Woman towing man and kid in sleigh in Kilpisjärvi with Lynx AS 50 1968 snowmobile
The story of Lynx began in 1968 in Kurikka, Finland. The first sketches of a new kind of snowmobile were made and the first sleds were manufactured. Little did they know that a new icon was born.
It was the year 1968. The Finnish snowmobile distributor had been shown a snowmobile prototype. He was doubtful, to put it mildly. But the R&D team was determined to prove the nay-sayers wrong. The goal was to make everything as durable as possible. As a matter of honor, the quality was everything for the developers.
The first AS 50 prototype was tested at a bog during the summer. The conditions were actually pretty close to snow, if you didn’t mind the occasional swim. The goal was to ride the snowmobile for 2 months. If the prototype endured it, it would be passable to sell in the autumn.
”Lynx is domestic and developed for Finland's capricious winter”. This was the way the Lynx line-up 1970 was introduced in the Finnish brochure.
Lynx AS 50 was the industry-first snowmobile with a 500 mm wide track. The production of the model started with a batch of 50 units, all sold in Finland, in 1968. Next year the first line-up with the models L-20, L-30 and L-40 was released and exporting to Sweden and Norway started.
From the very beginning, Lynx became known for its innovativeness. The Lynx 40 J, released in 1970, was the first snowmobile with articulated rear suspension, improving deep snow capability. To improve utility usage, Lynx introduced the first two-speed transmission with reverse in a single track snowmobile in 1972.
One of the earliest models, Lynx 400, presented in the commercial photo in early 70s. Utility usage was strongly present at that time.
Mr. Pauli Piippola adjusting his very first Lynx race snowmobile at the prototype workshop in Lynx factory in 1984.
Watch here the documentary film The Heroes of Lynx – 30 Years of Race Domination:
Lynx’s debut on the race tracks was outstanding. Pauli Piippola riding with the very first Lynx race sled ”Peltinokka” (tinplate nose in Finnish) in 1983.
The early 80s was a revolutionary time in other ways as well. In 1980 Lynx introduced the GLX Finlandia which was the industry-first wide track snowmobile with skid frame rear suspension, featuring a 3300 mm long track. The first long and narrow track model that used the skid frame rear suspension was the GL 3900, introduced in 1981.
Lynx GLX 5900 was a revolutionary model for the industry. It was the first wide-track model that combined the best properties of recreational and utility snowmobiles.
For model year 1985, Lynx introduced its first trail sport snowmobile. The GLS 3300 became an iconic model of its time and was an ancestor for all later Lynx trail sport models.
The GLS 3300 was based on a race sled and was introduced for model year 1985. Featuring the Rotax 503 engine, the GLS was not the most powerful snowmobile on the market. However, the complete package, in terms of riding quality and performance, made it unbeatable. The GLS 3300 had an independent front suspension and great balance with early signs of rider forward ergonomics. The era of Lynx trail sport snowmobiles had begun.
The GLS 3300 was not the most powerful machine at the time but its good balance, modern rider’s ergonomics and great performance all over, made it unbeatable. The GLS 3300 is one of the most coveted models among Lynx enthusiasts.
Watch the legendary First Syncro commercial film from 1987:
Featuring a long and narrow track and the light single cylinder Rotax engine, Lynx GL 250 became a great success among users who valued light handling and good deep snow capability combined with budget price.
The 1990s was the decade of the Lynx line-up expansion. Model name Lynx Rave was introduced the very first time for model year 1990 with the GLS 3800 model. When entering the Cobra platform, the power of Rave models was boosted by the Rotax 643 and later Rotax 670 engines. With the Cobra platform, introduced for model year 1992, Lynx offered more recreational and performance models than ever before. Icons like Cobra Enduro and Cobra Racing were successful both in sales numbers and races. Cobra Touring and Grand Touring models offered luxurious comfort and performance in the golden era of 2-up touring snowmobiles.
In early 90s Lynx expanded its line-up by offering more models than ever for recreational use. The Cobra Racing 1994 was a special made snowmobile for cross-country races and for aggressive trail riding.
Lynx Rave and Ranger Mountain snowmobiles accelerating uphill
In the model year 1999, Lynx Enduro 500 Special and the Rave Big Pipe X represented the trail sport snowmobiles in the era of the G-Type platform.
In 2004 Lynx got its first four stroke engine. The Rotax V-1000 was used in the 59 YETI wide-track utility and Ranger V-1000 touring models.
Watch here the introduction video of the PPS rear suspension from 2006
For the model year 2006 Lynx R-EVO platform was renewed with bevelled tunnel and improved suspension setup. Rave RC 800 PowerTek was the top of the line trail sport model then. With the improvements R-EVO was reborn after its debut year, when the model didn’t respond to expectations yet.
2009 was a big model year for Lynx. The REX platform was introduced and the Lynx Commander was born.
Lynx Xtrim Commander did the same in 2009 that the GLX 5900 did 26 years earlier. Like the GLX, the Commander redefined the concept of wide-track snowmobile. The Commander was immediate success and became the most wanted snowmobile model in Europe.
2021 turned a new page in snowmobile history, when Lynx snowmobiles became available for the first time in the North American market.