We’ve been sitting on this article since late March. We’re confident something is coming soon so here it is…
We can no longer wait. The anticipation for a transmission of this type is too big and we don’t want to miss the boat on calling this first.
So we’re calling it now. Can-Am is going to come out with a DCT Maverick X3 very soon!
(insert rap air horn sound, lol)
Here’s what we found and a quick overview of a DCT.
We deep searched patent applications and we came across an interesting one from Team Industries… who, if you don’t know, is a CVT manufacturer for a bunch of the clutches that you see in RZRs, X3s, Wildcats, and many other units. Look at this thing:
But, this is NOT a CVT! This is what’s known as a DCT or a Dual Clutch Transmission. Essentially a dual clutch transmission is a manual style transmission with a built in computer controlled set of clutches that engage and disengage automatically; one clutch for the even gears and one clutch for the odd gears. The beauty of this style of transmission is that it shifts gears incredibly quickly and the use of computers controlling the actual clutch allows for precise engagement and less driver induced wear compared to a manual clutch. Plus, it typically can drive JUST like an automatic transmission with selectable gears via paddle shifters… Just like you see in Ferraris and Lamborghinis!
So we’re not here to explain the intricacies of a DCT because we simply don’t know enough. But, we do know that:
- They don’t use belts any more
- They shift incredibly quickly
- There’s no manual clutch engagement or disengagement
- They offer launch control and full on power shifting
- They’re badass
What leads us to believe this will be in a Can-Am Maverick?
First of all this patent shows the transmission arranged as a transaxle. Every sport model today runs a transaxle (which is quite literally the transmission, rear differential, and front output shaft arranged within one compact unit) and there really isn’t many machines beyond that who use transaxles. Also, the patent specifically mentions UTVs.
Second, Polaris is simply behind in the market. It’s not a jab at them, but they’ve had a lot of people to answer to this past year so things are churning out slower than normal. They just did a gigantic social media engagement session with the release of the RZR Turbo S (that we were involved in) so it’s unlikely that there will be another “game changing” machine from them this year. Also, their future is more centered in the electric side of things (more on that later).
And while BRP is dealing with their own demons as well (can you say Maverick X3 frame recall? **it should be noted back when we wrote this in march there were HEAVY rumblings of a frame recall. That may not be true now.**) we’re confident the Maverick X3 will receive the dual clutch this year. Though, we were hoping it would have been teased by Can Am by now.
What does this mean for the X3 platform?
Depending on how they integrate the dual clutch transmission or transaxle into the machine will really determine how many changes will be needed on the machine’s chassis. Ideally there would be a retrofittable DCT transaxle that would bolt into the X3s current platform without massive design changes, but the current X3 has a transverse output shaft. This doesn’t work with the DCT in the patent images because it has a longitudinal input shaft, so there would either need to be a 90 degree bevel gear output on the X3 engine or the engine would be turned 90 degrees. Regardless of all that, we don’t believe this will be an entirely new machine.
Why a DCT?
It’s really the next evolution of high performance. While CVT clutches are infinitely tunable they do have their downfalls (the belt is one, obviously) that especially become apparent in racing situations where incredible durability is necessary. With Can-Am doing so well in every form of racing since the X3’s release, it’s only natural to move on and away from CVTs to a DCT in their ultra-high performance X3 line. Savvy SXS fans will recognize that this isn’t the first SXS with a DCT, the Honda Pioneer 1000 took that crown.
Do you need a DCT?
Probably not. But you probably don’t need a X3 either! While belts will always be an issue on high horsepower CVT machines, they do have their benefits: Excellent power delivery, crawling ability, ease of service, tunability, etc. But if you push it hard in the dunes or trails, or have a race machine, the X3 with the Team Dual Clutch will be the machine for you.
When is it coming?
We believe that BRPs next product release will be this machine. We thought that it would have come along with the Maverick Sport release, but it did not. We believe that it will be out by early west-coast dune season (say Sept/Oct).
So that’s it everyone! As with any speculative article we could be totally wrong, but we really don’t think so. Until the release of the Team Dual Clutch Maverick X3, please check us out at:
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