Our 2024 Maverick R X rs Review is here. Change scares people. It was very obvious how much change scares the off-road crowd when Can-Am dropped the new Maverick R to a semi-suspecting public this August. The new tall knuckle suspension design had every graduate of Backyard Engineering University dusting off their diplomas to let the world know how bad of an idea the new Maverick’s suspension was. Complaints ranging from maximum tire size delusions to people thinking suspension components would become stuck in trees came to voice their lack of comprehension publicly, loudly, and repetitively. Can-Am knew this was coming, and they were prepared for it.
Testing the all-new Maverick X rs Smart Shox model on the Vegas to Reno race course. Here’s our 2024 Maverick R X rs Review.
2024 Maverick R X rs Review
2024 Maverick R X rs Highlights:
- Massive horsepower, multiple engine modes
- 7-speed DCT transmission gives long legs
- Suspension that follows the terrain perfectly for crazy traction
- Bottomless shock performance with a smooth ride
- Innovative in ways that will spark more industry creativity
Powering this new, next-generation Maverick is an all-new 999cc closed-deck inline triple. This Rotax engine is all-new, and features a massive 54 mm turbocharger. In Sport + mode, the Maverick R has a whopping 240 horsepower to play with. This is in thanks to some clever engineering and a cylinder head that flows a massive amount of air. The turbocharger’s electronic wastegate is also used in some clever tuning trickery. Dual injectors for each cylinder supply the ton of fuel needed to make 240 horsepower, and also leave the aftermarket a ton of headroom for massive power potential.
Can-Am uses some tricks tuning the engine to get the turbocharger to remain on the boil all the time, but only when the Maverick R is set to its Sport + engine setting. In Normal and Sport, the Maverick R’s triple still makes huge power, but does it a little less violently. When set to Sport +, the Maverick’s exhaust note changes slightly at idle and low throttle openings, signaling that it is in ART (Advanced Response Technology) mode.
This mode reportedly alters the timing on the outer two cylinders and stops combustion on the center cylinder to keep the turbocharger spooling when throttle is at a low or closed position. When you whack the throttle open, it provides a jump-start to the turbocharger by cramming a big fireball down its throat, which in turn pushes a huge rush of air into the inlet side of the engine. The net result is no turbo lag, and an engine that feels like it set to “Kill” every time you lean on the throttle.
Can-Am’s DCT (Dual Clutch Transmission) features a High and Low range, with 7 forward speeds. This means you have access to 14 forward ratios, and shifting between them can be done on the fly, seamlessly. Say you’re barreling down a desert sand wash at high speed and come up to a section of trail that bottlenecks into a tight rock garden. Poke the big “L” on the center console while you’re driving, and you will feel the Maverick R switch into low range, which now has 7 full speeds to operate with, up to around 60 MPH.
Shifting in Normal mode keeps RPMs very low, almost lugging the gears around, which is great for NVH and fuel economy. We ate up just about 5 gallons in our first 60 miles before we refueled and went out again, meaning average range for recreational use in the desert could be as good as 150-160 miles to a tank. The transmission and rear differential casing are a work of art, like something you would see in a high end sand rail or race car.
Control over the gear ratios is easy with the massive paddles behind the wheel, and the transmission is responsive to inputs. With manual and three different automatic programs to play with, Maverick R owners will be spoiled for choice. The 7-speed is good for well over 100 MPH, but Can-Am governs the car to 99 MPH from the factory. We are guessing you’ll see cars in race trim pulling speeds of 120+ in Baja this season.