Skidoo MXZ XRS 850 Turbo R 2025 Test Drive With Competition Package

skidoo mxz xrs 850 turbo r 2025 test drive with competition package


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Everyone will agree that Ski-Doo has thought out its marketing plan for the famous MXZ XRS 850 Turbo R with Competition Package very well. Released in very limited quantities in 2024, it was a hit with performance enthusiasts. Within hours, if not minutes, of going on sale, the few available per branch sold like hotcakes. And for most of them, you had to be a good customer. Fortunately, things will be different in 2025! But we’ll have to be quick… Spring fever only! And only with the competition package!

skidoo mxz xrs 850 turbo r 2025 front view during test drive with competition package

For the new season, the turbo R version of the MXZ XRS 850 competition package is finally available to all! All you have to do is buy in pre-season and BRP will produce the units you order. And if you like, you can buy the exact same configuration, but with the 600 CC E-TEC engine. Only one color choice for the 600 CC, Neo yellow and black, while the larger displacement will also be available in black.

Something new for 2025

If, at first glance, this snowmobile looks identical to last year’s model, read on, and your opinion is sure to change. Although it was offered in very limited quantities in 2024, the new model features some very interesting changes!

New RAS RX front suspension

new ras rx front suspension

Let me take you back in time to when BRP released the first version of the rMotion rear suspension. Before trying it out, no one could say that this suspension would revolutionize the industry; it looked very similar to the previous SC version, with only a few modifications to the angles of attack, shock absorber positions and so on. And that’s exactly what I thought when BRP’s engineers presented us with the new RAS RX.

At first glance, its look is strangely similar to that of the RAS X to which we’ve become accustomed over the past few seasons. Only the seasoned eye will notice a few small differences, which bring about a not inconsiderable change in behavior. In fact, leaving aside the shock absorbers, all suspension components have been reworked to arrive at the final product. The main objective: to reduce chassis roll! Okay, but what exactly does that mean? To put it simply, on a trail snowmobile you have a torsion bar that connects the two skis, which harmonizes the sag on each side, in other words, couples the two sides together. In a turn, the snowmobile leans to the outside of the turn, and to avoid rolling too much, the torsion bar increases the resistance of the outer shock absorber by coupling it with the one on the opposite side. This keeps the snowmobile more in line with the ground. However, this action isn’t instantaneous: there’s a delay before the two shock absorbers work in parallel, allowing the snowmobile to lean from left to right, and it’s this delay that the engineers have reduced with the RAS RX!

side profile of skidoo mxz xrs 850 turbo r 2025 on test drive

New ski legs

new ski legs

Among the modifications are the ski legs (pivot arms), and although they look similar to previous models, they’ve been completely redesigned. Firstly, the rack’s grip on the arm has been moved further away from the pivot point, reducing steering effort. The overall height has been increased by 26 millimeters, resulting in a new, flatter suspension geometry. This modification raises the roll center closer to the snowmobile’s center of gravity, thus reducing leverage at handlebar height. In other words, less left-right play in the lateral sway at handlebar height. So the snowmobile stays flatter when cornering! There are also new, slightly curved upper wishbones, to achieve better parallelism with the lower wishbone. We’ve also repositioned the shock absorber’s grip on the lower arm further outwards, and modified the two pivot arms of the stabilizer bar (anti-roll bar); both of these changes contribute to anti-roll resistance.

New skis: Pilot RX

new skis: pilot rx

While the Pilot X skis of recent years have done a good job, in slightly more untangled conditions they have been observed to understeer. 2025 marks the arrival of the Pilot RX. Based on a geometry similar to the Scandinavian Blade XC+ ski, it offers more aggressive steering. Engineers have used the same double-keel stacked concept with a slightly less aggressive height, better suited to the trail. On hard surfaces, the sill and first keel do the job of keeping the snowmobile on axis, and in softer conditions, the second, wider keel adds its grain of salt for extra bite! This new geometry, although similar to that of the Blade XC+, is a little less aggressive, given that it is generally used on surfaced trails.

