Sunday, June 23, 2024

2024 Can-Am Maverick R “not a race car” but boasts power

The new 2024 Can-Am Maverick R and its family of cars raised eyebrows upon reveal on Sunday, mainly owing to the very unusual tall-knuckle front suspension that is intended to improve handling and performance. However, manufacturer Bombardier Recreational Products sees it as a vital feature in producing what is otherwise the most powerful side-by-side (SSV) vehicle to date.

The suspension is intended to help the Maverick achieve 25 inches (63.5 cm) of travel in the front, 26″ in the rear, and 17″ of ground clearance.

The Maverick R’s 999cc Rotax engine is capable of 240 horsepower, composed of an inline three-cylinder and four-stroke design. As the cylinders are made of aluminum while steel is used in the piston rings, they are protected using a plasma coating rather than a sleeve. Rotax also provided a seven-speed dual clutch transmission, the first of its kind for UTVs, that can be operated automatically or by paddle shift.

It measures out at 77 inches (195.58 cm) wide, which is wider than previous models. The width is intended to conform to Recreational Off-Highway Vehicle Association and Best In The Desert regulations, both of which mandate eighty inches at max, while allowing more space for the increased suspension travel.

On the 15″ wheels, which the braking system was designed around as it is the smallest that the Can-Am Maverick platform offers, one can fit tyres between 35″ and 37″. While the higher echelon is generally advised, there is enough clearance to avoid wheel damage if a smaller tyre is used.

Other differences include the hood being flatter to allow for more visibility and the roof scoop being required with a lack of natural airflow into the cockpit if the windshield is retained. SMART accessories like lights are included and activated using an ACM control module, which can be moved using input from the steering wheel.

Credit: Bombardier Recreational Products

“This has been a very long development for us,” said BRP Director of Engineering Luc Bouchard during a media roundtable that included The Checkered Flag on Monday. “Usually in a nutshell, a development of known technology could take roughly three years. The transmission, was started eight years ago but the development of the vehicle took five years because of all the technology we tacked in. We wanted to make sure everything was reliable because this is not a race car. This is high performance, but this is a mass production car too. We need it to go through all the validation. We have done more than 500 thousand kilometres of testing on that vehicle, more than we have done on any other development.”

The car also has three variants with the Maverick R X, Maverick R X RS, and an RS with Smart-Shox. The base Maverick R is lighter than the others at 2,150 lb (975 kg; the R X RS Smart-Shox model is the heaviest at 2,250 lb or 1,020 kg) and slightly shorter. However, it has a larger digital display and uses a different suspension system.

Other cars in the 2024 Can-Am lineup include the Defender, which comes in XT, DPS, Max DPS, and Max Limited forms; the Commander X MR, DPS; and the four-seater Maverick X3 DS Turbo, Max X RC Turbo RR (one using Smart-Shox), and the RS Turbo.

While designed for recreational consumers, the Maverick R is more than capable of racing. Can-Am is one of the top SSV manufacturers in off-road racing, having enjoyed success in both traditional desert racing like SCORE International and rally raid as the winner of the Dakar Rally’s T4/SSV category every year since 2018 and all three editions of the T3 class for Light Prototypes.

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