corner and getting this Maverick, as well as our mind, to a place of sheer excitement got easier and easier.
This rig just seems to soak up the impacts one right after the other, building some serious confidence very quickly. The FOX RC2 shocks are not only a bypass design, but the adjustability is endless with dual speed compression and rebound for those who need that. A massive 3.0 shock body, remote reservoir with internal bypass in the rear and piggyback 2.5 RC2’s up front, carries those serious G-outs to the graveyard.
On the few slick, flat surface corners we experienced, the Maverick likes to stay semi-flat, but you definitely feel the flexing of the super long travel of the suspension. Benefitting from its substantial 74-inch width, this upper tier Maverick is stable and has plenty of tools to destroy untamed landscape, all while coming in at a price of $26,999.
Getting on the brake pedal, we did notice that they felt a little softer than we would have expected, but stopping this machine is not a concern at all with the dual 262mm vented hydraulic discs out front and dual 248mm vented hydraulic discs in the rear. Both front and rear use a dual piston caliper that increases braking power.
We only got about six laps behind the wheel of the new Maverick X3, though we’re sure we will get a chance in the future to really give this new monster a proper shakedown in its element. Until then we can all dream together as we take flight in the newest off-road sensation from Can-Am.