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2008 Polaris IQ Dragon First Impressions


by Pascal Bastien ,

The American manufacturer announces a new and improved line of snowmobiles for 2008, including several surprises like the new IQ Shift, which combines the performance of a 120-hp, 2-stroke, twin-cylinder engine with a ridiculously low price. Considering all the money you save upon purchasing your new sled, you can further customize it by selecting one of three graphics packages and then adding many of your favorite accessories. The IQ Shift is by far the most affordable 600-cc liquid-cooled snowmobile on the market. By offering such interesting value, Polaris is trying to reproduce the success of its popular Indy 500 of the 1980s and '90s.

The IQ's attractive price will certainly make it a very popular sled.

Sport chassis
The new IQ Dragon family is a welcomed addition, since it replaces the old Fusion lineup which suffered from a number of design flaws. This new breed of Polaris snowmobiles is pretty sharp and well executed. Maneuverability is surprising, while the steering is both light and precise. What's more, the IQ models have been constantly evolving since their introduction. You can feel it as soon as you take off: simply point the skis in the desired direction and the IQ chassis will exit the corner as quickly as it surged into it. Fantastic!

For 2008, the IQ Dragon comes with a choice of four different engines -- three for the IQ Dragon performance models and a fourth for the long-track model. The best of the bunch is without question the Liberty Cleanfire 700 HO engine, which offers a supreme riding feel thanks to instant throttle response every time you accelerate. It also offers unparalleled smoothness and produces virtually no vibrations compared to the majority of 2-stroke performance engines, thus improving ride comfort. The Cleanfire mills are also very fuel-efficient; we can't wait to pit them against Ski-Doo's SDI engines.

The new models are much improved compared to their predecessors.
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