The 2020 Renegade Enduro 900 ACE Turbo snowmobile
For the 2019-2020 winter season, our partner, the Saint-Jean-de-Matha BRP dealership Les Motoneiges Géro provided me with a 2020 Ski-Doo Renegade Enduro 900 ACE Turbo. I had already tested the 2018 Renegade Enduro 900 ACE, and it met my expectations: pleasant to drive, economical and comfortable. I didn’t think the 2020 900 ACE Turbo model would be so different, but this model is simply a wonder to drive. It’s, in fact, the most enjoyable snowmobile I’ve driven to this day! Performance, smoothness, economy, comfort and handling are all there. Here are my detailed impressions.
ITC System and 900 ACE Turbocharged Engine
For those unfamiliar with the ITC system, it’s a wireless electronic throttle called Intelligent Throttle Control (ITC). It is remarkably soft for the thumb, and you can rotate it to drive with your fingers instead of your thumb. The progressiveness of the throttle lever is very different from a conventional cable throttle; the response is faster, especially in sport mode. I also noticed that you get the compression effect of the engine by releasing the throttle. I like this effect. During my outings, it was very useful for me to slow down when coming to a stop or descending a steep slope. Also, when you enter a bend, decelerating by compressing transfers the weight of the snowmobile to the skis and the skis grip to the ground even better to help you turn.
The ITC system uses three levels of performance: sport, standard, and ECO. We’re talking here about a turbo engine that generates 150 horsepower and, regardless of the mode it’s in, you notice it has power.
In sport mode, accelerations and throttle response are impressive; the snowmobile is very nervous, so you have to hold the handlebars tight.
In the standard mode, accelerations are more linear, but also very impressive if you apply enough pressure on the throttle. It’s the mode that I’ve mostly used so far. It’s a less nervous mode but still provides me with full power when needed.
The ECO mode is much more linear. You can easily ride at a good speed and follow your partners but forget about nervous accelerations. I did not try this mode over a long enough distance to evaluate its consumption because the standard mode is already very economical.
I went on several rides with snowmobilers who had atmospheric (no turbo) Ski-Doo Renegade Enduro 900 ACEs and, to our surprise, regardless of speed and trail conditions, our fuel consumption was similar.
Transmission, Exhaust and Traction
The transmission is a pDrive and works very well. The 900 ACE Turbo engine is powerful and offers a sound that is pleasant to the ears and not at all disturbing to the environment. The snowmobile comes standard with a 137 x 15 x 1.25” Ice Ripper track. For my test drive, Les Motoneiges Géro installed a 137 x 15 x 1.5” Ice Ripper.
137 x 15 x 1.5 Ice Ripper track
I noticed better traction and braking than with the standard track. In deep snow and when “faded,” I skidded a lot less, and the improved braking provided me with an increased sense of safety. You can feel that the track has a better grip in the snow.
We would compare our mileage, and my odometer would always read a little less when riding in deep snow. However, on the hardened trails, we had the same mileage, which indicated that the track gripped better.
I had to deal with a lot of snow, and the snowmobile handled itself very well, allowing me to ride with full confidence. However, with this type of track, you absolutely need to install snow scrapers because, on hardened trails, the sliders were struggling to stick. I only lowered one of the scrapers, and it was enough to lubricate them. There are sliders with vespel inserts, which, in theory, could be a good complement to this track since they do not need snow to lubricate themselves. However, I haven’t tried them out yet, so I can’t say.
Furthermore, since the 137 x 15 x 1.5” Ice Ripper track offers better traction and the 900 ACE Turbo engine is very powerful, especially in sport mode, you have to be more careful with the throttle when riding off-trail because the skis will try to lift.
As for the engine temperature, it always stayed within the normal parameters.
Comfort, Suspension and Chassis
HPG Plus shock absorber and Pilot TS ski
The expanded REV Gen4 chassis design makes a big difference compared to the XS platform. Everything is better centred, which helps when driving the snowmobile. Also, on this chassis, you sit in a slightly elevated position, which allows you to get up quickly when the situation requires it.
Sitting position on the seat
The rear suspension is a rMotion with an air-controlled shock absorber and is already renowned as an excellent suspension. It’s still going strong. Being able to adjust it to the trail conditions and according to our preferences is a great feature.
At the front, the RAS 3 and the HPG plus shock absorbers hold the skis firmly to the trail. I tried it on several winding trails and had no difficulty controlling the snowmobile. The snowmobile sticks to the trail.
Snowmobile that sticks well to the trail in a bend
The new Pilot TS skis are as easy to adjust as ever and really minimize darting. When I felt some darting, especially when the trails were freshly groomed and hardened by the cold, I would lift the runner under the skis, and everything would come back to normal.
The driver’s seat is heated, and I found it useful at the end of the day in freezing temperatures.
They also installed a windshield that is adjustable from medium to high (19" to 23"), which is the best of both worlds. With the few cold spells we had, I really liked being able to protect myself better. You can immediately feel the difference. Furthermore, when you ride in deep powder and your windshield is too high, you will have a snow return effect on you and your gauges, so by lowering it, you eliminate this.
Rear-view mirrors, Multi-function gauge, LinQ cargo box, Lighting
The adjustable rear-view mirrors provide excellent vision on either side of the snowmobile, and I didn’t notice any vibration. You don’t have to turn around to see what’s following you. Just by moving your eyes, you can see right through the back.
Also new this year is the 7.2” multi-function gauge. It offers a digital display, and you get all the relevant information continuously, no need to scroll through the displays. You can read it very well both day and night as well as sitting and standing. It’s a very good improvement.
Multifunction gauge at night
Rearview with mirrors
BRP also provided me with the 62-litre LinQ cargo box to test, and I find it very practical. It’s big enough to bring what’s needed for the trip, and it stays dry and well attached to the snowmobile.
LinQ Cargo Box
Halogen headlights are standard on the snowmobile, and they provide fair lighting. Luckily, Les Motoneiges Géro installed long-range LED auxiliary headlights. It’s the first year I don’t have to worry about driving at night. This lighting, which is an option at BRP, makes all the difference. A picture is worth a thousand words! Just take a look at the photos below and see for yourself.
I encountered conditions where visibility was reduced by the snow being lifted by other snowmobiles. With these lights, I could be seen clearly, which is another great safety feature.
With the headlights on
With the low lights on
With the full beams on
With long-range LED headlights
As mentioned earlier, it’s the snowmobile that has brought me the most pleasure to drive to date.
If you’re looking for a snowmobile that’s efficient, economical, sporty and comfortable, you won’t go wrong with the 2020 Renegade Enduro 900 ACE Turbo.
I invite you to visit their store to see the 2020 Renegade Enduro 900 ACE Turbo and other Ski-Doo products as well as meet their dedicated staff.