Ski-Doo Backcountry XRS 850 E-TEC Turbo R 2025 – Test Ride



Table des matières

Last year, Ski-Doo decided to bring its powerful turbocharged two-stroke engine to the trails on a single exclusive model. That was the MXZ XRS Competition Package with the fabulous 850 E-TEC Turbo R engine. This year, the manufacturer is responding to the craze and bringing it to several other trail models.

MXZs and Renegades can now take full advantage of this turbocharged powertrain, like our test model, the Backcountry XRS 850 E-TEC Turbo 2025. A new front suspension geometry, the RAS RX, has also been introduced. This is also available as an option, further emphasizing the trail orientation of this popular hybrid model.


Chassis and finish quality

First of all, we must mention the excellent REV Gen 5 platform on which this snowmobile is based. Needing no introduction, this highly rigid chassis responds very well to our every maneuver. You’ll feel right at home on board, with a trail-oriented riding position. Even so, the well-designed, chiselled seat allows us to quickly switch to a standing position for off-trail sections. 

Ski-Doo finish quality is beyond reproach, and the Backcountry is no exception. All controls are well integrated, yet intuitive to use. Our test model also comes with a 10.25” touch screen for cell phone connectivity. The presence of an integrated GPS is interesting, as is the BRP GO! application. The presentation is clear for basic indicators such as speed and rpm. Navigation through the various menus is easy, even when wearing gloves.


Turbocharged engine

The centerpiece of our test model. The demented 850 E-TEC Turbo R two-stroke engine delivering no less than 180 horsepower. It also features a fuel tank behind the seat. This allows injection of a water/methanol mixture to keep cylinder temperatures down. As a result, full power is maintained even when the machine is pushed hard. 

When it’s time to exploit the engine, you get the full feel of the punchier power in the mid and high rev ranges. Cornering acceleration is sustained and the engine never runs out of steam, with speeds easily exceeding the permitted limits. However, we seem to lose a little of the instant response of the naturally-aspirated 850 E-TEC engine, which is so enjoyable. Unfortunately, you can’t have the best of both worlds, and there’s a noticeable delay at low revs.

This extra 15 hp (180 hp to 165 hp) is very interesting, and can be felt in dynamic driving. It’s not just interesting to have if you’re exploring high altitude areas. Even at sea level, it’s a pleasure to have that extra reserve of power. Now it’s up to you to decide whether this extra power is worth the extra few thousand dollars. Personally, I don’t think so, and prefer to retain the instantaneous response of the non-turbocharged version of the 850 E-TEC engine.


RAS RX and cMotion X suspensions

The Backcountry is always offered with RAS X front suspension and 39” ski spacing. This was the case with our test model. The snowmobile is more oriented towards hybrid use (50/50). We’ve known it well for several years now, and its handling is brilliant. 

However, Ski-Doo wanted to offer a more trail-oriented version. As a result, the new RAS RX suspension is now available with a 43” ski gauge. This snowmobile will become more trail-oriented. The proportion of use will be 70% on trails and 30% off. Having tried it a few times during the SnowShoot, the riding dynamics are completely different. With a wider spread of skis, the snowmobile is hyper-stable in turns. More precise steering and firmer shock absorbers. Everything you need for groomed sections. 

Even so, I prefer the original configuration (RAS X) with its more hybrid 50/50 vocation. The snowmobile is more playful, allows frequent ski lifts and oscillates easily in powder. The uncoupled cMotion X rear suspension handles bumps with ease. Certainly, the fabulous KYB Pro shocks with the XRS package offer the ultimate experience. 


Why is the Backcountry so popular? 

The popularity of the Backcountry model is easy to explain. You can configure it to suit your needs. You can choose from a wide range of engine options (600 EFI, 600R, 850, 850 Turbo R). Premium suspension packages for performance or more basic ones to keep costs down. Now you can also choose the ski gauge for a more trail-oriented (RAS RX) or hybrid (RAS X) vocation. 

What’s more, you can also choose a track length of 146“ or even 154” for more off-road capability. You’re sure to find the right configuration if you’re not too baffled by the options. 



The Ski-Doo Backcountry XRS 2025 is certainly one of the best hybrid snowmobiles on the market. The battle is fierce between manufacturers in the crossover segment. Ski-Doo has just raised the bar with these additional options. These include the availability of a turbocharged two-stroke engine and the introduction of RAS RX suspension with 43” of suspension travel. So you can really choose the right configuration for the terrain you’re in. Whether you’re a fan of powder snow or more of a trail rider. You’re sure to find something to suit you with the Ski-Doo Backcountry.