— High-Performance UTV Test —

Can-Am took control of the high-performance sport UTV world with the introduction of the 2017 Maverick X3 X rs Turbo, the first production turbocharged UTV with a 72-inch width and 2 feet of suspension travel. As the extreme-performance UTV world tried to catch up for 2018, BRP upped its game and the ante with a jump from 154 horsepower to an unbelievable 172-horsepower line of Turbo R Mavericks. For 2019, Can-Am refines and defines the Maverick X3 X rs Turbo R with a fully locking front diff and high-tech control module. We got a chance to experience two Maverick X3 X rs Turbo Rs at Glamis recently, a bare-bones one and BRP-PAC accessorized one.

X3 X rs models are also the only ones to come standard with an aluminum roof attached with Dzus fasteners, and up to 2 feet of highly tunable travel is provided by high-end Fox Podium 2.5 front and 3.0 rear RC2 shocks with adjustable high- and low-speed compression, rebound, and cross-over and preload rings.


In 2018, Can-Am released a Smart-Lok Edition Maverick X3 X rs Turbo R with an all-new locking front diff designed in conjunction with Team Industries. A Front Diff Module (FDM) controls the Smart-Lok diff and co-ordinates with the DPS to select assist maps for four drive modes, including Trail and Trail Active. It also controls four-wheel EBS and Hill-Descent Mode. The Smart-Lok X3 X rs Turbo R was $27,499, while the standard X3 X rs was $26,899 to $27,099 (Platinum Satin). For 2019, there is no Smart-Lok Edition, as the new Smart-Lok technology goes into most Maverick X3 models, especially the X3 X rs Turbo R.

The X3 Ergo-Lok seats are comfortable, adjustable and secure, and the X rs is equipped with four-point safety harnesses with a ignition cut-out if the driver’s harness isn’t buckled. Taller people will hit their outer knee on the door-latch cover.


The 2019 Maverick X3 X rs Turbo R is $27,299, the 72-inch X3 X rc Turbo R is $28,999, and the 74.7-inch X3 X mr Turbo R is $25,999. The comparable Polaris RZR XP Turbo S is $27,799, and the 64-inch RZR XP Turbo Dynamix Edition is $24,999. The normally-aspirated, 64-inch Textron Wildcat XX LTD is $21,999.


Seriously fast. The 172-horsepower, turbocharged and intercooled Ace triple has serious yank, and the Quick-Response System X (QRS-X) CVT hooks up quickly and feeds power to the four 30×10-14 Bighorn 2.0 tires. If your X3 X rs Turbo R doesn’t pin you to the Ergo-Lok seats, fasten your four-point factory harness! The driver’s harness has an ignition cutout if not buckled. At Glamis, we kept it in 4WD, and the Turbo R ripped up steep dunes with serious roll-on power and torque. Top speed is around 80 mph in open desert too.

Front travel via gull-wing, boxed A-arms and piggyback Fox Podium 2.5 RC2 shocks is 22 inches, and the X3 X rs has an extensive line of PAC accessories like front bumper and skid plate, quick-connect whips, side mirrors and LED light pods.


It’s deliberate yet smooth. There are CVTs with smoother engagement out there, but we’ve also experienced Marc Burnett’s racing X3s with more abrupt engagement. The QRS-X CVT spools up quickly and smoothly and the Smart-Lok front diff does its job seamlessly. The Intelligent Throttle Control (iTC) fly-by-wire throttle and 46mm EFI throttle body react instantly, and there is no discernible turbo lag when punching it up dune faces. When carving bowls, the Turbo R is smooth and hooked up like a rally car, with plenty of power always available.


It’s like an extension of your hands and feet. The X3 X rs flicks in and out of turns with the proper amount of drift and slides predictably, yet it’s very stable on chop and desert whoops. We did notice a bit more body roll and slower handling, compared to our lighter and lower base X3 Turbo. Dual torsion bars lessen body roll with the long-travel suspension, and 4WD Trail and 4WD Trail Active modes help fine-tune steering with the Smart-Lok front diff.

The Fox RC2 shocks also have Internal ByPass (IBP) valving, which has been upgraded with additional IBP ports since the initial 2017 X3 X rs. The rear torsion bar does most of the work fighting body roll, as the front torsion bar has a much lower strength rating. Rear brakes feature 248mm rotors and two-puck calipers.


It’s great but no longer the best. Boxed front arms and the Fox Podium 2.5 RC2 front shocks deliver 22 inches of high-quality travel, while the long trailing arms and Fox Podium 3.0 RC2 remote-reservoir IBP shocks deliver 24 inches of Trophy  Truck-like travel. The Wildcat XX has a plusher ride, but it only has 18 inches of travel, front and rear. The X3 X rs shocks are much more adjustable with dual-speed compression adjusters and adjustable rebound damping. It was easy to find settings we liked in the large Glamis dunes, with bottoming resistance for big G-outs and good ride quality on Sand Highway’s chop and deep whoops.

