WHO WILL BE NEXT WITH A TURBO?

There’s been a tremendous amount of hype about the turbocharged SideWinder and 9000-Series Cats’ power output and appeal to a power-rabid high performance marketplace.

We’re sure Polaris and Ski-Doo are less than happy about the way these two boosted 4-strokes are stealing the limelight from the 800 and 850 class sleds they build. So what do you think they’ll be doing about it?

It’s interesting both Polaris and Ski-Doo have turbocharged products in their off-road sales brochures and both are highly regarded, dearly loved and deliver pretty much what turbo-snow customers would want if they were offered.

Polaris’ RZR 1000cc turbocharged twin makes somewhere around 155-160 horses and has proven to be reliable. Because the engine is 1000ccs, we strongly suspect it is capable of matching Yamaha’s 998 triple’s power output once it gets the right mapping and the boost amped up.

Can-Am uses a triple-cylinder 900cc turbocharged engine in its Maverick X3 and although it’s power output is less than the other three, we feel it could also be competitive, especially if displacement was upped to 1000ccs.

Frankly, we’ve been a bit puzzled why Polaris and Ski-Doo have held off offering these power packages for two years. Meanwhile, the Cat and Yamaha turbo reputation has grown into a legend.

There’s always this: Both the price range and the buyer profile of the 4-stroke turbo limit the market to a fairly small segment of the business.

Sure, you can offer these extreme sleds, but does that mean there are enough customers out there with the jing and the will to buy them in big quantities? Why invest zillions in a sled that might be selling into a glutted marketplace?

Here’s another thing: There are 2-stroke customers and there are 4-stroke customers. Converting one over to the other could jeopardize the sale of, we suspect, much more profitable 800 and 850 2-strokes.

Maybe the math just doesn’t work!

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