We’ve had 6 months with the Maverick R and wanted to update the community on the relentless R&D we’ve been doing with Can-Am’s latest platform. EVP owns two Maverick R's and we've been working nonstop to understand the vehicle and its shortcomings, as well as where and how we can make it much better than the way it came from the factory.

A little background… First, we were a bit gracious in our initial thoughts on the Maverick R. We had only driven the vehicle on our test track in which it performed well, albeit a bit slower than a mildly tuned X3. At that time we had not ridden it in the dunes or desert. If we had, our initial impression would have been much less favorable. In our opinion, the Mav R in stock form is a frustrating vehicle to drive in the sand. It never seems happy in any gear, and it’s hard to get into a rhythm.

There are several reasons for this, but it primarily stems from BRP’s choice to stay with a sub-1-liter engine and pair it to a geared transmission. The issue with this choice is that the engine does not make very much power in the mid-range and has to downshift to stay within the engine's power band, which is largely above 7000 RPMs. This is because a small engine can only make so much power at low RPMs on pump gas; 91 octane fuel has limited knock protection and cannot tolerate a lot of boost and ignition at lower RPMs without risk of detonation. A larger engine would not need excessive boost and/or ignition but would use the extra displacement to pull a gear from lower RPMs. When trying to lug the Maverick R motor in manual mode from 5500 RPMs with the stock tune, the engine is slow to pull the gear until the Revs climb past 7000. This is historically true of all small engines and why snowmobiles and SXS’s have largely used CVT transmissions – they allow a small engine to instantly rev to peak power. This is also why CVT cars are so fast and fun – especially in the dunes. As a desert/trail car, the Maverick R is much better, but still is constantly hunting for the right gear with varying loads. With that said, BRP has given the off-road community a vehicle with a ton of potential – which can be realized through engine and transmission tuning. 

As you can see from the dyno graph, high-octane fuel allows us to tune the engine to have much more power at lower RPMs. The difference between the stock tune and our E85 tune at 6000 RPMs is 72 horsepower! With that much more power, you can lug the engine from in manual mode and the vehicle pulls hard through the gear rather than downshifting. Engine tuning alone is great and makes a huge difference, but it is akin to putting a tune on a CVT car and leaving the clutching stock. There is a ton of performance to be gained from tuning the transmission to match the enhanced engine characteristics.

EVP has successfully gained full control over all transmission parameters. We can change the upshift and downshift points, add clutch pressure, implement launch control, etc. We have spent the last 3 months on the dyno and in the sand dunes perfecting both the engine and transmission tuning. On the transmission side, we have changed both the upshift and downshift points in Auto mode and in both Sport and Sport+ to match the new power of the engine. All of our transmission tunes have the engine Rev limit and shift points in Auto mode extended. This engine was built to rev and builds power beyond 9000 RPMs. With new upshift points to match, depending upon the gear selected, you can now go about 7 mph faster in a given gear due to the higher rev and shift points. This alone makes the car more fun because it is shifting less while building more speed. With the downshift points changed, it forces the engine and gearbox to pull the gear from a lower RPM and power through rather than the annoying quick downshift and an immediate upshift. We cannot describe to you how much of a difference it makes for the fun factor of the car. What was at best a fair dune car is now one of the most fun vehicles we have ever driven and must be experienced to believe it. Not only that, but our customers are routinely reporting 100+ MPH in the on Sand Highway and almost 80 MPH up Oldsmobile on the EVP 110 Octane tune.

Over the next few weeks we'll be releasing a number of videos highlighting new products that are guaranteed to make your Maverick R the best it can be, including the long awaited E85 and transmission tunes.

One last item: There are a number of companies now selling “boost boxes” for the MG1 X3 and Maverick R. We tested these products about 4 years ago and decided not to bring them to market. The way these devices work, is they manipulate the signal that the ECU reads coming back from the MAP sensors, making the ECU “think” it is making less boost than it really is. The ECU then compensates and allows the turbo to make more boost and therefore more power – for a few runs, but the power eventually returns to near stock. The MG1 ECU is one of the most advanced engine management computers ever developed and it cannot be fooled. It knows exactly how much torque it is making and if the torque and airflow tables are not changed properly through ECU tuning, the power gains are temporary. The ECU will eventually reduce ignition and/or boost to meet the target torque values that it has been programmed with. These marginal, temporary gains coupled with having to stay with the stock rev limits, speed limits, and all of the other limitations that the stock tune constrains, we did not feel like it was a good enough product to release. The proper way to get more power is tuning the ECU, not with manipulating sensors.

Stay tuned for new products and videos for the Maverick R and other great products from Evolution Powersports.

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