Monday, January 26, 2015

BRP's ATV History

If you've been reading this blog much you have probably figured out by now that I have become a big Can Am fan since purchasing my first Renegade in 2012. Comparatively speaking, Can-Am is still the new kid on the block in the ATV market even though its parent company (Bombardier) has been around since the 1940's. The innovations Can Am has brought to the market since 1998 are simply amazing, here is a brief overview of some.

I am adding my own commentary, but all of the information is from BRP's history page on it's website located here. I have exclude all non-atv content and also added pictures to make it more interesting. I have also added a several events that I felt were noteworthy. You may agree or disagree, let me know in the comments at the bottom.

1998 Bombardier enters the all-terrain vehicle market

In February, Bombardier enters the all-terrain vehicle (ATV) market by introducing a prototype of its innovative ATV, the Traxter.

Bombardier Traxter

Bombardier Quest
Bombardier's introduction to the ATV market wasn't at all along the same lines as the powerful performance ATV's they are now known for. No, they were going for utility and riders and riders with mobility issues. The Traxter's claim to fame was that the fuel tank and engine were moved back creating a void in front of the seat where the tank would typically be. This meant that you didn't have to swing your leg over the seat making it easier to get on and off. Many farmers, ranchers and tradespeople that were constantly getting on and off the machine found that there was less fatigue in their legs at the end of the work day and really liked this feature.
The Quest was introduced later, it was the same machine as the Traxter but with the addition of a CVT (Constant Variable Transmission) verus the semi automatic footshift of the Traxter.

1999 Traxter is named ATV of the Year

One year after it's introduction the Traxter is named “ATV of the Year” by ATV Magazine. An impressive feat for a new company showing it's Japanese competitors that they are here to stay and that they mean business. 

1999 Bombardier Introduces the DS650 

The Bombardier DS650

1999 also sees the launch of a second Bombardier ATV model called the DS 650. The DS650 was a pure sport machine directed at those that were looking for performance. At the time, 650cc engines were not at all common in the industry. And the thought of an engine of that size in a sport ATV was especially insane.
As with the Traxter, Bombardier wanted to set themselves apart in the styling department and without a doubt the DS650 was a departure from the traditional sport ATV. History would seem to say that this risk backfired on Bombardier as it had a polarizing effect and you either hated it, or loved it.
More powerful, but also wider, longer and heavier than it's competitors. It seemed confused as to who it was to appeal to and by 2005 it's production was canceled.

2002 Bombardier launches the first two-rider ATV

On June 6, Bombardier opens an untapped market segment by introducing its Traxter MAX ATV, the first and only ATV with the manufacturer’s approval to accommodate two riders.

Bombardier Traxter Max

2002 Bombardier's ATV line-up grows

In November, Bombardier introduces four new ATV models: the Outlander 330 H.O. 4x4 and 2x4, the 2x4 Outlander 400 H.O. and the Outlander 400 H.O. XT.

From Bombardier:
These new models offer advanced technology and are ideal for consumers who want a sporty look and a comfortable, superior ride in a lightweight package. The Outlander 400 H.O. 4x4 XT adds a value-added package, including the addition of a winch, heavy-duty front and rear bumpers, hand guards and chrome rims to the base 400 H.O. model. The Outlander 400 H.O. 2x4 offers many of the same benefits as the 400 H.O. 4x4 in a lightweight, attractively priced package. The Outlander 330 H.O. 4x4 and 2x4 models introduce a reliable new high performance Rotax® 4-TECTM engine to the Bombardier ATV line-up, based on the powerful 400cc engine of the Outlander 400 H.O. ATVs.

Bombardier Outlander ATVs feature the innovative TTITM (Trailing Torsional Independent) rear suspension which provides superior ride comfort over a broad range of terrains and conditions. This system significantly improves rider comfort by repositioning the two independent pivot points so that the rear wheels travel in a predictable straight "up-and-down" line when encountering bumps.

Outlander ATVs also include Bombardier's revolutionary SSTTM (Surrounding Spar Technology) frame. This one-piece perimeter steel frame provides greater strength, structural integrity, better engine protection and superior power to weight ratio. The SST frame delivers a narrower bottom profile "runner", whose "slide and glide" action allows Outlander ATVs to virtually "ski" across obstacles without getting bogged down.

All Outlander models have a CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) automatic transmission, full floorboards and eye-catching molded rack design. All 4x4 models include 2WD/4WD selection options. These new Bombardier models will be available starting in March 2003.

2003 Outlander model named ATV of the Year

In January, the Outlander is named ATV of the Year by both ATV Magazine and Canada’s 2003 ATV Guide.

