New features, more options and a focus on value
If you can count on anything on the world of ATVs and UTVs it’s that the minds at BRP are never at rest. The Can-Am family of off-road vehicles is a dynamic one as BRP continues to make advancements in innovation and design. The 2013 model year is no different.
When the off-road press traveled to Vancouver Island on Canada’s west coast many of us expected to find a brand new Commander UTV with four seats, but the pause button had been pressed to get this segment of the Can-Am line dialed in. Nevertheless the 2013 model year offered many big changes and great improvements
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To get the week started Can-Am put more than 40 journalists on a tour bus and then off into the belly of a Ferry to cross the Strait of Georgia to Vancouver Island. After a two-hour ride we headed into the port at Duke Point just outside of Nanaimo, BC. There is nothing like the experience of driving out of a ferry in a huge bus. Heading north past Nanoose Bay and Dolphin Beach we found our home base in the town of Parksville at the Tigh-Na-Mara seaside Spa resort. Our actual ride location would be the Nanaimo Motocross Association Wastelands MX Park where we could explore the lush green woods of the island.
BRP introduced its new Surrounding Spar Technology (SST) G2 frame on the 2012 model year Can-Am Outlander 1000 and 800R and the Can-Am Renegade 1000 and 800R. For this model year new chassis has expanded across the entire line of Outlander and Renegade machines, expect for the Outlander 400. This means that not only does the framework get a facelift on almost every machine, but the plastics and overall look will now cross over the divide. The chassis will offer a more stable and better handling fleet of utility and sport utility ATVs. Along with the G2 chassis the huge 976cc engine family has now grown into the two-up segment. The 2013 Outlander Max will sport the super responsive fire breather.
Speaking of the Outlander Max, this is an area where BRP really concentrated for the 2013 model year. Along with the G2 chassis and the big engine, the Outlander Max family also sees some significant changes in the passenger compartment. The passenger seat for the new 2013 Outlander Max has been totally redesigned with the handholds mounted directly to the seat instead of the rear rack. The seat has also been changed up with a higher backrest for the passenger. Each of these improvements add up to a more comfortable and confidence-inspiring ride for the passenger. ATV.com will have a full review of the 2013 Can-Am Outlander Max 1000 in the next couple of weeks.
As for the Can-Am Commander, though we didn’t see a multi-passenger iteration, BRP did make a significant upgrade for 2013. BRP built up a lot of suspense for the Commander’s 2011 model year release. In fact, it may have been the most anticipated UTV in the history of our industry. When it was unveiled it was given a myriad of features and options, but power steering wasn’t one of them. For 2013 the Can-Am Commander gets the benefit of Dynamic Power Steering (DPS). Adding DPS to the Commander makes controlling it just that much better. Rather than the Tri-Mode DPS found on the Outlander and Renegade family, the DPS on the Commander only offers a single stage of assistance. Another addition to the Commander is the Visco-Lok QE or quick engagement front differential. This gives seamless engagement of the front wheels to keep the Commander moving forward through most any terrain. We also liked the eye-catching new Pearl White and bold Carbon Fiber color options available for 2013. The pearl white will replace the Orbital Blue from previous years. You’ll find the X-Package for the Commander comes with new seat trim and graphics as well, while the base Can-Am Commander will be offered in red.
Also updated for 2013 is BRP’s mud machine, the Can-Am Outlander X mr. This machine was built to be a no nonsense mud riding and racing vehicle on the Max-length chassis. From its inception there have been many championships won on the Outlander X mr and with the new changes there will be more to come. Of course this machine will be moved forward onto the G2 chassis and this will give it the great looks that come with that format. The Outlander X mr will also roll into 2013 with all four corners sporting FOX air assist suspension. This means the trail guy can lower his X mr to smooth out the ride, but when a challenge arises he can adjust, via six settings, the suspension to get the extra ground clearance he might need for the deep stuff. This new X mr will also come in Camo for the guys who just like Camo on everything.
One last thing that was discussed at our press introduction was the perception that the Can-Am was too rich for most blood and that’s something that concerned the team in Valcourt, Quebec. The 2013 model year will bring more value to the consumers as Can-Am hopes to not only maintain the high standard of product it offers, but to allow anyone looking for a great value find it and ride off into the sunset. For the Outlander line there will be a DPS package that includes Tri-mode DPS, Visco-Lok QE front differential and cast aluminum wheels added to the base model for only $900. This should allow anyone the ability to drive the machine they really want for not much out of pocket. The Commander will also have similar deals by adding DPS, Visco-Lok QE, cast aluminum wheels and Maxxis BigHorn 2.0 tires for only $1,000 more. This is very exciting news and should make for many NEW and very happy Can-Am owners.
Wanting to prove a point that Can-Am ATVs have an unearned reputation for costing more, BRP offered a number of comparisons during its presentation. The 2013 Outlander 650 ($8,699) retails for $100 less than the base Yamaha Grizzly 700 and BRP claims a 16 hp advantage. Add the $900 DPS package and it’s now $100 more than the Grizzly 700 with the EPS package. BRP also compared the base Outlander 500 ($7,799) to the base 2012 Polaris Sportsman 550 ($7,699) and claims advantages in horsepower (+6 hp), lighting (+90 watts), rear storage and warranty. If you add the DPS package to the Outlander and the EPS package to the Sportsman the prices are identical at $8,699.
Stay tuned to ATV.com in the coming weeks as we take a look at some of these machines individually with in-depth review and videos. Until then, get out and ride!