It seems like every month we have to choose which stock, project or really tricked-out Can-Am Maverick X3 we are going to feature in the magazine. After laying eyes on Midwest Performance & Power’s Can-Am X3 drag racer and then hearing it fire up, the choice was easy this time around. It’s only fitting that Iowa-based builder and shop owner Jason Smith made a street racer out of the flagship Can-Am, as street racing is big in the area.



Smith, who is also a Can-Am, Yamaha and Honda dealer, has dabbled in all kinds of machines in the past. From mud-running Mavericks to screaming vintage Honda two-stroke ATVs, all of them have enjoyed meticulous attention to detail, and this X3 is no different. While selling utility machines to the local corn and soybean farmers is the dealership’s bread and butter, it’s builds like the Can-Am X3 drag racer that keep the town talking and customers from around the world spending their dough.

At the business end of this X3, about 20 grand was thrown at Evolution Powersports, bringing the rear-wheel-horsepower numbers to 437. Internally, it received pistons, rods, cams, oversized valves and Stage 2 head porting.
The car has EVO’s Hustler Generation 1 turbo system. It’s connected to the EVP intake plenum, bored throttle body, stainless header and straight-pipe exhaust.


To start the build, the machine was basically stripped. The chassis, motor and transmission were sent up to Evolution Powersports (EVP) in Somerset, Wisconsin. The stock A-arms and trailing arms went to powdercoat for a copper treatment. S3 Powersports built a cage, and it was coated to match. S3 also supplied the billet radius rods. The stock shocks were replaced with lighter and much stiffer air shocks from Marvin Shaw. The shocks basically are there to hold the car off the ground. They provide only a little damping, as their pressures were set at 800 psi. Additionally, the sway bar and mounts were removed. Up front, an S3 shock tower brace was added.

Hoosier 29.5-inch slicks are mounted on super-wide, custom, 15×10 OMF wheels. The key to getting power to the ground is traction out here. During our photo shoot, they started playing with pressures, and it was still hard to get traction.
The Marvin Shaw air shocks save weight and basically are there to hold the car up and move very little.


As we noted in last month’s test of the 195-horsepower X3 Turbo RR,  we didn’t think any sane person would need more power out of the triple-cylinder Rotax engine. Well, we were wrong. Jason Smith plans to use this X3 to set an ET record for a UTV under 9 seconds in the 1/4 mile, so he needs more power.

Evolution Powersports tore down the Rotax Ace engine and gave it the full Stage 7 package for an incredible 437 horsepower. At the bottom end, Carrillo connecting rods were outfitted, then high-compression, CP-forged, big-bore, 950cc pistons; head porting; cams; gaskets; and head studs were installed.

As with any proper X3 build, the front bulkhead and shock tower have to be upgraded. S3 was called on for these components.
The stock A-arms were powdercoated copper to match the S3 roll cage. To save weight, the four-wheel drive was removed. The front tires are only 27 inches tall.

On the intake side, a Torrent billet intake plenum will take the high-boost pressures and flow more air than stock through the special race-spec intercooler. The stock charge tube was swapped out with a stronger silicone unit.

To take advantage of all that EVP power, low gear was removed, freeing up some rotating mass as part of its high-speed upgrade. STM was commissioned to build special primary and secondary clutches that would allow the belt to ride higher and achieve the quick 100+ mph speeds he was looking for. After assembly, a tranny seal protector was added, as well as a clutch housing liner that keeps the brittle plastic housing from shattering when you break a belt. In all, about $20,000 was spent on the motor and transmission. And to keep track of it all, EVP has a gauge mount that will display the aftermarket air-fuel ratio and Boost pressures up on the stock steering column.

Dual nitrous bottles are plumbed and ready to deploy if needed to break records. Smith wants his build to be the first SxS to run a 8-second 1/4 mile.
S3 supplied a set of billet radius rods for extra strength without added weight.


The driver’s compartment had some components that were as trick as the rest of the build. The pilot sits in an aluminum shell of a seat made by Blitz, and two nitrous bottles take up the passenger side. The nitrous plumbing is installed but has not been deployed yet. RaceQuip harnesses replaced the stock 3-point harnesses, and custom aluminum doors enclosed the cabin.

Blitz made the aluminum shell of the seat. You don’t need padding if you’re running down smooth blacktop and only in the car for a couple of minutes.
Most of the dash was left in the car. Brackets were added to the stock instrument cluster, so boost and AFR gauges can be located near the others.

Underneath, OMF made a set of custom, 15×10, three-piece beadlocks for the rear, and 15x4s went in front. Hoosier 29.5 slicks provide the traction, while 27-inch Hoosiers steer the car. By the way, the front diff, driveshaft and axles were all removed to save weight.

Along with higher transmission gears, the STM clutch houses a wide belt to reach higher top speeds. This car runs an Arctic Cat snowmobile belt.


As of press time, Jason is still working with the local track promoter to let him take a run and set an official time. We saw him burn a tank of gas, making about 15 runs for our camera, and we are confident he can do it. Hopefully, by the time you read this, we will be able to share the news of him achieving his goal. We will certainly add the info to this article when it is available online: If you can’t wait that long and want to start a wild build like this, you can get the X3 from Midwest Performance & Power in Keokuk, Iowa, and Jason will deliver it to Evolution Powersports up in Wisconsin himself. Give him a call at (319) 524-2604. If you already have an X3, schedule your build at EVP by calling (970) 680-3861 and tell them you want the X3 Stage 7 engine seen in UTV Action magazine.

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