Best hybrid snowmobiles for 2023

The hybrid snowmobile segment is growing every year. Here are your options for 2023 from each manufacturer. At the time of publishing this article, some models or options may no longer be available. As manufacturers still have problems with the transportation and supply of certain parts, some manufacturers have decided to limit their production this year.

Arctic Cat

For 2023, I note the return of the Riot 8000 and Riot 8000 X, available in two colours. To dissociate the two snowmobiles, the major difference is the rear suspension. Those who do more trail riding will probably opt for the Cross Action suspension of the Riot 8000, while those who do more off-trail riding will opt for the 8000 X model with the ALPHA-ONE single rail rear suspension. I can’t pass up the addition of a brand new Riot model for 2023, the Riot 9000. Arctic Cat decided to take the Riot chassis and add the 998cc Turbo engine found in the Thundercat, among others.

An interesting fact is that this snowmobile will have electronic power steering as standard and will be equipped with Cross Action suspension. All three sleds will be available with either QS3 shocks or IQS shocks with the ATAC system, i.e. three electronic suspension adjustments at the handlebar.

 

Arctic Cat Riot X 8000

Features:

  • 794cc electronically injected 2-stroke CTEC2 engine. Developing 165HP.
  • ADAPT CVT drive wheel.
  • ARS II front suspension (Arctic Race Suspension). G2 ProClimb 7″ skis. Adjustable ski position from 41.5″ to 43.5″.
  • ALPHA-ONE rear suspension with 13.0″ of travel.
  • FOX QS3 adjustable shocks with three positions or FOX iQS with three electronic handlebar adjustments (ATAC).
  • 146″ Power Claw track, 15″ wide, 2.6″ studs.

Arctic Cat Riot 9000

Features:

  • 998cc electronically injected 4-stroke CTEC4 Turbo engine. Developing 200HP.
  • ADAPT CVT drive wheel.
  • ARS II front suspension (Arctic Race Suspension). G2 ProClimb 7″ skis. Adjustable ski position from 41.5″ to 43.5″.
  • Cross Action rear suspension with 13.5″ of travel.
  • FOX QS3 adjustable shocks with three positions or FOX iQS with three electronic handlebar adjustments (ATAC).
  • 146″ Cobra track, 15″ wide, 1.6″ studs.

Lynx

For 2023, Lynx is finally bringing the hybrid snowmobile segment to North America with the Xterrain RE and Xterrain Brutal, based on the Rev Gen 4 platform. The RE version is a more trail-oriented hybrid, while the Brutal version is designed more for off-trail. The Xterrain RE has the same suspension I enjoyed on the RAVE RE last year, with a 146″ track instead of 137″. Note that the Xterrain RE is available with the 850 or 900 Ace Turbo R engine.

The Xterrain Brutal version stands out by using a wider chassis, an Easy Ride rear suspension, a 154″ X 20″ wide track and an 850cc engine. On paper, we could try to compare this model with the Expedition Xtreme at Ski-doo, but I think we are somewhere else.

Lynx Xterrain RE

Features:

  • Rotax 850 E-TEC 2-stroke engine developing 165hp or 900 ACE Turbo R 4-stroke engine developing 180hp.
  • pDrive and QRS drive wheels.
  • LFS+ front suspension. Blade XC+ skis. 42″ ski spacing.
  • PPS³ rear suspension.
  • KYB 46 HLCR Kashima front and rear shocks.
  • 146″ PowderMax track, 16″ wide, 2.0″ studs.

Lynx Xterrain RE

 

Lynx Xterrain Brutal

Features:

  • 2-stroke Rotax 850 E-TEC engine developing 165hp.
  • pDrive gear with ratchets and QRS.
  • LFS+ front suspension. Blade DS+ skis. 39″ ski spacing.
  • PPS³ rear suspension.
  • KYB 36 (front) and KYB 46 HLCR Kashima center/rear shocks.
  • 154″ PowderMax track, 20″ wide, 2.5″ studs.

Ski-Doo

For 2023, Ski-Doo has launched a new Rev Gen 5 platform, but unfortunately, it won’t be for this year in hybrid snowmobiles at Ski-Doo. I would like to mention that Ski-Doo is offering an 850 E-TEC Turbo R version in its hybrid snowmobile lineup next year. No major changes to the Backcountry. It is available in basic, Sport, X and X-RS versions.  Several track choices and shock absorber choices depend on the model you choose. Three engine choices depending on the model (600 EFI, 600R E-TEC and 850 E-TEC), all in two-stroke versions.

For the Expedition snowmobiles, I note the addition of the Ace Turbo R engine on certain models of the line. In addition, all engines are available in this line, except the 850 E-TEC Turbo R engine. Different Expedition models, namely the Sport, LE, SE and Xtreme, available with 154-inch tracks and 16, 20 or 24 inches wide, there is something for everyone.

