I know this might not be everyone’s cup of tea. But if you haven’t ridden in a Can-Am you are missing out. I was lucky enough to pilot a turbocharged Maverick X3 through the Simpson Desert, to Finke via Mt Dare last year, and it was easily the best time I’ve ever had on four wheels.
The power, the acceleration, the suspension – it’s like nothing else I’ve experienced. So I want to wave the flag for Can-Am, and say a buggy ride is something every four-wheel driver should experience.
The cool news, is they have just released a brand new model, and it features some wild designs. One look at the engineering in the front suspension shows just how far evolved this new 2023 Maverick R is.
What’s the story?
In saying that, the internet seems to have blown up after the release. Because, well… that front suspension design I just mentioned seems to have everyone talking. It’s a bit out there as you can see in the images.
Now, I’m not an engineer. So I won’t make comment about this front suspension design. I can however answer the question that you can still fit up to a 35-inch tyre to the 2024 Maverick R. I’ve seen the pics to prove it. This was a major concern for some punters, as the front suspension design will limit the tyre size fitment. No more 40-inch tyres it seems. But do you really need more than 35-inch tyres on a buggy?
What makes Maverick R tick?
The Maverick R is powered by a 240 horsepower 999T Rotax 999cc turbocharged in-line three-cylinder, four-stroke, and fuel-injected engine. To get the most out of the engine, Can-Am has incorporated a Rotax off-road seven-speed DCT transmission. This can be used automatically, or with paddle shifters – now, that’s cool.
There are three selectable driving modes – Normal, Sport, and Sport +. Normal mode provides smoother throttle response and gear shifts. Sport mode boosts throttle response and moves gear changes up to 8500rpm. And Sport + mode just lets all hell hang loose. That’s the technical term.
What about that suspension?
For 2024, the Maverick R features a high-strength dual-phase tube steel v-shape chassis and cage for what Can-Am says offers increased strength, rigidity, and optimized vehicle performance. The new chassis design significantly reduces stress on bolted connections, including the front and rear suspension components that are equipped with double-bonded bushings for a more quiet and smooth riding experience.
Dimensions measure in at 77” wide and a 108” wheelbase for optimal stability and handling. The tall-knuckle suspension design provides 25” of travel up front, 26” in the rear, and 17” of ground clearance.
Can-Am also tells us their rather unique suspension configuration will reduce stress on components, providing superior bump absorption, increased torsional rigidity, and improved stability and handling. I’m sure it’s amazing, and I look forward to experiencing it for myself to make my own mind up. But you have to admit, aesthetically it looks a little out there… again, I’m not an engineer. If you are, I’d love to hear from you.
Shocks and things
This upgraded chassis and suspension design is combined with Smart-Shox, the newest Fox Live Valve Gen 3 technology coupled with Fox 2.5 PODIUM and 3.0 PODIUM shocks. This combo sees the Maverick R offering a claimed six times greater compression tuning range than any other vehicle on the market. According to the press release, these shocks make more than 200 real-time suspension adjustments per second, with the ability to change from soft-to hard-valve settings in less than two-hundredths of a second.
Nuts and bolts
Tyres and wheels are 32-inch Tenacity XNR ITP tires (32x10Rx16) mounted to 16-inch aluminum beadlocked wheels. These 16-inch wheels also have a 139.7mm bolt pattern, which is standard for most dual-cab utes on the market.
Stopping power for the Maverick R comes from 265mm discs up front, gripped by 32mm hydraulic triple piston calipers, while 255mm discs are gripped by 30mm hydraulic dual-piston calipers in the rear.
What Can-Am say
“Can-Am believes that progress does not come from standing still, and the exciting new Maverick R represents our commitment to creating a machine that will change the industry by smashing through the confines of current performance and design boundaries, taking the rider experience to a whole new level,” said Sandy Scullion, President, Powersports Group at BRP.
“With a 240 horsepower powerplant, manual gearbox, and the chassis and suspension to harness the power, the new Maverick R is truly a race-ready side-by-side purpose-built for the most demanding riders.”
For more information, check out canamoffroad.com