CAN-AM is a company on the move. Last year they introduced an all-new chassis in their top of the line ATVs and this year we expect the second generation chassis to make it on almost every other Renegade and Outlander model in the lineup as well. Their special edition models come with over-the-top features that make them the luxury vehicles of the off-road world, but they’re much more than just a pretty face. The first mandate for any Can-Am ATV or Side x Side is that it must perform and these are the models that really put them over the top.
Outlander 1000 XT
You haven’t lived until you’ve cracked the throttle open on an Outlander 1000; it’s practically a religious experience! The 976cc, liquid cooled, fuel injected, SOHC V-twin engine delivers more power than most people – heck, anybody – really needs, but it sure is fun when you have the space and cajones to let it run.
The Outlander 1000 XT rides completely different than any Outlander before it thanks to the new chassis. There is less flex from the frame, the steering responds more precisely thanks to a more rigid chassis, and the suspension handles choppy bumps with ease. We also like the new bodywork styling on the Outlander 1000 which is sculpted for better feel and function. From the rider’s seat, the bodywork has you well protected from mud, water, or anything else, and the relationship from seat, to foot pegs, to handlebars is very comfortable. Tri-mode Dynamic Power Steering (DPS) also lets you adjust steering assistance level based on trail conditions and your preference. Thankfully, there is a huge, sealed, storage compartment between the two rear tail lights also. As good as the base Outlander 1000 is though, the XT package takes it over the top.
The Outlander 1000 XT package offers all the standard Outlander 1000 features PLUS:
- Tri-mode Dynamic Power Steering (DPS)
- Visco-Lok QE auto-locking front differential
- 3,000-lb Warn winch
- Heavy-duty front and rear bumpers
- Handlebar wind deflectors
- Optional painted Pure Magnesium plastic
Outlander MAX 800R LIMITED
The Outlander Max LTD is the most luxurious model in the 2-up class, and it comes with one of the most unique and innovative features found on any ATV: air ride suspension. Can-Am calls the system ACS and it can be adjusted on the fly. When a second rider climbs aboard, hit the handlebar mounted button to one of six preset options and an on-board compressor will add a little air to the shocks until they feel right. For single riding, just let some air back out. The Outlander MAX Limited also comes with Can-Am’s Dynamic Power Steering which is a great for ordinary trail riding, but even better when you’ve got a load on the front end such as a snow plow. Can-Am also made the Tri-Mode DPS system adjustable and there are selectable, pre-set modes for more or less steering effort.
Underneath it all is the Can-Am engine and suspension chock full of Can-Am DNA. Expect excellent power and instant throttle response, and when the trail gets rough the ACS suspension will soak it up. You’ll also never get lost on the Outlander MAX Limited since it comes with an on-board GPS system that can be removed for use in your truck or on foot. The Outlander MAX 800R LIMITED has got everything you could need, and the LIMITED package offers all the standard Outlander MAX 800R EFI features, PLUS:
- 71-hp Rotax 800R EFI engine
- Air Control Suspension (ACS) with FOX Racing Shox HPG rear shocks
- Tri-mode Dynamic Power Steering (DPS)
- Garmin® Nüvi 500 touchscreen GPS
- Cast-aluminum wheels with LIMITED finish and 26-in. Carlisle ACT radial tires
- Painted plastics in Orbital Blue Metallic or Pure Magnesium Metallic.
Commander 1000 LIMITED
When the CAN-AM Commander was released it set a new standard for Side x Side excellence. The power, handling and performance were superb and the crew compartment came with a new level of refinement. The gauges pivot with the steering wheel, all controls are within easy reach of the driver, and both the driver and passenger are treated to excellent ergonomics with comfortable seats and three point restraints. We especially like the safety offered by the Commander side nets which easily clip in place with a very secure, automotive style seat belt latch. A beefy, overhead tube structure definitely makes you feel protected as well. Underneath it all is an engine and suspension that deliver power and handling, putting the Commander ahead of anything else in its class. It’s not all play and no work for the Commander though, and it also offers a rear dump box and sturdy hitch for any work duties.
Out of the five Commander models our favorite is the rugged, yet sporty, 1000XT package which came with a potent 1000cc, liquid cooled, SOHC Rotax V-Twin EFI engine. The Commander 1000 Limited package takes things one step further. Can-Am equips the Limited package with the industry-first air control suspension (ACS), a half windshield, a touchscreen GPS, an integrated, four speaker sound system, and much more. The Commander 1000 Limited truly represents off-road luxury.
Commander 1000 Limited Package Highlights
- The LIMITED package offers all the standard Commander 1000 features, PLUS:
- Front and rear Air Control Suspension (ACS) with Fox Racing Shox shocks
- Half windshield and premium roof
- 4,000-lb (1,814 kg) winch with roller fairlead, wired remote control and integrated remote storage
- Two premium painted-plastic color options (Pure Magnesium and Orbital Blue)
- Garmin® Montana 650t touchscreen GPS
- Sound system with four integrated speakers
Can-Am Future – Four Seats and an Electric Motor
Can-Am surprised everyone when they recently released a brochure - and then actually previewed - an electrically powered Commander concept vehicle to select dealers at the Montreal Convention Center. This was completely unexpected. From what we’ve learned it is far more than a concept only endeavor, and the E-Commander (as it is being called) will be going into production.
The E-Commander gets its power from lithium-ion batteries and is said to go 100 miles or better on a single charge at a top speed of 25 mph. While that is only about 1/3 the top speed of a standard Commander 1000 it will suit the needs of most owners, especially those who need a quiet vehicle with off-road capability. Time for a full recharge of the 21.1 kWh lithium-ion battery is said to be two hours, but Can-Am is using a trick called regenerative braking to help the battery maintain power. Basically, with a regenerative braking system, when you press the brakes the energy required to slow the vehicle down is converted back to electricity and stored in the battery. The lithium-ion battery also has a couple advantages over a traditional deep cycle, lead acid battery in that when it approaches the end of its available power it still provides maximum amps. Cold weather does not affect them nearly as much either, and the expected life of a lithium-ion battery is ten years while most lead-acid batteries are done in four.
Almost every function on the E-Commander will be identical to the standard Commander models, including 4wd, and Can-Am engineering claims it will even have independently locking differentials for protection of sensitive terrain.
E-Commander Will Feature
- Plug-in electric, fast charging
- Peak power electric motor (23 kW)
- Lithium-ion battery (21.2 kWh)
- Operating voltage (48 V)
- Selectable 2WD/4WD
- Individually locking front/rear differentials
- Super quiet operation
- Range: over 160 km (99 mi)
- Recharging time: 2 hours
- Emissions: Zero
- Regenerative braking
- Top speed: 40 km/h (25 mph)
Can-Am has a whole list of new machines they intend to release in the next few years. Will they release the as yet unseen four seat Commander, a high performance model like the Polaris RZR XP900 or the Arctic Cat Wildcat 1000, or the E-Commander first? We’ll know soon, but one thing for sure is Can-Am is on the gas.