Smart Shox rear suspension: a nice surprise

smart shox rear suspension: a nice surprise

The Smart Shox suspension is now available on BRP’s 2025 race machine!

skidoo mxz xrs 850 turbo r 2025 speeding through snow during test drive

This computer-controlled suspension has proved its worth since its introduction. It certainly does the job for 90% of snowmobilers, whatever your riding style. It’s comfortable and has incredible split-second response. It eliminates the possibility of getting caught by surprise and reaching the limit the sneaky way (go bang on the bottom).

Shot starter now standard!

shot starter now standard!

Yes, the Shot (electromagnetic) starting system is now standard on the MXZ XRS 850 turbo R 2025. This addition was to be expected, since the space usually reserved for the battery at the rear of the seat is used for the methanol tank, making the use of Shot even more justified!

close-up of skidoo mxz xrs 850 turbo r 2025's competition package

As in the past on mountain snowmobiles, the first start of the day will have to be made with the traditional abseiling rope, and then the Shot will take over, to charge the accumulator (capacitor) at the start of the day. Unlike mountain snowmobiles, we’ve retained the start button traditionally used for traditional battery starting systems.

The 850 Turbo R engine

Introduced to the trail last year with tremendous success, the 850 Turbo R two-stroke is back with 180 HP. This engine offers an excellent power-to-weight ratio, making the MXZ XRS 850 Turbo R the most powerful two-stroke BRP snowmobile ever produced. The only difference with last year’s model is that it’s now available in unlimited pre-sale quantities only! And you can bet we’ll be seeing a lot of it! Like last year, BRP has decided to continue using methanol to cool the air/fuel mixture in the intake. The engineers explained to us that during a medium-speed ride, the engine uses virtually no methanol. Methanol is used only when necessary, when the intake sensors detect a rise in temperature caused by the turbo. This means that if you keep to the speed limit, you won’t use much…

On the trail

on the trail

On paper, all this theory seems to work, but what about on the track? Undoubtedly, the future of front suspensions will follow this direction for the next few seasons at BRP. Will these changes be as significant as the rMotion rear suspension? I don’t think so, but it’s still a remarkable evolution that trail riders will be able to appreciate over the coming seasons. 

The first thing that strikes us is the aggressiveness of the new Pilote RX skis. Grip in softer conditions is greatly enhanced by the two superimposed, more aggressive keels. You can feel the grip in more untangled snow conditions, which was the weak point of the Pilote Xs. This improved grip is perfectly matched by the new geometry of the RAS RX suspension. Improved vehicle stability is a testament to the additional grip of the skis, as the snowmobile remains welded to the ground, especially when pushed a little harder. The only downside is that when you really push to the limit (not on the trail, please), and I’m telling you, you really have to exaggerate, the reaction time when the inner ski lifts is very short, so you have to react quickly.

rider maneuvering skidoo mxz xrs 850 turbo r 2025 on a snowy trail

It’s predictable, though

When this phenomenon occurred, I was at a much higher speed than I could achieve with snowmobiles in the same category from other manufacturers. The left/right play controlled by the torsion bar work on the RAS RX is really reduced. This change greatly improves cornering stability! 

it's predictable, though

In the bumps – and believe me, I’ve put it to the test – the front end remains very stable and perfectly aligned, with perfect parallelism throughout. The combination of the RAS RX with the Smart Shox version of the rMotion X is truly beyond reproach, combining the best of both worlds: stability/comfort with performance! You push, you push and you push again over the bumps without ever reaching the limit. Sublime!

skidoo mxz xrs 850 turbo r 2025 at high speed in test drive with competition package

We can’t overlook the performance of the 850 Turbo R; I know that four-stroke purists aren’t thrilled with this engine, but it’s a little gem… Quick starts, great performance, light ride, instant throttle response, only long-term reliability remains to be proven.

The verdict

The trails are sure to be invaded by this snowmobile in 2025. With unlimited production based on preseason sales, it becomes accessible to all, at least if your wallet allows it…

Retail price: $27,434