— TORTURE TESTING CAN-AM’s TOP GUN UTV —
Can-Am is on a roll with the Maverick X3 and Maverick Trail, and 2018 brings six new X3 Turbo models and the new X3 900 HO. Rock crawlers and trail riders get four new special editions, including the new 72-inch, 172-horsepower Maverick X3 X rc Turbo R and 64-inch, 120-horsepower X3 X rc Turbo. We got a chance to test the X3 X rc Turbo R at the SxS Adventure Rally at Utah’s Sand Hollow State Park. Not only does Sand Hollow have some great rock trails, it also boasts dunes and desert. Let’s put the X3 X rc Turbo R through its paces.
WHAT’S NEW FOR 2018?
More horsepower is news, jumping from 154 horsepower in 2017 to 172 horsepower for 2018. The base model Maverick X3 Turbo makes 120 horsepower without an intercooler. BRP introduces the rock-crawler version of the Maverick X3 X rs Turbo R and Turbo, creating the 72-inch-wide Maverick X3 X rc Turbo R and 64-inch X3 X rc Turbo. A new Smart-Lok front diff with front differential module monitors six parameters—front-wheel speed, steering angle, throttle position, gear selection, engine torque and vehicle speed—to automatically select the amount of diff-lock to apply. This allows easy steering while maintaining maximum traction. Smart-Lok has new toggles on the dash, next to the DPS-assist switch, to select from four modes—2×4, 4×4 fully locked, 4×4 Trail Active (rock) and 4×4 Trail—for more versatility and feel to match specific terrain, conditions and demands.
To complement the Smart-Lok front end, the X3 x RC Turbo Rs get EBS and Hill Descent Control, UHMW rock sliders, suspension arm protection and front diff guards, rock-specific 30-inch Maxxis Liberty tires on 14-inch beadlock wheels, a 4500-pound winch and Octane Blue frame, cage and suspension components. The X3 X rc also gets the X rs Fox Podium 2.5 front and 3.0 rear RC2 Internal ByPass (IBP) shocks with dual-rate springs and adjustable cross-overs, dual-speed compression, rebound and preload.
The base X3 X rs Turbo doesn’t get the Turbo R’s intercooler, high-end shocks with remote rear reservoirs, roof, bead-lock wheels, 72-inch width or boxed suspension arms. Instead, it gets Fox Podium RC2 2.5 front and 3.0 rear QS3 piggyback shocks, 20 inches of travel and faux beadlock wheels.
HOW DOES COST COMPARE?
The 2018 Maverick X3 X rc Turbo R is $28,999. Maverick X3 X rc Turbos are $23,999, while X3 X rs Turbo Rs are $26,899-27,099 and the X3 X rs Turbo R Smart-Lok is $27,499. Polaris’ 2018 RZR XP Turbo is $19,999. The Fox Edition is $22,999, and the Dynamix Edition with Ride Command is $25,999.
HOW FAST IS THE X3 X RC?
Seriously fast. Although built to negotiate massive rock monoliths, it still has monster roll-on acceleration and will top out around 80 mph. Low range isn’t any lower than on the X3 X rs, and the Maverick has much less aggressive CVT clutching than a RZR XP Turbo. It’ll crawl or fly, depending on your throttle foot.
WHAT ABOUT THE DELIVERY?
It’s top-shelf. Like we said, the CVT clutch isn’t as touchy as a Polaris, so it’s very easy to modulate in delicate situations, and CVT belts last longer. The gated shifter is fairly slick, and the shifter pattern is P-R-N-H-L. The Smart-Lok system makes driving the X rc a breeze, as it steers lightly when asked yet maintains serious traction in Trail Active and Trail modes. Steering is almost as light as when in 2×4 mode. This is the best Maverick diff we’ve experienced, and it’s matched well with the Quick-Response System X transmission.
HOW DOES THE X RC TURBO R HANDLE?
Beautifully. While it isn’t as agile as a RZR Turbo on tight trails, it’s much more stable at higher speeds. The high-end shocks, dual torsion bars, low center of gravity and the Smart-Lok brain unit work well together to provide precise handling with rally-car turning and traction. It’s also confidence-inspiring in the rocks and tight stuff.
HOW IS THE HIGH-END SUSPENSION?
