One of the goals of intelligent engineering is getting as many uses as possible out of every part. Instead of designing a part to do only one job, why not make it do several? CAN-AM engineers took that idea to the extreme this year, not only applying it to vehicle performance but expanding the concept to the entire recreational experience.
It took an extra year of rumors and speculation, but when CAN-AM pulled back the curtains to reveal their 2011 new model lineup, there was not just one new Commander Side X Side but FIVE --and they looked stunning! Body styling fit in perfectly with the CAN-AM penchant for an aggressive, in-your-face, muscular look that hints at the performance within. From our first ride, it was clear this was a whole new level of UTV performance whether it was the COMMANDER 800, 1000, or the go-for-broke 1000 X-Package.
It’s often the details that make or break the overall design, and the first place we look is under the bodywork. There are some very creative engineering teams in the power sports business, but the new Commander Side X Sides showed exceptional work by the crew from Valcourt.
Whenever we test any all-new ATV or UTV, whether from Arctic Cat, Yamaha, Honda, Polaris, or any of the OEMS, we usually don’t stray too far from the truck on our first day. After all, we don’t know exactly what to expect from the new model, and we might need to make adjustments or even repairs. Not this time however. Our initial ride on Arctic Cats new heavy duty 700 HDX, and 700 XTX wouldn’t be a casual ride through familiar woods, farm, or trail, but a go-for-broke, no turning back trek spread over 3 days and 400 miles of some of the most remote and toughest terrain in North America.