By: Motorhead Mark Lester
While we knew it was inevitable – with EPA 2012 emission guidelines demanding Direct Injection (DI) to make 2 strokes viable for snowmobile motivation – we were shocked to see it so soon.
When I pulled the cord on the E-Tec 600 TNT PR unit here at Supertrax World Headquarters in late January I was overcome with a profound sense that this was significant.
This is what I had longed for – a light, super efficient and EPA clean 2-stroke! A 2-stroke nobody – not even 4-stroke lovers – could bad mouth. Truth is, after living with the E-Tec for 500 miles it’s better than I had envisioned.
The sled is scoring 20 mpg and higher – actually carding a sliver under 20 mpg on a 70 mile, 14-lake pull at an average of 80-85 miles per hours on every lake. Outstanding.
It runs completely smoke and odor free. It is as smooth as an electric engine from idle to full shift.
The E-Tec starts with an immediate and eerie attention to 1100 rpm. In fact the motor idles so predictably it doesn’t care if it’s minus 20 or immediately after a 100 mph pull – the motor settles back to 1100 rpm and sounds sorta like an outboard.
The exhaust cadence is noticeably different. At a loss for words to describe it – the engine doesn’t sound like a 2-stroke and it doesn’t make noises like a 4-stroke either. How about this – I think it sounds like a 3-stroke.
Oil usage is ridiculous – and why wouldn’t it be? No fuel is scavenged under the piston so injected lube stays on the bearings – never experiencing “wash down” from fuel. Injected oil slowly works its way up the transfer ports, onto the piston wall.
Evinrude does a dramatic demonstration with a 225 HP V-6 E-Tec by cutting the oil line and running it 50 miles without oil. The engine is fine.
Clearly, BRP and Ski-Doo are flexing their muscles with the early intro of a 2012 certified snowmobile powerplant like the E-Tec 600.
Next year they’ve jumped in with both feet – the much loved 600 SDI (see: Great Engines We’ve Known and Loved in Volume 19, #4 of Supertrax) is all but eliminated from the Ski-Doo line and replaced with this amazing, revolutionary, first-ever Direct Injection snowmobile powerplant.
Helmets-off to Ski-Doo. You guys are acting like leaders.