It’s the best we’ve driven, production-wise. While the Polaris Dynamix Edition Turbo and Yamaha YXZ1000R Special Edition’s Fox X2 suspension are more adjustable, the X3’s ride quality is awesome, and it has the most travel in its class. Boxed front arms and the Fox Podium 2.5 RC2 front shocks deliver 22 inches of high-quality travel, while the log trailing arm and Fox Podium 3.0 remote-reservoir IBP shocks deliver 24 inches of Trophy Truck-like travel. There is still room for improvement, though, as the Shock Therapy X3 X rs and Max X rs IRS, IBP and spring-kit mods improve ride quality even more.
HOW STRONG ARE THE BRAKES?
Strong enough for rock crawling and most conditions. Can-Am is the only manufacturer to offer separate front and rear hydraulic braking systems on a sport UTV, and it uses two-piston calipers on all four corners with 262mm front and 248mm rear rotors. We have driven several X3s, and about half have felt mushy at the brake pedal.
HOW IS IT IN DESERT AND DUNES?
Awesome. With excellent handling, stability and suspension, the Maverick X3 X rc Turbo R soaks up nasty terrain at insane speeds and rails dune bowls with confidence. It feels planted at speed, yet the suspension makes it ride like a magic carpet. It flies well, too, but we have to hit jumps faster because the suspension soaks up the launch.
HOW IS IT IN MUD AND ROCKS?
We didn’t get to drive it in mud, but our 2017 X3 X ds didn’t like getting the Ergo-Lok seat rails muddy. They froze up, as the minimalist fenders and quarter doors let roost into the cab. Prowess in rocks is unbelievable, as the Smart-Lok front diff fine-tunes steering assist and traction automatically. Between rocks, desert and dunes, this UTV will be hard to beat at the King of the Hammers UTV race.
WHAT ABOUT TRAIL COMFORT?
It’s almost perfect. The Ergo-Lok seats are comfortable, and the low seating position is highly adjustable. The tilting D-shaped steering wheel is awesome, and the instrument panel tilts with the D-wheel. We also like the 1.5-turn steering rack, adjustable EPS, and Smart-Lok system for turning in slow, tight situations. We also like the large glove box and ample leg- and shoulder-room in the futuristic cabin. We don’t like the passenger hold points nor the fabric latch handles, and we hit our knees on the dash protrusions for the door latches.
WHAT’S OUR FINAL ANSWER?
Can-Am scores a bullseye with the 2018 Maverick X3 X rc Turbo R from 1000 yards. It does everything well and sounds great doing it. Handling, suspension, power and delivery are best in class, and the new Smart-Lok front diff and steering system make it a blast to drive. It does everything well or excellent and only has a couple of rough edges in the next-generation Ergo-Lok cabin. Even the tires are great. If you’re not into rock crawling, this is still an awesome adventure UTV. If you’d rather have the X3 X rs, trust us, get the Smart-Lok Edition ($27,499).
CAN-AM MAVERICK X3 X RC TURBO R
Engine type Turbocharged, liquid-cooled, 12-valve,
Bore x stroke 74mm x 67.9mm (3)
Compression ratio 9.1:1
Lubrication system Wet sump
Induction 46mm EFI
Starting/back-up Electric push-button/none
Starting procedure In any range, brake engaged
Type Paper mesh/screen
Transmission Dual-range CVT
Drive system Selectable 2WD/4WD
Final drive f/r Shaft/gear
Fuel capacity 10.5 gal
Overall length/width/height 133”/72”/67”
Ground clearance 14”
Dry weight 1,751 lb.
Rear Rack capacity 200 lb.
Storage capacity 2.5 gal.
Frame Dual-Phase 980 steel tube
Front Dual A-arms & shocks w/ adj. DSC/reb./
Rear Trailing arms & shocks w/ adj. DSC/reb./
Front Twin-piston hydraulic/262mm discs
Rear Twin-piston hydraulic/248mm discs
Front 30×10-14 Maxxis Liberty
Rear 30×10-14 Maxxis Liberty
DC outlet Auto-style waterproof plug
Front LED headlights
Rear LED tail/brake lights
Colors Triple Black/Octane Blue
Minimum recommended operator age 16
Suggested retail price $28,999
Contact .Bombardier, (877)4-MY-RIDE or www.brp.com