by Jeff Hemmel
BRP Sea-Doo, momentarily pushed aside in 2007 by Kawasaki as the OEM offering the most horsepower on the market, has upped the ante once again, unveiling two models for 2008 that offer 255 horsepower. Unveiled during a press event in August and later shown to dealers at the company’s annual Club Sea-Doo, the two models, patterned on the existing RXT and RXP platforms, promise to dramatically increase acceleration, while pushing top speeds to the current 65 mph standard.
While Kawasaki’s influence certainly had to have been a factor, the launch of the RXP-X 255 and RXT-X 255 was reportedly intended to coincide with Sea-Doo’s 20th anniversary (itself a double X) in the “modern” PWC market. Longtime industry watchers will remember that the true first Sea-Doo was marketed in the late ’60s.
The engine that produces this newfound power is based on the existing 1494cc, four-stroke Rotax that powers the 215 hp variations of the RXP and RXT. To achieve the 255 hp mark
(40 hp more than the previous 215), the company enlarged both the supercharger and intercooler to create a stronger, boosted intake charge (a stated 20 percent more boost pressure). Fuel injectors also were increased in size and the ignition system remapped for the ideal fuel/air mixture. Aesthetically, Sea-Doo also has made modifications, painting the supercharger itself white, so that it stands out in the engine compartment.
With two models that already pushed the limits of the so-called 65mph speed cap, Sea-Doo’s focus with the 255hp variants is on acceleration. To that end, a high-performance, top-loader intake grate graces the new models, as does a new impeller designed to enhance low-end performance by reducing cavitation. A wider water inlet also allows the pump to process more water. While Powersports Business (nor sister publication Watercraft World) have yet to measure any of the company’s claims against the radar gun, Sea-Doo reports that the two-seat RXP-X will reach 50 mph in as little as 2.9 seconds. Seat-of-the-pants observations confirm the new boat is quick on the trigger, a trait that will likely make it a favorite on the buoy course, as well as for those consumers who just want to get a jump on their buddy out of the hole.
While color and graphic treatments set the two models apart from models that share their same hull design, Sea-Doo has included a number of tweaks that fit in well with the “X” models performance leanings. A first is a trigger throttle, replacing the long-running thumb throttle Sea-Doos are known for. On these models, it’s billet aluminum, as is the new handlebar riser, machined to form an X, that promises to increase a rider’s leverage on the craft in race-type conditions. Sea-Doo’s Variable Trim System is also included, upgraded now to allow the user to jump quickly between two preset positions without taking their eyes from the water. Handlebars also are wider.
And then of course there’s the color scheme. X models are distinguished by their metallic color schemes, a copper and silver combination with blacked-out chrome highlights.
Boosted Wake, Limited Updates
The other significant enhancement for 2008 centers around the Wake 215 and 155, two variants of the GTX platform that place their focus on tow sports. For ’08, the Wake models have been upgraded to offer a 200-pound ballast system that attaches to the rear swim platform. The additional weight at the back of the craft promises to not only significantly enhance wake size, but also the wake’s firmness as well, making the craft better for wakeboarders and wakeskaters.
The system is designed to fill with water pressure from the craft’s own pump, a process Sea-Doo says is accomplished in about two minutes. A quick-release feature allows the tank to be removed when not in use. The tank also offers a large nonslip platform for the spotter. Wake shape can be fine tuned to an extent through use of the Variable Trim System, which further adjusts the attitude of the hull. The tank itself also can be retrofitted to previous GTX platforms, including the RXT and GTX models.
As in previous years, the Wake models will continue to offer an extendable pylon to raise the connection point of the towrope. Integrated handles offer the spotter a convenient handhold.
Elsewhere, Sea-Doo has upgraded the GPS unit in its high-end GTX Limited. The removable model is now a Garmin GPS 76C with color display, rather than the former grayscale. The unit is easier to read in bright conditions and also has the added benefit of offering faster data transfer and expanded memory to hold more detailed maps.
The remainder of the PWC line — a new 215-hp GTX, the 155-hp GTX and the entire GTI line (130, SE 130 and SE 155) — all receive the requisite new graphics and colors. In addition, the RXT has received more race-inspired lines.