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ROTAX: HEART OF THE SPYDER

ROTAX: HEART OF THE SPYDER

The Spyder, assembled in Valcourt in North America, has however a European origin with the Rotax engine. This BRP division, specialized in the manufacturing of sport engines, was launched in 1920 in Dresden, Germany. In 1947, it moved to Gunskirchen, Austria, where it currently occupies a 900,000 sq. ft. plant.

spyder tv article René Lavoie le coeur du spyder 1BRP acquired Rotax in 1970 and soon after, Skidoo snowmobiles, invented a decade earlier, were equipped with these engines. BRP also uses Rotax engines in Lynx snowmobiles, in Seadoo products and of course in the Can Am Spyder.  Many ultralight and light aircrafts circle the skies overhead with Rotax engines and professional karting tracks vibrate to the sound of them without forgetting motorcycles from the Aprilia brand. The Rotax power/weight ratio makes these engines very popular for sport vehicles.

spyder tv article René Lavoie le coeur du spyderIn 2014, BRP introduced in the Spyder RT category a new engine that goes from two to three cylinders, which is a major step forward technologically speaking. This 1330cc Rotax ACE (Advanced Combustion Effeciency) increases low-end torque by 40%, providing better acceleration at low speeds while significantly reducing fuel consumption. The sound that emerges is also more subdued. The Spyder therefore catches up with or even exceeds the power of several touring motorcycles. The RS model continues to be powered by the 2V cylinder engine but the upgrade won’t take too long.

Most probably, to not fall behind in innovations coming from the automotive industry, BRP is also developing a hybrid engine. Research and development is mainly being conducted in the BRP Centre in Advanced Technologies – Sherbrooke University, in partnership with the Austrian Innovation Centre attached to the Rotax plant. The potential launch of this new technology would aim to increase the operation range to 600 km and to reduce fuel consumption by 50%.

With the arrival of new and more rigorous environmental standards, new improvement challenges for BRP, mainly with regards to its engine, are numerous.

René Lavoie

rene@spydertv.net

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4 Responses

  1. Mike says:

    Good article, I especially like the paragraph about the hybrid engine.

  2. VaughnOfOz says:

    Ditto – hybrid in a Spyder would be a wonderful step forward in a land with long distances between pumps. I don’t mind spending a couple of hours in the saddle of my RT and it would be nice to not have to get off at a petrol station every time I stopped for a break!

  3. Kenneth Lane says:

    We have two Spyders in our family(RTS & STS) and love them for their superior engineering. To discover their German link is pleasing and very understandable as we also love things Germanic. We also have a Hybrid Lincoln motor car we love and a Can Am Hybrid would be most welcome in our garage. The French aspect of our Spyders is also most welcome as they have excellent design and execution skills. BRP has proven to be a most honorable and caring corporation which is saying much in today’s anything goes corporate atmosphere.

  4. Gerry Stencell says:

    I have owned 4 different spyders from 2008 to 2013 and presently own a 2008 with 72000 km and a 2013 st ltd with around 6000 km and have not been disappointed with any of them. Looking forward to Sept.23/14 to get a peek at new models for 2015. Very interested in the F3 but could be more interested in a 3 cyl st ltd. even though for me the v twin has more than enough power ever two up riding.

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