Arctic Cat lineup release - Part 2

by : Denis Lavoie
Read all articles from Denis Lavoie
Publish on : 2017-02-27

After the early release of some models last January 27th (Read the article... ), , the manufacturer Arctic Cat now unveils all his other 2018 models.

Regardons ensemble les principales nouveautés que nous ont préparé les gens d’Arctic Cat.

Arctic Cat engine

Again this year, Arctic Cat introduces a brand new engine : the Arctic Cat 800 C-TEC2 engine. As we expected it, the manufacturer from Thief River Falls presents the 800cc edition of his 600 C-TEC2 engine. So, it replaces the Suzuki 800cc that is totally removed from the Arctic Cat snowmobiles.

Arctic Cat 8000 C-TEC2 engine

The 800 C-TEC2 is a Dual Stage Injection engine. Just like its younger brother, the skirt of the pistons has a slot that allows, at high RPM, the injection of the oil/fuel mix into the engine base. This reduces the temperature at the bottom of the pistons and this mix is then sent into the combustion chamber through the transfer ports to be combined with the oil/fuel part injected at the same moment above the pistons. This explains the dual stage injection…

Other characteristics of this engine are the new exhaust power valves that now control the surge of exhaust gas on primary and auxiliary exhaust lights instead of only on the primary ones like seen on previous configurations. According to the manufacturer, this would make the engine response more quickly and it would increase its performances. These exhaust power valves are multi-stage and digitally controlled for optimal performances and effectiveness no matter the weather conditions and the engine speed.

Just like the 600cc edition, the lubrication is digitally controlled for a better precision no matter the engine speed. According to the manufacturer, this improved management of the lubrication will optimize the oil use and the reliability of the engine.

A little surprise… Effectively, even if the manufacturer said that the response of the engine at low and medium speeds has been improved, the power of this engine is quite the same than the Suzuki 800cc.

TEAM Rapid Response II drive clutch

For 2018, all 6000, 7000, 8000 and 9000 models will be equipped with the TEAM Rapid Response II drive clutch that had been introduced on 9000 models in 2017.

This clutch brings significant increase of the belt lifetime and offers smoother starts.

Mountain snowmobiles  

A new mountain chassis

Arctic Cat introduces the Ascender chassis for the M 6000 and M 8000 models. This is a new design of chassis narrower by 7,5 cm (3 in.) for easier riding in deep snow or ascending side-hill. The driveshaft is now dropped by 2,5 cm (1 in.) and further at rear by 1,9 cm (3/4 in.). This new location makes it easier to receive a track of 7,5 cm (3 in.) by offering a better clearance. The drive sprocket is now equipped with 8 teeth instead of 7 like previously. The track angle of approach is reduced, so the track can jump on snow more easily.

Still on the Ascender chassis, the running boards are narrower for easier control of the snowmobile in deep snow or side-hill performances. Also, the pilot’s feet are now further forward by 5 cm (2 in.). And the chassis weight has been reduced by almost 1 kg (2 lbs).

Lighter mountain snowmobiles

In matter of reduced weight, Arctic Cat has really reduced the weight of the M 6000 and M 8000 models for 2018. Effectively, it has been decreased by about 5,9 kg (13 lbs). Here is where weight has been reduced :

  • New molded reservoir with larger rear storage room on models not equipped with electric start. Loss of weight : 2,25 kg (5 lbs)
  • New aluminum driveshaft (instead of steel). Loss of weight : 1,35 kg (3 lbs)
  • New jackshaft. Loss of weight : 1 kg (2.25 lbs) 
  • New braking system. Loss of weight : 0,6 kg (1.3 lb)
  • New Next-Gen side panels and hood. Loss of weight : 0,45 kg (1 lb) 
  • New steering support made of composite materials. Loss of weight : 0,225 kg (0.5 lb)


Technologies that come back this year on M 6000 and M 8000 models

During the last years, Arctic Cat has brought many improvements to the M models. So, it is no surprise that the manufacturer includes them in the models designed with the Ascender platform. Here are the main ones : 

Arctic Mountain Suspension (AMS)

Introduced on M models in 2016, the geometry of spindles and A-arms had been redesigned to be better adapted to maneuvers in deep snow. So, this type of riding is more predictive in counter-steering mostly in side-hill. Effectively, the shape of the spindles provides more lateral clearance.

Float Action rear suspension

In 2017, Arctic Cat had redesigned the Float Action suspension. This improved version had new lighter rails. The geometry of this suspension has also been modified last year to optimize the tension of the track in all situations and to offer a better displacement of the front end of the skid.

LED headlight

Some M 8000 models in Snowcheck spring orders and all M 9000 models will be equipped with LED lights. They give a whiter light with increased intensity.

The 2018 M 6000 and M 8000 models offer many other characteristics. Please visit the manufacturer’s website for more details.

Trail snowmobiles

All 6000, 8000 and 9000 models of ZR, XF and M lineups are now equipped with the new Next-Gen body panels with quick-release tabs for easier removal of the side panels and hood. It also brings improved ventilation to the drive and driven clutches. Also, the finish and the look of these panels are really very nice.

Utility snowmobiles

Two new snowmobiles in Arctic Cat Utility lineup for 2018 


The Norseman is meant to be a Sport-Utility model. With its Cobra track of 38x396x4 cm / 15x156x1.6 in., its articulating rear suspension, its ProUte skis, its mountain handlebar, its tubular cargo rack, its storage bag and its tow hitch, the Norseman is really equipped to meet the needs of many owners of cabins, private forest, sugar bushes, etc… It will also please those who like to explore remote areas or to get to their trap line.

Arctic Cat Norseman 6000 C-TEC2 2018

Two engines are offered, the nervous 3000 C-TEC4 engine of 700cc or the surprising 6000 C-TEC2 engine. These models are also equipped with an electric start.

Bearcat XT

Within the supply agreement with Yamaha, there is a newborn in the Bearcat family. Many of you will have recognized the silhouette of this model. Propelled by a 2-stroke carbureted engine of 540cc and equipped with Hi/Lo transmission, Cobra track of 51x396x3,8 cm / 20x156x1,5 in., electric start and large underseat storage box, the Bearcat XT should please many snowmobilers from northern part of the continent.

Bearcat XT

A snowmobile for riders aged 6 to 12

As an alternative for kids aged 6 to 12 to make them discover the joy of snowmobiling, Arctic Cat introduces the ZR 200 for 2018. This is not a toy, like the ZR 120 is, but a machine complying with standards to be officially a snowmobile. Headligth, brake light, … it has it all! 

ZR 200 2018

The problem on the Québec market is that you must be at least 16 years old to pilot a snowmobile. For most of 16-year-old teens, the ZR 200 is probably too small and they will probably be more interested by a full-size snowmobile.

Even if this snowmobile might not be a hit on Québec market, we applaud this nice initiative from the manufacturer as his goal is to attract the next generation of snowmobilers.


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