 

Ski-Doo Backcountry X

Features:

  • 2-stroke Rotax 850 E-TEC engine developing 165hp.
  • pDrive and QRS drive wheels.
  • Front suspension RAS X. Pilot DS 2 skis. Adjustable 39″ ski spacing.
  • cMotion rear suspension.
  • HPG Plus front and center shocks. KYB Pro 36 shocks (rear).
  • Choice of tracks: Cobra or Ice Cobra (studded) 146″, 15″ wide, 1.6″ studs. PowderMax: 146″, 16″ wide, 1.6″ studs.

hybrid snowmobiles

 

Ski-Doo Expedition Xtreme

Features:

  • Rotax 850 E-TEC 2-stroke engine developing 165hp or 900 ACE Turbo R 4-stroke engine developing 180hp.
  • pDrive and QRS Vent Plus drive wheels.
  • Front suspension RAS X. DS 3 skis. Adjustable 39″ ski spacing.
  • SC-5U articulated rear suspension.
  • HPG Plus front and center shocks. KYB Pro 36 rear shocks.
  • 154″ Cobra WT track, 20″ wide, 1.8″ studs.

Polaris

For 2023, Polaris is launching the all-new Switchback Assault Patriot Boost, the only 2-stroke turbocharged snowmobile in the hybrid snowmobile class, which is exclusive to the market. This engine is said to produce 3 PSI of boost at sea level, which is 10% more than an 850 Patriot engine, but also up to 9 PSI of boost at high altitude, which is about 50% more power at 10,000 feet than an 850 Patriot engine. Unfortunately, Polaris does not offer exact power figures, a strategy that I personally find very distasteful.

Polaris released a brand new 899cc engine this year. In that sense, I would have liked a 9r version in the Switchback Assault. For 2023, Polaris also announces the return of the SKS that was put aside for 2022, with a 650 engine only.   With a redesign of the AXYS chassis to the MATRYX platform, offered with a three-year warranty, it’s definitely a nice comeback this year.

hybrid snowmobiles

 

Polaris Switchback Assault 850 with Patriot Boost.

Features:

  • 840cc Patriot Boost 2-stroke engine. Exact power was not disclosed.
  • P-22 / TEAM LWT drive wheel.
  • MATRYX front suspension. PRO-STEER skis. 42.5″ ski spacing. 9.5″ of travel.
  • IGX 146 rear suspension with 16″ of travel.
  • Walker Evans Racing WER 2″ Velocity front shocks. WER 2″ C/A center. WER Velocity rear.
  • Choice of tracks: Cobra 146″, 15″ wide, 1.35″ studs or Crossover 146″, 15″ wide, 2.0″ studs.

 

Polaris SKS 146

Features:

  • 650cc Patriot 2-stroke engine. Exact power was not disclosed.
  • P-85 / TEAM® LWT drive wheel.
  • Front suspension. Gripper skis. Adjustable 39″ ski spacing.
  • PRO-CC rear suspension.
  • Polaris IFP shocks.
  • 146″ Crossover track, 15″ wide, 2.0″ studs.

Yamaha

Yamaha offers the XTX-LE and XTX-SE SideWinder for 2023. The XTX-LE is a hybrid snowmobile that stands out as a more trail-oriented snowmobile, while the XTX-SE is better suited for off-trail riding. No major changes at Yamaha since 2020 on these two models, excluding the colours and the chassis that is getting older.

The hybrid snowmobile models do not get power steering. Although Yamaha does not have a two-stroke model in the hybrid segment for 2023, the power of the current engine is still superior to its competitors and compensates a little for the weight of the machine. It would be interesting to see Yamaha produce a two-stroke snowmobile in this segment, although the Transporter 800 comes very close, to being classified as a utility.

hybrid snowmobiles

 

Yamaha Sidewinder XTX-LE

Features:

  • 998cc Genesis 4-stroke engine with electronic fuel injection. 200HP. YSRC drive wheel.
  • ARCS front suspension. Stryke skis. Adjustable 42″ ski spacing. 10″ of travel.
  • VersAttack 146 rear suspension. 13.5″ travel.
  • FOX 1.5 Zero QS3 front shocks, Alum-HP GAS 1.5 center, Fox 2.0 Zero QS3 rear.
  • Cobra 146″ track, 15″ wide, 1.6″ studs.

Yamaha Sidewinder XTX-LE hybrid snowmobiles

Yamaha Sidewinder XTX-SE

Features:

  • 998cc Genesis 4-stroke engine with electronic fuel injection. 200HP. YSRC drive wheel.
  • ARCS front suspension. Mountain skis. Adjustable 40″ ski spacing.9″ of travel.
  • VersAttack 146 rear suspension. 13.5″ of travel.
  • FOX 1.5 Zero QS3 front, Alum-HP GAS 1.5 center, Fox 2.0 Zero QS3 rear shocks.
  • Challenger 146″ track, 15″ wide, 2.0″ studs.

See other guides for the 2022-2023 season: