The project to re-design the venerable 'Max started way back in the 90's. There were running prototypes being tested by Yamaha as early as 2001... so if you thought you heard rumors of a new VMAX years ago, they were probably right. The problem was that the first version was too tame, too big, too different, and the power delivery too smooth. Basically, it didn't fill its "evil" quota, so it was sent back to the drawing board, scrapped for a clean sheet design. Focus groups were engaged along with tracking surveys from current owners (demonic horde that they are!), and what they found all boiled down to: better handling, more power (but only a little), better ergonomics, and above all to keep the V-Boost!