2004 Bombardier Outlander 330 with color matched floor boards

 Check out ATV Television's Review of the all new Bombardier Outlander

2003 Bombardier partners with Deere & Company

On January 23, Bombardier and Deere & Company announce a strategic alliance to develop new wheeled industrial vehicles and technologies.

The John Deere Buck and Trail Buck were a joint effort between Bombardier
and John Deere from 2004-2006 based on the Traxter

2003 Two new additions to the two-seater ATV line-up

In May, Bombardier Recreational Products introduces the Outlander MAX and Quest MAX ATVs, two new additions to the first full line-up of two-seater ATVs on the market.

2005 BRP Outlander Max

2004 The BRP brand is born

In mid-June, BRP launches its new brand and signature: leveraging a rich heritage of entrepreneurial spirit and innovation with a renewed focus on providing consumers worldwide with uniquely crafted products that inspire passion and enthusiasm.

2005 BRP's Can-Am DS 650X ATV finishes first at the Dakar Rally

In January, Antoine Morel of France places first in the ATV category at the 27th edition of the famed Dakar Rally, after crossing the finish line on a DS 650X ATV.

2005 BRP introduces the APACHE kit

In September, BRP launches its revolutionary APACHE ATV Track Kit, the first and only OEM ATV track kit that fits most major all-terrain vehicle (ATV) models.

2005 BRP wins the GNCC Championships

In October, BRP wins its first Utility Modified GNCC Championship with its Outlander 800 ATV which would later spark a streak that would see BRP earn an additional 12 GNCC ATV championships during the next four seasons of racing.

2006 The Can-Am brand is reborn

In May, Bombardier ATV becomes Can-Am ATV. BRP launches its 2007 all-terrain vehicle line-up and re-brands its ATV segment to Can-Am. The Can-Am name recaptures the spirit of BRP's unequalled performance, superb handling and advanced design that are unique in the industry.

2007 BRP introduces the Renegade to it's ATV lineup

Based on the Outlander chassis and engine the Renegade bridges the gap between the sport and utility market. It's bold styling is just a bold as it's performance. Initially offered with the potent 800cc engine it is later offered with the smaller 500cc add 1000cc engines in later model years. Although not the first sport 4x4 ATV it revives a segment of the industry thought to be dead.

2009 BRP introduces first air-controlled suspension system

In May, BRP launches the industry's first air-controlled suspension system (ACS) on the Can-Am Outlander 800R MAX EFI LTD ATV.

Outlander Max 800 Limited with ACS

2010 BRP completes its off-road segment with the Can-Am Commander side-by-side vehicle

BRP brings Can-Am DNA to the side-by-side market by introducing the 2011 Can-Am Commander line-up. The five model line-up with two engine options delivers on the Can-Am promise of cutting-edge design, meaningful innovation and a focus on convenience, maximum value and more usability for the consumer.

2011 BRP's Can-Am Commander Side-By-Side Vehicle Named ‘Best Of The Best’ Award

BRP receives the coveted 2011 “Best of the Best” Award in the Side-By-Side ATV category from Field & Stream magazine with its Can-Am Commander 1000 side-by-side vehicle.

2012 BRP introduces the Maverick Sport Side-By-Side

This is the one everybody was waiting for. Consumer demand for a sport side by side was at an all time high and Can Am answered the call in spades. The Maverick wasn't just a sport Commander, it was an all new design with performance as it's foundation. Introduced with the 101hp 1000cc Rotax engine it was the reigning king for horse power. The Maverick was key in securing Can-Am's place as the power and performance leader in the industry.

2012 BRP introduces the SST G2 Chassis 

The next generation and industry-exclusive Surrounding Spar Technology (SST G2) frame. The welded-steel frame incorporates new processes and updated geometry for increased structural integrity, improved durability and precision handling. The more efficient SST G2 design offers increased strength compared to a traditional tubular steel chassis, a lower center of gravity, better handling and requires far fewer components, materials and welds.

Included with the SST chassis redesign are subtle cosmetic changes for both the Outlander and Renegade but still keeping the same general design.

The SST G2 Chassis used on the 2012 Outlander and Renegade
The 2012 Outlander got updated plastics with the SST chassis, keeping the same general
shape but adding composite racks and projection headlight

2014 BRP introduces the first factory Turbo Charged ATV

A huge surprise to everyone, Can Am introduces the Maverick X DS package. This package enables you to lead the pack with the most powerful two-seater sport side-by-side in the industry. Its 121-hp turbocharged engine option leads the way, and its rider-focused design and impressive handling provide a comfortable and confident ride. 

So what do you think? Anything missing? Please comment with what you think should be added to the list.

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