turbosupercharger fun

This New Snowmobile Has a Killer App: Turbo Power


February 7, 2020 Cars By

There are plenty of ways to have a good time in the winter, but for those who find more joy in the revving of an engine than the hiss of skis on powder, snowmobiling represents the ne plus ultra of cold-weather fun. But there’s a catch: many winter activities require making the most of high elevations, and much like people, regular internal-combustion engines found in snowmobiles don’t breathe as well when the air gets thin.

Ski-Doo’s new Summit 850 E-Tec Turbo, however, doesn’t have that issue. As the name suggests, it uses a turbocharged engine — the first boosted 2-stroke ever to be found in a production snowmobile, in fact — to whip up its 165 horsepower all the way to 8,000 feet above sea level. To put that in context, that’s 40 more ponies than one of Ski-Doo’s snowmobiles with a naturally-aspirated 850-cc engine makes a mile and a half up. And while power may start to drop after 8,000 feet, it’ll still pack 40 more ponies than an equivalent snow machine without a turbo as you keep on climbing.

Turbocharging snowmobiles is hardly a new development, of course; hot rodders (or should we call them cold rodders?) have been souping up snow machines with them for years. What sets this Ski-Doo and its Rotax turbo apart is their mass-produced status; the Summit 850 E-Tec Turbo runs on regular ol’ pump gas and comes with a factory warranty. It’s been optimized by the Canadian company to work just as well as any of its regular snowmobiles — no fuss, no muss, just added power no matter how high you climb.

The Ski-Doo Summit 850 E-Tec Turbo is available now, starting at $18,099. Grab one soon, and you’ll still have a couple months of snow to play around with them…especially at altitude.

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Will Sabel Courtney

Will Sabel Courtney is Gear Patrol’s Motoring Editor, formerly of The Drive and RIDES Magazine. You can often find him test-driving new cars in New York City, cursing the slow-moving traffic surrounding him.

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