The writing was on the wall back in early September when Ski-Doo pulled the sheets off their 2018 600R race sled…a new 600 engine was coming to consumers, the only question was when. The answer arrived today, as Ski-Doo announced the introduction of two limited build 2018.5 models with a GEN4 based MXZ 600R E-TEC sled taking center stage.

Just like the new 850 version introduced in 2017, the new 600R is based upon the much narrowed and nimble GEN4 chassis. The key difference in this instance is of course, the motor. With a significantly narrowed chassis, the engine as well had to be narrowed up. Utilizing the same dimensional, mono-block crankcase found in the 850, the new 600R incorporates many of the same design and performance parameters including square bore (599.4 cc – bore 72.3 mm x stroke 73 mm), short intake tract, double-petal reed valves, and 3-position, electronically controlled exhaust valves. The end result, according to Ski-Doo engineers, is an engine that should deliver top-of-class 600 performance with 125-horsepower, quick revving and instant throttle response, and incredible efficiency and run-quality thanks to the engine’s second-generation E-TEC fuel delivery system.

Bathed in traditional yellow, the new limited build MXZ 600R will come equipped with all the good stuff including Quick Adjust for the rMotion skid, RAS-3 front suspension geometry tied to rack steering, and top-shelf shocks.

Joining the new motor will be an updated pDrive primary clutch. The wide glide design of the clutch features wider flyweights, oversized rollers with needle bearings, and an overall design that strives for smooth and efficient operation. This should translate into a quicker responding transmission as well as cooler operation and improved belt life.

The limited release MXZ 600R will come equipped with the good stuff including the RAS 3 front suspension fitted with KYB Pro 36R shocks, standard rack steering, and the remote adjustment features of the Quick Adjust System for the rear mounted rMotion suspension.

NEW EXPEDITION SUPER WIDE TRACK – Performance trail riders are not the only ones who are getting a chance to sample the future from Ski-Doo this winter. The company also announced the introduction of an all-new Expedition model that combines work-ethic, adventure, and comfort into one machine that looks to be incredibly adept.

Much like the Polaris Titan, the new Expedition combines hard-working utility roots with a splash of performance and comfort. A wider stance RAS-2 front suspension will give the sled stability and handling up-front to match the big track out back.

With the 2018 Polaris Titan helping to attract fresh attention to the adventure utility segment, the new Expedition SWT should add fuel to the segment’s fire. As the name implies, the new Expedition features a whopping 156” x 24” track that should have no problem delivering the kind of floatation, traction, and towing needs this category of riders desire.

Power comes from the 90-horsepower Rotax ACE 4-stroke motor, known for its quiet operation, low rpm torque, and fuel efficiency. Mated to the big track outback, the new Expedition features a wider RAS-2 front suspension, which should give the sled better trail manners and improved stability to go with the big footprint outback. For utility duties and convenience, the sled also touts a transmission with two forward gears and reverse, tons of storage with an integrated rear rack, two-up seat, and standard tow-hitch.

ARRIVING AT DEALERSHIPS NOW – Both limited build 2018.5 sleds should be arriving at dealerships in early January. Suggested retail pricing for the MXZ 600R E-TEC will be $13,199 US, $15,349 CAD (English Canada), and $16,249 (French Canada, includes freight and PDI); the Expedition SWT will come with a suggested tag of $12,849 US and $14,799 CAD (English Canada), and $15,699 CAD (French Canada, includes freight and PDI).

Based upon the mono-block case used in the 850 motor, the new 600R motor features a square-bore design, second generation E-TEC fuel delivery, and the short intake tract design with double petal reeds just like the big boy 850. Ski-Doo is claiming the new motor will pump out 125-horsepower, putting it atop the 600 class.

Plenty of flotation and traction are on tap with the ultra-wide 24-inch track found on the new 2018.5 Expedition Super Wide Track

This image shows how much shorter the intake tract is with the new 600R motor compared to the 600HO. The short run and dual petal reeds should result in quicker response and an engine that will want to rev more freely than its predecessor.