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Evolution of the 4-TEC

The following information serves as a guide to gain some added perspective of how the Seadoo personal watercraft (PWC) line has evolved from the first four-stroke model into the top tier premier high powered musclecraft of today. Seadoo has laid the foundation for PWC enthusiasts, thrill seekers, and racers alike by supplying a stable platform to build upon through the parts, knowledge, and resources derived from the high performance aftermarket and Seadoo’s own engineers.

2002: Introduction of the New Seadoo Platform and Power Plant

The Seadoo 4-tec platform was introduced in model year 2002 and the GTX model was the first ever 4-stroke PWC released by Seadoo. The craft featured a newly designed Rotax power plant that consisted of 3 cylinders and 1503cc. The power output for this new Seadoo 4-tec watercraft was rated by Seadoo at 155 horsepower (HP). We would later find out that the same base power plant is capable of much more, both direct from the original equipment manufacturer (OEM - i.e. manufacturing & assembly factory) and further through the aftermarket PWC parts and performance scene. From this original 4-tec platform has evolved many other well-engineered designs, combinations, improvements, and successions in both the Seadoo watercraft line and the aftermarket parts and accessories market for these Seadoo personal watercraft. The original 4-tec GTX from 2002 was capable of speeds in the low to mid 50 miles per hour (MPH) range. The 155 HP was leaps and bounds ahead of any Seadoo predecessor and held an advantage over the competition as well, including the 4-stroke Yamaha personal watercraft. It featured new, more modern looking body shapes that would later become what we expect from Seadoo watercraft today.

2003: New Wave of the Future – Forced Induction

New from Seadoo for 2003 was a revolutionary design concept that would change the face of the personal watercraft industry and pave way for what we know it as today. By adding a supercharger system to the GTX 4-tec platform, Seadoo became the first major personal watercraft manufacturer to release such a machine. The addition of the supercharger was essentially worth an extra 30 horsepower, bumping the top speed of the craft up to the low 60 MPH range. Quite an impressive achievement compared to what was offered at that time and prior. The 2003 GTX Supercharged 185 would be the first of many supercharged (SC) watercraft to be born on the Seadoo production line. The 2003 Seadoo model lineup also included the GTX SC Limited; which was essentially the same as the GTX SC 185, but with more accessories (i.e. the extra little bells and whistles), and the regular GTX 4-tec 155 HP edition as well. Much of what makes adapting a supercharger system to a PWC such an admirable feat is the fact that these PWC are capable of high engine RPM compared to most automotive applications, in addition to the fact the RPM are constantly fluctuating and are capable of drastic changes in extremely short periods of time. This being the case, in combination with various laws of physics, we will later see how and why the drive system for this supercharger system introduced in 2003 would experience many stages of evolution into what it is today. That topic deserves its own separate and complete explanation. We delve further into the topic, which can be viewed here on our page that covers an overview of the Seadoo supercharger and discusses the advantages, limitations, maintenance, varying characteristics, modifications, and more.

2004: Seadoo Defines “Musclecraft”

With 2004 came much to be excited about. Yes, Seadoo more formally added the GTX 4-tec Wake Edition to the watercraft lineup, featuring a ski pylon. But that’s not what we’re interested in. The center of attention for 2004 is the all new Seadoo RXP, the first ever two-seat supercharged watercraft. The new Seadoo RXP platform boasted an industry leading 215 horsepower, another 30 horsepower advance from the previous year. This new and innovative machine gained power through the inclusion of an internal intercooler to cool the incoming air charge from the supercharged induction system, along with changing the supercharger drive gear to 16 teeth, down from the 17 teeth seen in the 185 HP models. Significant aesthetic changes to the top deck body shape, coupled with stronger engine internals and an electronic variable trim system (VTS), made this craft a sure winner for years to come.