The winter of 2022 has been a difficult one for snowmobile manufacturers when it comes to the delivery of their units. The lack of components has significantly slowed down the assembly lines and Arctic Cat has not escaped this sad reality. Aware of this delay, our Minnesota manufacturer has delayed its spring Snowmageddon pre-order period.
The 2023 model year at Arctic Cat is therefore a self-imposed challenge to deliver complete snowmobiles in a timely manner to their many customers. However, we can detect a form of caution in their words and we can’t hold it against them. Many imponderables are out of their control and they have to deal with the new reality.
A reminder of the technologies that set them apart:
– CVT ADAPT Clutch: Introduced on its full-size snowmobiles for 2022, it provides greater performance and serviceability. Its lighter weight and narrower design provide consistent tension to maximize performance, minimize wear and extend belt life. This ADAPT clutch also provides lower inertia and a more instantaneous response for consistent performance.
– ATAC Suspension: With the touch of a button, you can select 3 presets: soft, medium and firm to get exactly the ride you need for whatever the day throws at you in less than half a second. It allows for pre-programming to switch between 2 riders to optimize performance for different conditions and riding styles. ATAC’s adjustable suspension also automatically adjusts shock calibration when reversing for better maneuverability in the snow.
– ALPHA ONE Monorail: The single-rail rear suspension offers more handling than any other mountain snowmobile. It makes transitioning and weight transfer easy and unbelievable. Its unique design and track traction have taken Arctic Cat to a new level.
What’s new in 2023:
As mentioned earlier, Arctic Cat is taking a cautious approach, but they are offering some notable additions and improvements to their snowmobile lineup. Some additions are modest, but others are sure to please power lovers.
ZR 6000 R-XC
This thrill-seeking snowmobile is available to those who have taken advantage of the Snowmageddon spring offer. The ZR 6000 R-XC will be available through Arctic Cat’s pre-order program only with a C-TEC2 ™ 599cc, 2-stroke 6000 series engine with 125 horsepower.
This lightweight snowmobile has race-proven features such as SLIDE-ACTION rear suspension with a seven-position rear hitch for a wide range of transfer control; premium brake calliper and pads for better wear and increased stopping power; Ripsaw track for better overall performance; and reduced race seat foam with the high-grip seat cover.
Undoubtedly, those lucky enough to get their hands on this light and maneuverable snowmobile will enjoy exploiting its full potential on technical and bumpy trails. It will certainly shine in conditions that require a certain amount of daring on the part of the rider.
BLAST 4000 M Limited
Arctic Cat surprised us with the introduction of its 7/8 size snowmobile compared to its full-size snowmobile. Its single-cylinder engine of 400 cc developing 65 hp is ideal for beginners in the snowmobile activity. Since then, several sub-models have followed.
Offered in a limited edition, the BLAST 4000 M Limited has a few features that are sure to please. Starting with the Alpha One monorail, which needs no introduction, it allows you to ride through the powder with ease. The FOX FLOAT series shocks will be used to maximize performance during off-piste maneuvers. This is definitely a huge difference compared to the standard BLAST M. This LIMITED model will have an adjustable ski distance of 35.5 to 37.5 inches.
To complete the package, Arctic Cat has designed an all-new, lighter seat for this mountain snowmobile. Of course, new distinctive graphics will demonstrate its unique character.
In my humble opinion, the big improvement this year at Arctic Cat is the addition of the C-TEC 4,998 cc turbocharged engine to its RIOT lineup. This is the same engine that powers the THUNDERCAT and redefines the word power for a snowmobile. It offers unbeatable performance and instant power in the 200-hp class.
A true 50/50 snowmobile, the RIOT 9000 will be equipped with power steering. It will provide a more comfortable ride, will help greatly in attacking the curves with more confidence and will reduce the fatigue factor during long rides.
Snowmobiles for young riders
The ZR 120 and ZR 200 models will have new graphics and a black hood. What better way to introduce the younger ones to snowmobiling?
Greater gradation of the heating elements on the BLAST
It’s about time Arctic Cat realigned the thumb heat and heated grips on its BLAST. Previously, we only got an On/Off switch. For 2023, we’ll get a High/Low function to keep our hands warm on these bad boys. However, would we have expected a wider dimming range? You bet we did!
In conclusion, Arctic Cat is undoubtedly betting on prudence for the 2023 model year. However, 2024 will certainly bring us some great news, as a new chassis will be presented and we will have the chance to test it at the SnowShoot next February.
Other Arctic Cat articles to read:
- Special mention for the Arctic Cat RIOT 9000 2023
- The 2023 Arctic Cat Blast Lineup
- Review : ZR 9000 Thundercat from Arctic Cat EPS and ATAC