Just 10 miles south of the Canadian border, it was a hot and humid day in the summer of 2018 in Roseau, Minnesota. Assembly Line C at the Polaris Factory was buzzing along with brand new 2019 snowmobiles rolling down the line, ready to go to dealers all over the world. The all-new Patriot 850 had just been released, and thousands of customers were anxiously awaiting their SnowCheck snowmobile. Just a few steps away from the line, Jim Buchwitz & Darren Hedlund sat at the table outside Dyno Cell #6. Inside on the dyno stand was a project they both knew well – 10 years of hard work, struggle, and pioneering technology.
The turbocharged Patriot 850 engine in the dyno room was the latest of countless iterations built, completely unique from anything else on the market. The exhaust had just failed, a weld had cracked in the hand built prototype tuned pipe. The engineers, however, saw something they liked: the engine combustion and pressure into the turbo stabilized to a level they hadn’t seen before. The longtime members of the Polaris Engineering team headed back in to inspect the damage, curious what had sparked the improvement. Unknown to them at the time, the learning from that failure would lead to a stack of patents around an all-new, industry leading technology called Patriot Boost.
“It was never about just building a turbo. It was about building the next level of performance." — Darren Hedlund, Powertrain Development Specialist
Author's Note: “As our team began working on the launch of the 2022 Patriot Boost, it became clear there was a story. Beyond the specs, features, and benefits, there was a story of a passionate group of people stepping up to the challenge and delivering the new standard in snowmobile performance. It is a story that deserves to be told.” — Nels Eide, Snowmobile Product Marketing
An Inside Look at Building The World's Most Powerful OEM 2-Stroke Turbo
The idea of using forced induction to increase power certainly isn’t new, with automotive turbocharging coming on to the scene in the 1980s. Powersports has seen the turbocharging boom in recent years, with 4-stroke turbo snowmobiles and side by sides. The formula is rather simple – add compressed air, some extra fuel and more power seemingly appears like magic. With 2-stroke engines, however, the turbo solution isn’t nearly as straightforward.