2012 Sea-Doo PWC Lineup Preview

A focus on performance across the spectrum

Sea-Doo may have put their biggest bets on a retooled version of the RXP-X, but a collection of other models were also introduced by the brand that showcase a distinct focus on high-performance … at various ends of the price spectrum.

The RXP-X may be flagship material, but BRP also learned an obvious lesson from the Yamaha VXR — cheap speed sells. Sea-Doo’s reaction is to follow a similar path as Yamaha followed with the VXR, taking the entry-level series GTI platform and placing a far more potent, powerful engine within. The GTR features the 215hp version of the familiar 4-TEC powerplant, with all the power offered by a supercharger and intercooler, within the confines of the familiar GTI platform introduced in 2011. The result is a boat that now boasts a top speed rivaling premium musclecraft that cost thousands more. I achieved 65mph at Sea-Doo’s Canadian-based press intro, and noted a spirited acceleration that should compare favorably to the VXR.

What impressed me most, however, was how much more fun the GTI platform seems to be with the added power. This has always been a hull favored by company insiders; the added power now gives it that much more potential. Turns are fun and sharp, and top-speed stability is quite solid in various water conditions.

Unlike Yamaha’s stripped-down concept, however, Sea-Doo is hoping to gain an edge with the consumer by the extras they do offer — notably the electronic advancements of the past several years that made their way to the GTI platform in last year’s makeover.

That includes Intelligent Brake and Reverse (iBR). As I’ve stated countless times in the past, I think one of its greatest advantages is that it allows the boat to start in a neutral-like position at the dock or ramp, and then be shifted into forward or reverse via the left-hand brake/reverse lever or the right-hand throttle.

GTR-215-Switches-left-12Sea-Doo’s iTC technology allows for three acceleration profiles, accessible at the push of a button.

A computer-controlled, modified reverse bucket redirects the thrust in the appropriate direction; the process is relatively seamless to the driver, who is able to keep their eyes on the water and control the craft in an intuitive fashion. And yes, that same setup also allows braking. Squeeze that same lever at speed and the thrust is interrupted for a fraction of a second, the bucket drops, and thrust is reapplied to provide stopping power. Distance is roughly half of the normal distance the craft would travel should you simply release the throttle and coast.

The GTR also gets Intelligent Throttle Control (iTC), which enables the boat to feature three acceleration profiles — Touring to keep things slightly tamer, Sport to get the engine’s full potential, and ECO to let the computer adjust the curve for best fuel economy. High-performance trim also allows the driver to trim the running angle on the fly.

Adjustable trim tabs can be positioned to tweak the running angle.Adjustable trim tabs can be positioned to tweak the running angle.

While not completely new models, two other boats have also received attention. The RXT-X aS has been updated with two mods. One, a pair of sponsons that extend aft of the bow from below the bondline, is designed to keep the bow from diving in rough ocean conditions. The other, a pair of aft adjustable trim tabs, can be manually positioned to tweak the running angle for differing ride conditions.

The existing RXT-X also gets new adjustable rear sponsons.

While it might not be a performance model, the GTX S 155 also makes its debut. Designed to lower the price of suspension in order to entice more buyers into the segment, it offers a manually adjusted version of the suspended seat/deck concept, paired with the less-expensive, non-supercharged 155hp version of the 4-TEC.

One last tidbit to whet the appetite of you muscle fans? Riva Racing showed off a 400hp, turbocharged version of the RXP-X in Quebec. The company promises an entire collection of performance parts for the boat by Spring.