Arctic Cat Teases Snowmobile Engine: Let The Rumor Fly!

So what does the Arctic Cat snowmobile division have up its bright green sleeves?

That’s the question snowmobilers are asking themselves today after the brand released a short teaser video and picture. The purpose? To start to build anticipation of release of Arctic Cat’s big-bore engine that will be unveiled September 9 at the Hay Days event in Minnesota.

When first unveiling its all-new Catalyst chassis last year at Hay Days, Arctic Cat officials acknowledged that a larger bore engine was in development. The 2024 machines shown then all had a 600-class twin-cylinder two-stroke.

Now, the brand is about to pull back the wraps on the new generation engine for 2025. And it’s leading with its chin.

Arctic Cat Snowmobiles Background

Arctic Cat has made it a tradition to unveil a new snowmobile or two at the Hay Days event, held annually the second weekend of September. Usually, though, it’s been a race sled or two.

Last year, the brand attracted a monstrous crowd when it unveiled its long-awaited chassis platform called Catalyst. Through spring testing, the Catalyst models proved to be lighter, quicker, more fun and better balanced than the 600-class ZR, Riot and M sleds they replaced.

But when it unveiled the Catalyst, factory officials almost apologized for only having a 600-class engine available.

“We have a higher displacement engine that will follow the next year,” Troy Halvorson, Cat’s director of snowmobile product strategy, said at the time. “When it comes out it’s going to be the best two-stroke out there, but it’s not ready yet.”

Rumors have long circulated about what that higher displacement engine will be. It most assuredly will feature a lay-down design. That allows Cat designers to make full use of the Catalyst chassis’ focus on centralized masses.

Hay Days crowd
The Catalyst chassis unveiling attracted a huge crowd in 2022.

But will it displace 800cc, like the engine it is essentially replacing? Will it be an 840-850cc twin to compete directly with the 850 E-TEC Rotax engine in Ski-Doo and Lynx sled as well as the 850 Patriot twin from Polaris? Or, are they aiming larger?

And what about those who truly want to dream big? Will there be a turbo option to compete against the Patriot Boost and 850 E-TEC Turbo R?

Those questions and more will be answered in 17 days (as of this writing). The official unveiling will be at 1 p.m. central time on September 9 in Sunrise Township, Minnesota. The teaser video is below.

https://snowgoer.comsnowgoer.comsnowgoer.comyoutu.be/BzmM9tB1VFY?si=kSoXx6mIW7vV8bTd

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17 thoughts on “Arctic Cat Teases Snowmobile Engine: Let The Rumor Fly!

  • Avatar for Viking

    It is an 858 twin. Maybe a turbo as well to be the highest two stroke HP sled.

    Missed opportunity to have a 700 and 900 triple two stroke. Three in a row makes it go go go. Most reliable smooth and best sounding power plant around.

    Reply
  • Avatar for Viking

    I wish Arctic Cat all the success. It is what the sport and industry needs competition from a one of the great industry pioneer company’s and former number one 1 sled maker. 50 years ago they sold over 100,000 sleds a year almost what the entire industry sells now.

    Reply
  • Avatar for Viking

    AC could have been the dominant number one sled manufacturer again. All they had to do was bring back a triple two stroke. It would have surpassed the record setting dominance of the Polaris XLT 580 (baby triple) in 1993 and 1994 where it was the number one selling model and brand and had 50% of all sales.

    AC should have called there new motor-line ACT (Arctic Cat Triple) making both two stroke and four stroke triples. Any engineer and motor maker will tell you triples are the best smoothest reliable, dependable running engine (especially with a single exhaust) not like the current twin shakers i.e. HD shake rattle and roll.

    ACT two stokes (600 or 700 baby triple) and 900 big bore would sell like gang busters. To be #1 you have to lead not follow or be a copycat. They should make Polaris, Sk- Doo and Lynx copy cat them if they brought back the ZRT (ZR Triple) of yesteryear.

    Reply
  • Avatar for Viking

    There is a possibility the new motor might be a 850 four stroke twin. The Polaris FST 750 made by Weber that Textron now owns and bumped up the cc by 100. This should fit in the Catalyst chassis.

    Likely it will be a NA 850 to compete with Polaris and Ski-Doo four strokes and a turbo 850 to be the highest horsepower sled ever made.

    Since Yamaha is existing the sled market and their four stroke motor is long in the tooth, the timing is right to switch over to have a Textron company build their four stroke motor and have AC be a vertically integrated manufacturer to maximize profits and minimize costs.

    Reply
  • Avatar for Viking

    If this new big bore motor does not sell well in MY 2025, it will mean Textron will sell AC just like they did with Polaris in the early 1980’s. Polaris management bought Polaris back then and made it number for many decades and expanded its product offerings in many new areas.

    Cat went out of business for a couple of years in the early 1980s and then the Cat Came Back (again bought by previous AC management) and then ~12 years ago Textron bought out AC.

    Maybe Keith and Tucker Hibbert might lead a new takeover of AC and bring AC back to be not only the Cat’s meow but the Cat’s Roar. With their extensive long history with AC and success in SX and XC racing and AC sled development they certainly could steer AC and the industry in the right direction.

    Reply
  • Avatar for Viking

    What do you think SnoGoers and SledHeads?

    Can AC save the industry?

    Will AC lead and not follow?

    WIll AC bring back the famous roar of a triple two stroke?

    Reply
  • Avatar for Viking

    Will the new revel be a HayDay or a MayDay for Arctic Cat?