The covered D-ring steering wheel is very comfortable, and the tri-mode EPS is adjustable with the DPS and diff-lock toggles. The analog instruments are easy to read and tilt with the steering wheel.


They could be stronger. On paper, the dual-brake system with separate master cylinders and 262mm front vented rotors squeezed by twin-puck calipers and 248mm rear rotors also mated with two-piston calipers should be the best brakes on the market. Most X3 X rs Turbos we’ve driven have had a soft feel at the pedal, especially as miles accumulate. The X3 X rs is 162 pounds lighter than X3 X rc we tested in March 2018.


It’s like riding a magic carpet. High-speed handling is awesome in wide-open desert conditions and also in the dunes. The new Wildcat XX has a plusher ride in desert and dune chop, but the Fox 2.5 front and 3.0 rear IBP shocks can be tuned to deliver almost as smooth a ride, but then again, the XX isn’t going as fast as the X3 Turbo R in most situations. Aftermarket companies can make them as good as or better than the Textron XX.

Advanced airflow dynamics feed pre-filtered air to the Quick Response System X (QRS-X) CVT and belt, and this is joined by a Smart-Lok front differential for 2019, which adds a four-mode traction system linked to the variable-assist EPS system for easier steering during locked-diff driving.


The Smart-Lok front diff with four drive modes and corresponding EPS maps is awesome for mud and rocks, as is the 15 inches of ground clearance and up to 2 feet of travel. The dual-speed compression-adjustable Fox Podium IBP shocks can be tuned to offset the weight of accumulating mud or loosened up for articulation in rocks. The HMW full skids and integrated front bumper protect the underside well. However, mud riders will want aftermarket fender extensions and flaps to fight flung mud, and clay mud fouls the seat sliders. Avid mudders will prefer the X mr, and rock hounds would like the better-equipped X3 X rc Turbo R over the X rs.


It’s got great and not-so-great points. The Ergo-Lok seats are very comfortable and supportive, and the factory-installed harnesses are a must with this extreme-performance UTV. The seating position is low and race-like, and there is some height adjustment in addition to the fore-aft sliders. We also like the D-ring steering wheel, 1.5-turn steering rack, adjustable EPS and Smart-Lok system for turning in slow, tight situations. The large glove box and ample leg- and shoulder-room in the futuristic cabin are also pluses. We don’t like the passenger hold points, and we hit our knees on the dash protrusions for the door latches. The fabric latch handles are an acquired taste – most love or hate them. HMF makes billet replacements..

Having four 30×10-14 Bighorns aids drifting the rear end and means your spare (not included, the BRP/LSR spare-tire holder is $249.99) tire will fit all four corners. Front brakes are separate from the rear-brake system, and two-puck front calipers squeeze perforated 262mm rotors.


A couple of minor issues aside, the Can-Am Maverick X3 X rs Turbo R packs an incredible amount of performance into a well-balanced package of handling and suspension. The Turbo R handles beautifully, so well that it makes us better drivers. It’s a fantastic drifter and agile duner, and it rips in desert terrain at incredible speeds. The high-end Internal ByPass Fox Podiums are highly tunable for a wide variety of conditions and disciplines, and they’re easily modified for an even higher ride quality. Even the cabin is high-tech and complete with race-ready four-point harnesses. And BRP backs the beast with a line of high-quality accessories that make it better still.




Engine type Turbocharged, liquid-cooled, 12-valve,

inline triple

Displacement 900cc

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

Air filter:

Type Paper mesh/screen

Transmission Dual-range CVT

Drive system Selectable 2WD/4WD

Final drive f/r Shaft/gear


Fuel capacity 10.5 gal.

Wheelbase 102”

Overall length/width/height 133”/72”/67”

Ground clearance 15”

Dry weight 1,589 lb.

Rear Rack capacity 200 lb.

Storage capacity 2.5 gal.


Frame Dual-Phase 980 steel tube

Suspension/wheel travel:

  Front Dual A-arms & shocks w/adj. DSC/reb./ prel./22”

  Rear Trailing arms & shocks w/adj. DSC/reb./prel./24”


  Front Twin-piston hydraulic/262mm discs

  Rear Twin-piston hydraulic/248mm discs


  Front 30×10-14 Maxxis Bighorn 2.0

  Rear 30×10-14 Maxxis Bighorn 2.0


DC outlet Auto-style waterproof plug


  Front LED headlights

Rear LED tail/brake lights

Instrumentation Speedo/odo/tach/trip/hour/fuel/

gear position/diagnostics/clock

Colors Triple Black, Platinum Satin, Can-Am Red/


Minimum recommended operator age 16

Suggested retail price $28,999

Contact .Bombardier, (877)4-MY-RIDE or

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