MACH Z, the Return of the Legend

For this article, the angle I wish to take to discuss this extraordinary subject is not that of an industry columnist or journalist. For this one, I want to take the angle of a snowmobile enthusiast. It’s the story of a 15-year-old boy who used to flip through snowmobile magazines and dreamed of one day owning his own Ski-Doo. At the time, this dream began with four letters: MACH. In fact, the first year I really got interested in snowmobiling was in 1993. It was a memorable year for many reasons, but one of them is the birth of the legendary Ski-Doo Formula MACH Z, the ultimate performance snowmobile whose name still resonates to this day. In fact, the MACH name started in 1989 with the introduction of the MACH 1, a performance snowmobile assembled on a PRS chassis and with a 583 cc 2-cylinder engine with a rotary valve and RAVE system. The MACH Z had several engines and platforms between 1993 and 2007, including a pause in 2004. Its return to the Ski-Doo line for 2022 is a milestone for the entire industry to enthusiasts’ great pleasure.

MACH Z the Return of the Legend - snowmobile - Ski-Doo
MACH Z 1993 – The birth of the legend

MACH Z the Return of the Legend - snowmobile - Ski-Doo
MACH 1 1989 – Ski-Doo’s first MACH snowmobile

The New 2022 MACH Z

Despite the great popularity or prominence of the name MACH Z, this snowmobile type is very much nested in a specific niche of the industry. Also, the volume of units required to justify such a development program is even more challenging to achieve. So, it takes a specific technology, engine, and platform to get there. For 2022, the stars are aligned for its grand comeback. However, its brief appearance will be as fast as that snowmobile on the snow. Ski-Doo has been very clear, the MACH Z will only be produced for 2022 and available in spring fever only.

This model is the perfect combination of all the best Ski-Doo technologies available, providing maximum performance at all levels. This snowmobile is unique, powerful, brutal, fast, and as agile on trails as it is on acceleration strips. The competition’s snowmobiles may well be shaking now that the MACH Z is back.

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MACH Z the Return of the Legend - snowmobile - Ski-Doo
The MACH Z 2022 in all its glory

900 ACE Turbo R Engine

The big difference with the previous versions of the MACH Z is that the 2022 model is equipped with a 4-stroke engine with Turbo technology. All previous generations had 2-stroke engines as standard. For 2022 its return is by no means with just any turbo engine. It is an improved and more powerful version of the 900 ACE Turbo we know at Ski-Doo since the 2019 season. The R version now generates a power output of 180 HP, 20% more, thanks in particular to larger injectors, higher pressure produced by the turbine and a modified exhaust system. The Rotax 900 ACE Turbo R is the most powerful production engine built to date by Ski-Doo. Moreover, the sound of the MACH Z is unique and distinctive. It is also equipped with a new iTC cable throttle for optimized control over the previous steering system.

Launch Mode

In order to be the ultimate Ski-Doo snowmobile in terms of acceleration, Ski-Doo is introducing for 2022 and exclusively for the MACH Z a Launch Mode. This mode allows maximum pressure generation in the intake plenum, approximately 9–10 psi, just below the drive pulley’s engaging speed. To operate it, activate the SPORT mode for two seconds via the iTC selector on the center console, push the brake while pressing the throttle to maximum. The launch mode is then activated. When the brake is released, the MACH Z accelerates with all the power available.

It should also be noted that this model has a specific clutch and transmission calibration for maximum performance. Everything is optimized on this model for performance and acceleration.

MACH Z the Return of the Legend - snowmobile - Ski-Doo
With its 180 HP and the launch system, the MACH Z produces stunning accelerations.

Semi-Active SMART-SHOX Suspension 

The MACH Z 2022 comes standard with the brand-new semi-active suspension with high-performance KYB PRO shock absorbers. This suspension is revolutionary and a first in the snowmobile industry in that it optimizes the behavior of the snowmobile at all times for maximum comfort and performance. All of this is possible thanks to electronic suspension management, 5 sensors strategically positioned on the snowmobile and twin-tube shock absorbers. The MACH Z will not only perform exceptionally well in terms of powertrain performance but also in terms of suspension performance.

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Other Performance Features

A snowmobile cannot bear the name MACH if it is not the best in all performance-related categories. In order to achieve this, the MACH Z 2022 is equipped with RAS X front and rMotion X rear suspension. Both suspensions are lowered to have a riding position 1.5 inches lower than a Renegade X-RS version. This is a clear advantage for acceleration racing and sporty driving. This snowmobile also features RS running boards for a better boot grip, 2-pivot direction for precise steering and an adjustable elevation block. Pilot X skis are standard, but it is possible to install the TX as an accessory.

MACH Z the Return of the Legend - snowmobile - Ski-Doo
The MACH Z 2022 is the perfect combination of the best Ski-Doo technologies.

Track Choice

The MACH Z 2022 is standard equipped with a 137 x 15 x 1.25 inches 1-ply ICE Ripper XT. This basic track with pre-molded lugs will be the ideal choice for those who want maximum top speed. However, the buyers of MACH Z will likely decide to lug the track. Therefore, Ski-Doo offers the possibility to order this snowmobile with a 2-ply Ripsaw track with the same dimensions. A 2-ply track pre-marked for lugs will be more durable for this type of application by its configuration.

The 2022 MACH Z Design

Enthusiasts are unusually unanimous that the 2022 version has a very wicked look. Even the black windshield was designed for the performance and character of this unique snowmobile. Its unique carbon black and liquid titanium coloring remind us of the models of the ’90s and 2000s, but with a good dose of modernity. I think that in terms of design, it is incredibly successful.

MACH Z the Return of the Legend - snowmobile - Ski-Doo
The MACH Z has a unique design reminiscent of its predecessors.

How the MACH Z 2022 will go down in snowmobile history

Ski-Doo is managing expectations well since this model will only be produced for 2022. It is meant to be unique, striking, and memorable. This model will likely be extremely popular with collectors in a few years. Like all unique models, the 2022 MACH Z will turn heads for many years to come and be a source of pride for all those who will be its happy owners.

Collaborative text: How do you wear your helmet?

Like many, I would like to see this model produced on a more regular basis. Even after 15 years of waiting, the name MACH Z remains at the heart of the Ski-Doo brand’s DNA. Beyond the driving experience and the vehicle’s performance, the name MACH makes us dream and makes us buzz. For me, it’s an incredibly emotional relationship, with deep roots in an ever-growing passion for snowmobiling and the Ski-Doo brand.

In conclusion, I invite you to read or reread an article written a few years ago in collaboration with my friend Hugo Lorquet on the 1993 MACH Z. As luck would have it, the title of this article was “Formula MACH Z, the birth of a legend.” As you can see, this passion is not new.