What we’re asking here is if the current Gen-4 will be replaced now that Polaris has come with its new MATRYX platform?
The reason we’re wondering if there will be something offered beyond a potential Gen-5 (a G-5 and a G-6) is a bit more technical.
Since its introduction, one of the Gen-4’s hallmarks has been the mass centralization of the company’s 2-stroke engines in its bulkhead.
When the 850 E-TEC was first announced, it was fascinating how Ski-Doo had redesigned the conventional 2-stroke so the engine was much narrower – particularly by using a “flat” stator so the engine could be positioned more to the middle of the sled. This was a pretty big innovation at the time and was deemed to solve all handling problems because now the sled was designed with weight distribution perfectly in balance.
Certainly, the design of two Rotax 2-strokes since the 850 reflect the same narrow design – the 125-hp 600R and the 80-hp EFI 600.
We’re pretty convinced Ski-Doo will stay with this “centralized” design innovation on all future 2-stroke platforms – thus, a new Gen-5 with these above listed engines under the hood will likely be similar in layout to the G4. We would gamble there will be a body-plastic restyle but not much else.
Whether or not the engine positioning change cured all handling ills is still up for debate and is really a moot point anyway since Ski-Doo has already brought out a new “X” design front end for MY2021.
The Gen-6 concept is all ours – and just addresses a problem we’ve been mulling over. It’s this: Ski-Doo’s strong selling 4-stroke line-up, comprised mostly of the ACE 900 EFI triple and the turbo version of the same engine, doesn’t appear to utilize the same science as the 2-stroke G4 chassis.
The 900 ACE 4-strokes are comparatively wider (at least 30-percent) compared to Ski-Doo’s 2-strokes and have different front bodywork that includes wider belly pan “jowls”, obviously to accommodate the extra width of the triple. The unofficial nickname for this 4-stroke design is the “Wide-Body”.
Although these Ski-Doo 4-stroke sleds are decent handlers, we can’t help but think the centralized weight theory simply doesn’t apply the same way it does in the 2-stroke twins.
Thus said, we’re wondering if we’ll see a different version of the current Gen-4 based 4-stroke sleds – similar to the XR concept that housed the now-deleted 1170cc triple – intended to be a more 4-stroke specific design. We’ll call it the Gen-6.
Perhaps a “Gen-6” design will allow Ski-Doo to better apply its centralized mass theory to a 4-stroke.
You’ll also recall how the former XR series Ski-Doos were introduced a full year after the XS 2-stroke models. We’d guess when (and if) a Gen 5 lands, it will be a year or two later before we see a “Gen-6” 4-stroke chassis.