Full-coverage UHMW plastic skid plates
are wisely included in the X3 package.
We even saw a few skid workouts
during our brief intro drive.
So you thought the front shocks were
long? The Can-Am’s 24-inch rear travel
suspension is some serious engineering.
It rides very smoothly.
Even the least expensive X3, the
$22,999 X3 Turbo R, is 64 inches wide
with 20 inches of travel. Never has
a sport UTV looked so much like an
off-road race car. And, in fact, Can-
Am admits that the front suspension
was inspired by Trophy Trucks. More
than a few off-roaders wondered out
loud if the Can-Am was just a race
buggy. To answer that question, we
compared the X3 with a Class 10 off-
road race car. The Class 10 is usually
a two-seater, but it is 86 inches wide
with a 117-inch wheelbase. It also
weighs 700 pounds more than the
Can-Am, and prices start at $98,000.
Obviously, UTVs are still affordable in
the world of off-road racing, and the
Maverick X3 is a UTV and not a car.
With all this talk of suspension and
other chassis numbers, you might
think there is no news in the engine
bay, but you would be wrong. For
the X3 line, Can-Am set aside the
V-twin and went for an inter-cooled,
turbo, 900cc three-cylinder with 156
horsepower controlled by Can-Am’s
Intelligent Throttle Control (iTC) throt-
tle-by-wire system. With iTC, if the
driver’s foot is bouncing around, the
system filters the input to smooth the
response. Performance can be fur-
ther smoothed by selecting eco mode
rather than the standard sport setting.
As a bonus, you gain fuel economy to
stretch the 10.5-gallon capacity across
more miles. There are also two different ignition keys. One allows the full
wrath of the turbo motor, while the
other mellows things out. The mellow
key is for the kids and friends you
can’t trust with all the available fun.
The keys are digitally encoded for
MORE GOOD THINGS
The existing Maverick chassis could
not easily be a home for the three-cylinder engine, and it was not in a
position to stretch to a larger size with
longer suspension travel, either. Can-Am opted for a new, light and strong
frame. One of Can-Am’s strengths
has been comfortable interior spaces, and the company aimed for a
low seated position. When you climb
aboard the X3 you will marvel at the
interior comfort. The one-piece molded seats slide front to rear 6 inches
without tools, and with tools they have
a height range that varies 2 inches.
The seat cushions are removable