For its truly innovative, single-rail rear suspension and the results the machine that wears it creates in deep-snow mountain riding conditions, the Arctic Cat M 8000 Mountain Cat Alpha One 165 has been named the 2019 Snow Goer Snowmobile of the Year.
The much-coveted award annually recognizes the most innovative, forward-thinking designs and machines in the snowmobile industry, along with the Top 10 Snowmobiles of 2019.
To see further analysis of these and other machines, plus aftermarket product reviews, interesting feature stories, informative how-to articles, vintage snowmobile profiles, riding destinations stories and much more, click here to subscribe to Snow Goer magazine.
The M 8000 Alpha One is the 29th sled to be honored by Snow Goer‘s annual award. Click through to see a complete list of past Snow Goer Snowmobile of the Year honorees.
Snow Goer Snowmobile Of The Year
2019 Arctic Cat M 8000 Mountain Cat Alpha One 165
Though from its origination, the Snow Goer Snowmobile of the Year award has always been about product innovation, fresh thinking and the challenging of industry norms, some years the vehicle that is honored – based on what else is new that year – merely features a tweak on existing designs, or a half-step forward in one direction or another.
Clearly, the winner for 2019 does not fit into that category – at all!
The Arctic Cat M 8000 Alpha One snowmobile and, most specifically, its rear suspension is about as game-changing as it gets. The crafty mountain crew at Cat didn’t just tamper with geometry, add or subtract a few inches in length or width, or throw more horsepower at the challenge of supreme backcountry domination. Instead, they blew up popular conventions and developed the first single-rail rear snowmobile suspension in the last 40-plus, and the only one that was specifically designed with deep-snow mountain riding in mind.
The concept of the Alpha One suspension dates back almost a decade, and Arctic Cat designers first had working, hand-built prototypes of a single-rail design (about which the engineers didn’t even tell the top brass at Arctic Cat at first, by the way) way back in 2012, with patent paperwork filed in 2015. It wasn’t until model year 2019, though, that Cat finalized the right combination of geometry, exotic materials and condition-specific track design to launch it into the world.
It was worth the wait! The end result is a rear suspension design targeted specifically at the deepest of deep-snow conditions, and that’s where it truly shines – with great traction and a new level of agility.
Rest assured, the Alpha One is not a gimmick or gadget, a one-off creation or a rapidly passing fad. It is an engineering masterpiece that will push other factories to answer with their own revolutionary designs. That is what makes the Arctic Cat M 8000 Alpha One 164 an ideal recipient of the Snow Goer Snowmobile Of The Year Award for 2019.