    Reply
  • Avatar for Viking

    Arctic Cat back in 2002 and earlier had two world beater triples a 11000 power vale that had 190 hp and a triple 500 per Joey Hallstrom (Snowmobile Hall of Famer, former Arctic CatRracer, Race Director, Director of Sled Development). se the carbide podcast.

    https://snowgoer.comsnowgoer.comsnowgoer.comgo.skimresources.com/?id=130832X1595830&isjs=1&jv=15.4.2-stackpath&sref=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.hardcoresledder.com%2Fthreads%2Fyamalaris.1891336%2Fpage-5%23post-20759806&url=https%3A%2F%2Fpodcasts.apple.com%2Fus%2Fpodcast%2Fthe-carbide-podcast%2Fid1693906791%3Fi%3D1000622919482&xs=1&xtz=300&xuuid=6f639fdb7c44bdebd2de4e9f33c484a4&xjsf=other_click__auxclick%20%5B2%5D

    They decided to go with the lay down engine of the Fire Cat instead i.e. the 140 hp 700 twin.

    Reply
  • Avatar for Viking

    Actually if the new engine reveal and the Catalyst are not a success, Textron would likley sell Arctic Cat to Argo as many former Arctic Cat employees work there now in the old Black Magic company building the CEO is former AC CEO Brad Darling and a lot of former executives, managers, marketing people and engineers left AC when Textron bought out AC and Darling hired them and has made Argo a real success in the extreme off road for hunting, lineman work, construction, etc. (Sherpa bought out or licensed from the Ukraine company) 6 wheel and 8 wheel Agros, now ATV’ and SxS as well.

    Reply
  • Avatar for Viking

    Brad Darking’s interview above, he stated that Arctic Cat and the industry double sales every year in 1967, 1968 and 1969.

    This lead to the record sales year of 600,000 sleds and the predictions that sales would exceed 1,000,000, i.e. 10 times what it is now. That was over 50 years ago when the target market was middle class / working class / average wage earners, not like now with the target market of the very wealthy eg. the 1-2%ers now of income of $200,000+.

    Reply
  • Avatar for Viking

    If Cat wants to go back to its leading historical heritage they should at least bring back the ZR 500, ZR 700 and ZR 900. All of those were great legendary sleds from AC. Three great large enough gap in sizes to go after the entire range of performance twins.

    ZR500 should have around 130 HP. Sport Performance sled

    ZR700 should have around 160 HP. Mid Performance sled. The meat of the market.

    ZR900 should have around H190 HP. Muscle sled.

    Reply
  • Avatar for Viking

    If the Catalyst chassis will be the only chassis in the Cat line up (which seems likley if it is a success) then they will have to wide body kit (to mount a triple four stroke or triple two stroke, wider engine cradle and hood), if not then it means the ThunderCat will not have a triple and likely they will go to the Weber turbo twin 850cc, the old Polaris FST engine that Textron now owns and builds).

    Most new ThunderCat owners prefer the triple four stroke (Yamaha engine) over the twin four stroke (Suzuki engine) for sound and performance so using the Weber motor while having advantages being they produce it has disadvantageous over marketability and desirability, a big gamble.

    New Textron AC executives and managers will be pushing for the Weber motor, but their customers will be wanting a triple, either four stroke or two stroke. Which will it be? This will be a major cross roads for Arctic Cat.

    Reply
  • Avatar for Viking

    Exactly 3 days to the revel and no other comments.

    I guess not many AC fans are on SG and riders of other brands don’t care.

    Sad as AC is one of the three legendary founding snomo companies and we need to wish them the best and give them suggestions for improvement.

    Reply
  • Avatar for Viking

    Likely big twin will be reveled this year to be on sale next year (MY 2025) with snow check Sneek Peak only sales.

    Since Yamaha will have a 2025 line that means AC will have the Pro Cross for 2025 as well for the Turbo four stroke sleds since they are exactly the same chassis and it is AC who makes the Yamaha sleds..

    Therefore 2024 HayDays (next year) will be the revel for either wide Catalyst chassis for the old Yamaha tripe four stroke or the Textron four-stroke twin 850 Turbo (Old Polaris FST bumped up by 100cc).

    That means the turbo four-stroke might not be in consumers hands until December 2025 or January 2026 the earliest, since AC is going very slow and cautious with new chassis and motors to not have a repeat of 2012 new launch.

    Can / Will, Cat fans wait that long? I sure hope so and I hope everyone wants Cat to stay in business and be a great competitive innovator building modest price durable performance sleds like it historically did and bring back sledding to the glory days of the late 60’s and early 70’s.

    Reply
  • Avatar for Viking

    People will also see how the prototype Catalysts are different from the production ones. Heard the TCL is aluminum, not the composite material they boasted about last year, that I believe was used on the Ascender. Could be other cost cutting items on the actual production Catalysts this year which will show up at HayDays.

    Will it be the new HP king NA and turbo if it is a two stroke? Will they wait at least a year to release a turbo 2 stroke?

    It seems obvious Polaris will go to 900 i.e. 9R and no more 850 likely in 2025 or 2026 the latest which means AC should release a 900 and not an 850 to not be in the same boat in a year or two.

    They have to call it a ZR900, not ZR 850 or 858 or 860 but 858 does have a nice ring to it.

    Will it be on all green sled or all black or black and green?

    Reply
  • Avatar for Viking

    Maybe they will bring back the Wildcat name for this new motor? That would be really cool.

    If it is a real HP game changer for two or four stroke, they may bring back the King Cat name which also would be really cool.

    Reply
  • Avatar for mervyn jennett

    my first arctic cat was 1971 a cat 340 puma & back then it was a real performer & after that i had 6 new cats no problems & 2010 ibought a polaris 800 mountain sled i had it for 5 yrs 1 engine repair but then i used amsoil after that it worked perfect for 3yrs & i bought a 2016 yamaha sr viper 141″x 2,25″ lug this sled sure worked perfect even with the extra weight the sled climbed like no other.

    Reply

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