How Real Is Can-Am’s 172 hp Number?

September 2017 Feature Web Exclusive

Well, we’re not sure we can answer that question right yet.

Yes, we did get some seat time in the new Can-Am Maverick X3 X ds Turbo R a week ago before the UTV Invasion at the St. Anthony Sand Dunes in eastern Idaho. And yes, the horsepower was darn impressive but to say we really got to stretch the vehicle’s legs to see what she would do would be less than truthful.

Our ride was short and while we did stomp on the throttle a couple of times—and the Maverick X3 X ds Turbo R did jump to life in a big way—it just wasn’t a good test of what we think this vehicle’s capabilities are. We stayed on the throttle as long as we could but we were mixed into a crowd of several drivers/riders that were out sightseeing.

The claimed 172 horses is a pretty big jump (12 percent more horsepower and 10 percent additional torque) and we were anxious to see if we could notice that difference compared to previous Maverick models. Maybe another day.

There were enough indications coming from the engine and turbo during our brief ride to lead us to believe that number could be real, though. The power comes on strong and stayed strong throughout the powerband before we had to let off so we didn’t gobble up the vehicle in front of us. Sand is a power-robber and the Maverick didn’t seem to shy away from power sucking sand.

Now the suspension is another story. In those few spots we could open it up, the sand was full of whoops while another spot was littered with lava rocks jutting out of the sand. The Maverick X3 X ds Turbo R, with its beefy Fox Podium shocks and 20 inches of travel on the front and rear, soaked it all up. We are sure we could have (and wished we could have) flown through those stretches much faster and the results would have been the same: a nice plush ride.

There are so many things to like about the new 172-horsepower Can-Am from the cockpit ergos to the ride to the design to, well, just about everything.

We also got to spend some time in the blacked out Maverick X3 MAX. That’s a story for another day.

What our ride at the St. Anthony Sand Dunes did do is whet our appetite for more seat time in the Maverick X3 X ds Turbo R. We’re hoping that opportunity comes sooner than later.

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