With increased tightening of emission regulations being imposed on snowmobile manufacturers, the 2stroke/4stroke battle gets another boost. The latest unofficial information from BRP that a 593cc engine will be powering a early release 09 TNT E-TEC model due in late January 2008, has been posted on a number of popular snowmobile forums.
So, what's the scoop......?
BRP's decision to utilize emission friendly 2-stroke engines pleases many snowmobilers who like the light weight contenders. There's no doubt that lower weight forward rider sleds are much more agile and easier to handle than the traditonal laid back designs boasting triple cylinders, and arguably better than the latest 4 stroke race breeds from Yamaha.
The new 09 TNT model weighs in at 415lbs, slightly more than the sub 400lbs of the current 08 TNT 500SS. Although HP hasn't changed much from the 500ss and 600sdi versions (118-120HP), it's the more environmentally friendly statistics that boost BRP's emission credits needed to comply to changing emissions standards, and most importantly a definitive answer to all the 2 stroke nay sayers, 4strokes are not the only answer.
E-TEC technology derived from the BRP sister company Evenrude, who have developed the technology for outboard motors, has almost eliminted the smoke and smell we've all come accustomed to from the 2 stroke engine. The new TNT reportedly uses half the oil of the 600SDI, and 15% less fuel, although a special blend of BRP oil is required for the Direct Injection system. Other reported benefits are easier starting, smoother idling, and better throttle response.
BRP's claims are bold, and if these new engines are as clean as reported, Yamaha is going to have a huge battle on their hands keeping loyal customers if they don't figure out the weight equation in the next few years.
Keep your eyes open for more news about this potential release.