Have you ever looked under the hood of a Ski-Doo XS with a 900 ACE? Surprisingly, there’s a ridiculous amount of room for either a) a bigger 4-stroke or b) a turbocharger and all its plumbing.
Here’s where it gets interesting. If Ski-Doo is in fact serious about getting into the ulta-high performance 4-stroke turf owned currently by Arctic Cat (177-hp-Turbo) or even offering a 160-hp 4-stroke, why would it invest in the costly tooling to start over again with an all new engine?
Let’s look at some turbo-history. Years ago Polaris began offering a 750cc Weber 4-stroke twin with a turbo. This engine made a reliable 140-hp with an “overboost” feature that took it to 160-hp for a few seconds when the turbo first cut in.
This extremely strong performing mill was a Supertrax favorite and the level of torque delivered by this combo was legendary. Fun to drive? You bet!
Even before this, Arctic Cat offered a 110-hp turbo package using a tiny 660cc Suzuki triple. It was all packaged in the original ZR sit-down platform and although it lacked a lot of sophistication, was a great sled that inspired a ton of enthusiasm. We still see these sleds on the trails today and some of them have enormous odometer readings.
What we’re saying is this: If you can get the kind of reliable power we’ve already seen in the industry from much smaller displacement 4-strokes, why wouldn’t a 900cc ACE triple make the same kind of power in the ranges we mentioned above?
Ski-Doo already has the weight thing dialed-in with one of the lightest platforms in the business. A torque-laden 160-170-hp turbocharged 900 would be killer in the XS.
Sure, we know Ski-Doo has not offered a supercharged or turbocharged engine in the past. Get this, though: Parent company, BRP, just introduced a turbocharged V-twin in its off-road Maverick side by side. BRP’s Sea-Doo division has been building durable supercharged engines for years now.
We think a 900 ACE with a turbo is a real possibility and Ski-Doo could get it on the market at warp speed.