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The Cat is Out of the Bag

Artic Cat’s Dealer meeting

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The big news for Arctic Cat is literally that: BIG! Three new Wildcat Sport Side-X-Sides were introduced to the 1,300 dealership types assembled in Las Vegas for the 2015 ATV/UTV national dealer meeting. On the ATV side, an over-sized “Swamp Thing” was also rolled out (actually the MudPro 700 is a mud-specific model that should be popular for the bayous, hence the snorkel and taller tires).

The final tally is 15 new 2015 models of ATVs and UTVs rolled out at the dealer meeting, including the all-new XR ATV line; Wildcat Sport side-by-sides; and a thorough redesign of the Prowler XT side-by-side line. “This is the strongest new product launch for the ATV and ROV markets in our company’s history,” claims Arctic Cat CEO Christopher Twomey. “We are pleased to offer our dealers and consumers an expanding range of exciting options for recreational, sport and utility use. It reflects our focus on maintaining a robust new product pipeline and bringing innovative, quality products to market.”

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With its 60-inch wide dimensions the new “Sport” is an idea who’s time has come, according to Cat. It slots in between the original Wildcat and the Wildcat Trail models, offering customers the widest range of vehicle sizes, trim levels, shock packages and performance, according to Arctic Cat. The new Wildcat Sport’s chassis is 110.5 inches long and 60 inches wide, compared to the Wildcat Trail’s 110.5-in. x 50-in. chassis and the original Wildcat’s 128-in. x 64-in. frame.

This next generation engine was designed specifically for the Wildcat Trail and Sport chassis for a better power-to-weight ratio than a heavier V-Twin powerplant would have offered.

The Wildcat Sport utilizes a 700cc parallel-twin engine that cranks out 60+ horsepower. Standard features include EFI, 4-valves per cylinder and liquid cooling. “Modern technology brings you more horsepower, less weight, improved efficiency and long-lasting durability,” claims Cat. This next generation engine was designed specifically for the Wildcat Trail and Sport chassis for a better power-to-weight ratio than a heavier V-Twin powerplant would have offered. The torque and 60+ horsepower are transmitted to the terra firm via a TEAM Rapid Response clutch and electronic selectable 2WD/4WD system, complete with a front differential lock.

Both the Trail and Sport take advantage of this power-to-weight ratio which helps give them great acceleration. However, all play and no work is not good, so Arctic Cat added a modicum of practicality to the Sport model, including a 300 lb. payload for the rear cargo bed. The bed itself is large enough to carry a cooler and a “Jerry Can” of gas, while a 2-inch receiver hitch makes it possible to tow a trailer, spreader, etc.

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The 12-inch steel wheels with 4-ply Carlisle Trail Pro tires were designed exclusively for the Wildcat Trail. Available in green, lime or red. The Wildcat Sport Limited features top-of-the-line Elka Stage 5 shocks (with high- and low-speed compression dampening) and electronic power steering (EPS). Aluminum rims sporting Carlisle’s Trail Pro 4-ply tires stand out from the crowd, as do the doors.

Arctic Cat expanded its range of utility ATVs to include the 500, 550, 550 XT and 550 Limited Edition with EPS (Electric Power Steering). The LED projector beams found on all the new products are very “Audi Sport” looking, according to our man on the inside, MPN’s Eric Anderson. Our “Confessions of a Customer” columnist was on hand to give the Arctic Cat regional managers some tips, tricks and techniques. The company has expanded its line of parts, garments and accessories, to provide a broader array of options for machine customization and performance, which explains why they brought Anderson in to address the troops.

As an aftermarket guy at heart, Eric was smitten with the upgraded Speed Rack 2  — a molded plastic and tube combo that is the latest in modular ATV rack systems. Quick. Easy. Diverse… and uniquely Arctic Cat. “In a sea of sameness, it is great to see Arctic Cat swimming upstream and giving its dealers product that fits into niches left by the competition,” says Anderson. Here we thought cats didn’t like water?

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“The cat is out of the bag so to speak,” adds Eric. “The dealers were receptive to the expanded product range for both ATVs and UTVs… now we just need the customers to follow suit!”

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