Snowmobile Magazine

2017 Model Snowmobile Release – Ski-Doo

As snowmobilers, we love this time of year. Not only are the trails well-groomed (albeit a little light on the snow in the Midwest), but we are about to see next year’s models from each of the manufacturers. This time, Ski-Doo is up first revealing some very cool tech; a brand-new motor, and a 4th Generation Rev Chassis. Let’s get to it!

New Chassis

The big news for 2017 is the fourth generation REV chassis. Ski-Doo has improved their chassis design ever since the introduction of the REV in 2003. Based on centralizing mass and ergonomic riding, Ski-Doo has paved the way for other manufacturers to improve, and even surpass the REV and REV-X chassis. The REV-XS chassis (third gen) made even more improvements. Now the 4th Generation REV chassis tightens Ski-Doo’s idea of central mass and rider input even more, and catches up and in some ways surpasses the competition.

While the MXZ, Renegade and Summit sleds share many components, each sled is specialized for its use. The MXZ and Renegade feature a flat footrest, trail-specific side panels, open toe-holds for cornering and X-package models feature a more precise rack steering system. Summit sleds are tailored for deep snow riding with powderdynamic body panels, open running boards, an open tunnel cap and new track designs.

The new chassis brings a common baseline for their future model lineup, and then allows specialized features tailored to the different segments that are most important. For example, on the “flatland” sleds, body panels, seat ergos, running boards, and footwells are designed to enhance rider input in a much different way than the “hillrider” sleds. Here are the details.

Beveled tunnel enables the more narrow seat and makes a more comfortable ride with its more natural leg position.

Rather than an extruded piece, the Gen4 REV heat exchangers are part of the tunnel; cooling capacity is improved over extruded/finned exchangers.

The trail seat is very narrow, especially at the front to easily move around the sled. Yet it still has a wide, near-flat rear section for comfortable cruising. It was inspired by motocross bikes.

The rear of the side panels on the MXZ and Renegade models have a stepped design with three natural positions. The most extreme position enables the rider to get far forward to corner like never before.

Different in shape than the MXZ/Renegade – the rear of the panels are designed to allow maximum movement and to support the riders’ shins when riding downhill.

The front foot area is nearly flat instead of angled forward. It’s more comfortable when sitting and much more comfortable when standing.

Forward Adjustable Riser adds 4 positions of fore-aft adjustment over 4 in./ 10 cm to customize the riding position in seconds without tools. (Standard on the MXZ X and Renegade X packages for 2017)

For added precision, the total elimination of bump steer and less feedback through the handlebars, MXZ X and Renegade X package sleds feature an all-new rack steering system.

Even within the Summit line, Ski-Doo is offering different tunnel features for different models depending on what you are looking for. Both feature a nearly flat front foot area for comfort while standing up and to evacuate snow effectively.

X- package sleds have Profile extruded aluminum boards that let snow pass through for sure boot grip and help eliminate rear of sled getting hung up.

 SP package sleds have large evacuation holes punched through the sheet aluminum.

I have some observations on this new chassis I’d like to point out. Let me preface by saying that when the REV came out in 2003, it took me some time to get used to it. I loved the upright ergonomics, but I did not like leaning over the handlebars to control it. The REV-XP chassis solved this issue but introduced a different issue I didn’t care for; my knees pushing against the back of the cowling. The seating position, while good, has since been surpassed by (in my opinion) Polaris’s Rush and namely the new AXYS chassis. I have one complaint with the AXYS chassis in that there is a sharp corner where my knee likes to rest when I get aggressive, but the overall ergos on the AXYS are the best I’ve felt on any of the sled chassis to date. Which brings me to the REV Gen 4.

If you look at the graphics I created below, you will see some of the ergo changes I observe. I show the new REV Gen 4 on the top and the REV-XS below with the Gen 4 changes.

The first arrow (1) I can see that the seat is slightly higher and much more forward than the previous chassis. This combined with arrow (2), which is a flatter footing area, creates a more parallel (arrow 3) ergonomic seating position. When you add arrow (4), where the cowling is sculpted away from the knee, should provide ample room for the rider to move and control the sled. Arrow (5), Ski-Doo shows that they have trimmed away the area stopping your foot from turning out as you really get into a corner. Arrow (6) shows that the headlight, windshield, and gauges are set more forward to keep the rider from feeling crowded and for better airflow around the operator. Arrow (7) shows a slightly different approach angle, I’m guessing for better floatation in deeper snow.

Compare the lines of the REV Gen 4 to the REV-XS.

For further comparison, here is the original REV chassis from 2004 (after the beavertail was removed).

This GEN 4 REV chassis looks like it can go heads-up against the competition and give the rider a better experience than any Ski-Doo chassis in the past.

New Motor

The other big news is a brand-new motor, the 165 Horsepower 850 E-TEC. This engine is freshly designed to be narrower to further enhance the new chassis by centering the weight distribution side-to-side. It is also 30% more responsive than the 800R version, akin to the 600 H.O. E-TEC, but with a lot more “oomph”. The E-TEC system was redesigned to be more precise and coupled with new booster injectors at the intake, gives the enhanced throttle response sledders love.

Some of the responsiveness comes from less rotational mass through improvements to the chrankshaft, pDrive, and magneto assembly. There are many more improvements including Plasma Coated Cylinders, new Forged Pistons with a cast iron ring insert that helps with engine durability. Oil is also directly injected onto the crank bearings so oil consumption is greatly reduced. The images below give more tech details about this motor and chassis updates, but I will say this. Remember the 2005 Mach Z 1000? That was a 165HP sled, and that sled was fast. Heavy, too. Now we are talking about a much smaller and lighter engine putting out 165HP and placed in a chassis that is lighter and more nimble. This new Ski-Doo package is poised to be one helluva fun sled to ride.

In designing the Rotax 850 E-TEC engine and chassis together, BRP engineers were able to narrow and centre the powerpack in the chassis.

Second generation E-TEC direct injection was redesigned to be 1 lb. lighter than 800R E-TEC. The cylinder head voice-coil injectors are more precise and booster injectors are added at the intake to give the engine its dynamic response.

Updated eRAVE with 3 positions for these electronically-controlled exhaust valves opens and closes 3 times faster than 800R E-TEC

Tighter exhaust package from twist pipe design to enable narrow powerpack is lighter, quieter, and fully insulated to heat up faster for top performance.

The new pDrive driven clutch was designed with the 850 E-TEC as part of its dynamic response and narrow powerpack mandate. The hallmark of its design are friction-free rollers instead of sliders to transfer torque. It reacts very quickly, with 30% less rotational inertia compared to the TRA.

2017 Model Listing

This bring us to the model listing for 2017. I didn’t put every color option in this article as you can see that on the Ski-Doo web site, but this is an overview of the models available next season.


New for 2017



New for 2017



New for 2017




New for 2017









Ski-Doo continues to improve in a competitive and well-established market with a brand-new engine, an updated chassis and model lineup that fills nearly every niche. For more details on specific models, go to If you want to make sure you get one of the limited models, get to your Ski-Doo dealer before the Spring Fever Event ends.