Horsepower wars get turbocharged
Two years ago, BRP introduced UTV enthusiasts to the Can-Am Maverick, the first production Side-by-Side to break the 100-horsepower barrier. Polaris followed suit with the 107-horsepower RZR XP 1000 and then upped the ante again for 2015 by boosting the horsepower to a full 110 ponies, leaving everyone wondering how BRP was going to respond.
The answer was delivered last week with the unveiling of the 121-horsepower Maverick X ds Turbo, the first Side-by-Side to come straight from the factory with a turbocharger. While turbochargers are nothing new for the UTV aftermarket, this step forward by BRP marks an entry into a whole new playing field original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).
|Sport Side-by-Side Specs Comparison|
|Can-Am Maverick 1000 X ds Turbo||Polaris RZR XP 1000 EPS|
|Transmission||CVT, sub-transmission with L, H, N, R, P||Automatic PVT L, H, N, R, P|
|Drivetrain||Selectable 2WD/4WD shaft driven with Visco-Lok QE auot-locking front differential||High Performance True On Demand AWD/2WD|
|Fuel Delivery||Electronic fuel injection||Electronic fuel injection|
|Wheelbase||88.0 in||90.0 in|
|Overall Dimensions (LxWxH)||117.3″ x 64″ x 74.2″||119″ x 64″ x 73.75″|
|Dry Weight||1,399 lbs||1,379 lbs|
|Front Tires||28 x 9 x 14 Maxxis Bighorn 2.0||29x 9 x 14 Maxxis Bighorn|
|Rear Tires||28 x 11 x 14 Maxxis Bighorn 2.0||29 x 11 x 14 Maxxix Bighorn|
|Ground Clearance||13.0 in||13.5 in|
|Fuel Capacity||10.0 gal||9.5 gal|
|Front Suspension||Double A-Arm with Fox 2.5 PODIUM RC2 HPG Piggyback shocks with dual speed compression, rebound and dual rate spring preload adjustments – 15 in. travel||Double A-Arm with Walker Evans 2″ Needle Shocks (comp adjust/res.) – 16 in. travel|
|Rear Suspension||Torsional Trailing A-arms IRS with swaybar with FOX 2.5 PODIUM RC2 HPG Piggyback shocks with dual speed compression, rebound, dual rate spring preload adjustment and spring crossover, bottom out control – 16 in. travel||Trailing Arm IRS with Walker Evans 2.5″ Needle Shocks (comp adjust/remote res.) – 18 in. travel|
|Front Brakes||Dual 220 mm ventilated disc brakes with hydraulic twin piston calipers||4 wheel hydraulic disc with dual bore front & rear calipers|
|Rear Brakes||Dual 214mm ventilated disc brakes with hydraulic single piston caliper||4 wheel hydraulic disc with dual bore front & rear calipers|
|Lighting||Four 60 watt projectors with tail/brake lights||White LED, High/Low & Red tail/brake lights|
|Instrumentation||Multifunction digital guage, speedometer, tachometer, odometer, trip and hour meters, fuel, gear position, sport mode, progressive mode, seat belts and 4×4 indicator, diagnostics, clock auto shut off||Digital Gauge: Speedometer, Odometer, Tripmeter, Tachometer, Coolant Temperature, Volt Meter, Hour Meter, Service Indicator, Clock, Gear Indicator, Fuel Gauge, Hi-Temp Light, Seatbelt Reminder Light; DC Outlet|
|Rack/Bed Capacity||200 lbs||300 lbs|
|Payload Capacity||N/A||740 lbs|
The factory-equipped turbo charger boosts horsepower by 20% over the base model Maverick and BRP says the electronically controlled wastegate automatically adjusts boost pressure for optimal performance in any condition. An air-to-air intercooler with built-in fan is mated to the turbo to keep cooled air flowing to the engine at all times.
Read our preview of the 121-Horsepower Can-Am Maverick X ds Turbo Unveiled
With so many models seeming to take a direct stab at a particular market or even a specific model, we thought we’d see how the new Can-Am Maverick X ds Turbo stacks up against is closest competitor, the Polaris RZR XP 1000 EPS.
With the exception of horsepower, which is clearly the statement that Can-Am was trying to make with this new unit, the two vehicles are remarkably similar. They’re identical in width at 64 inches and less than an inch different in overall height. The RZR offers a slightly longer wheelbase at 90 inches compared to the Maverick’s 88 inches and offers just a half an inch more in ground clearance. The Maverick X ds Turbo benefits from a massive 10-gallon fuel tank, a half-gallon larger than the RZR XP 1000. Finally, the two machines differ in weight by a mere 20 pounds in favor of the RZR.
EFI is standard on both machines with the Maverick using a single overhead cam V-Twin engine design and the RZR a dual overhead cam Inline Twin. Both vehicles come factory equipped with power steering; a trend we’re seeing more and more of these days.
Read our review of the 2014 Polaris RZR XP 1000 Review
Besides horsepower, the major differences between the two machines lie in the area of suspension. While the Maverick X ds Turbo features advanced and industry exclusive FOX 2.5 Podium piggyback shocks with dual speed compression and rebound adjustment, the Polaris RZR XP 1000 EPS provides an inch more travel up front and two inches in the rear with its Walker Evans Racing shocks. It’s no doubt the Maverick offers an advanced shock package, but some users might be willing to sacrifice some adjustability for the extra travel.
Maxxis Bighorn tires are a proven reliable tire option and that’s probably why we see them so often. The Maverick X ds Turbo features the 28-inch 2.0 version while the RZR XP 1000 EPS offers the taller 29-inch original Bighorn. As a nice touch the Maverick comes stock with 14-inch beadlock wheels.
It’s obvious that neither of these vehicles were designed with work in mind, but the 300-pound capacity enclosed bed found on the RZR XP 1000 EPS at least offers the option of throwing a toolbox or some gear in the back. The Maverick X ds Turbo has a rear rack that can carry up to 200 pounds, but it’s not a bed so you’re limited to what you can tie down.
To slow down all that extra horsepower, the Maverick uses dual discs with dual-piston calipers up front and single disc, single-piston calipers in the rear. The RZR uses the same single disc, dual piston caliper setup on all four corners.
Both machines offer digital displays with all the standard functions in addition to analog speedometers. In the lighting department, Polaris opted for LED headlights and taillights all the way around while BRP chose 60w projectors to illuminate the darkness.
Brand loyalty aside, after comparing all the numbers what it really boils down to is how much is that extra 11 horsepower going to cost you? With a sticker price of $22,099 the Maverick X ds turbo is $1,800 more than the Polaris RZR XP 1000 EPS. While that may seem like a lot, you’d be hard pressed to find any aftermarket performance upgrade that could create that much of a horsepower gain for that amount of money.
If you’re in the market for a new Sport Side-by-Side and you’re giving some thought to either one of these machines, we suppose your dilemma now becomes “do I buy the Maverick X ds Turbo, or wait for Polaris to come out with its version.”
Because we all know it’s coming.