Arctic Cat today introduced a brand-new line of 2021 mid-sized snowmobiles called the Blast – a Blast ZR 4000 for the trails, a Blast M 4000 for the mountains and a Blast LT 4000 for utility-cross-over uses.
Found in an all-new lightweight chassis, the machines are powered by a high-tech single-cylinder, 397cc, two-stroke engine that is said to create 65 horsepower. The combination, Cat says, will create new sleds that will be light, agile, fun and easy to drive – and could serve the so-called “tweener” market very well.
Cat also revealed today that its Riot X crossover model would include an Alpha One rear suspension for 2021; that its ATAC adjust-from-the-handlebar suspension system would be found on one Mountain Cat machine; and that the Norseman X 8000 was returning for next year as well.
Together with the announced details on October 18 of 24 other 2021 models, Cat is clearly squashing rumors of its imminent demise.
“Arctic Cat is back in a big way,” Craig Kennedy, VP of Arctic Cat for Textron, said in a press release. “The 2021 lineup is a true testament of our dedication to the snowmobile industry, our customers and the brand. Our engineering team in Thief River Falls [Minnesota] has been working tirelessly to create innovative new products that appeal to not only today’s snowmobile riders, but tomorrow’s potential enthusiast.”
Inside The Blasts
Three years after Arcitc Cat and Yamaha said it was filling the so-called “tweener” market with the co-developed ZR 200/SnoScoot (an up-sized youth sled) and then Polaris followed with its own take in its Evo and Evo RMK (down-sized full-chassis sleds), Arctic Cat strikes again with the most ambitious effort yet to keep youth riders and attract newcomers.
In all three Blasts, power comes from a 397cc liquid-cooled, fuel-injected single that includes a counterbalance shaft to minimize engine vibration. The engine is essentially half of Cat’s C-TEC2 8000 engine that is omnipresent in the rest of its lineup, right down to the three-stage variable exhaust. Power is sent through CVTech Trailbloc primary and Invance secondary clutches.
All three machines utilize the Arctic Mountain Suspension (AMS) front suspension geometry, ride on hydraulic, twin-tube shocks and feature electric start and a digital gauge. Beyond that, the machines vary.
The Blast ZR 4000 (MSRP: $8,095 or $7,695 during its Snowmageddon sales event) is a little trail burner, with a ski stance adjustable between 37.5-38.5 inches above 6-inch trail skis and a 121-inch track with 1-inch lugs that wraps around a traditional-style slide-rail rear suspension. Claimed travel sits at 7.2 inches up front and 10.7 in the rear. It will come with a short, 4-inch windshield and will be available in two color combinations – green and charcoal, or blue and white.
The work-oriented Blast LT 4000 ($8,495 MSRP or $8,095 Snowmageddon pricing) features the Xtra-Action Rear Suspension with 12.5 inches of travel encased in a 146-inch Cobra track with 1.6-inch lugs, and the same front suspension specs and skis as the Blast ZR. Cat claims the machine will be “easier to maneuver than full-size sleds when hauling or towing for less driver fatigue during those long workdays.” It features a rear rack, tall 15.5-inch windshield and a taller seat than the Blast ZR.
The Blast M 4000 ($8,495 MSRP or $8,095 Snowmageddon pricing) includes a new 146-inch version of the Alpha Single-Beam Rear Suspension, wrapped by a Challenger track with 2-inch lugs. It comes with a 37-39-inch adjustable front end above 7-inch G2 ProClimb skis.
Editor’s Note: This review was originally published in the October 2020 issue of Snow Goer. Every issue of Snow Goer magazine includes in-depth sled reports and comparisons, aftermarket gear and accessories reviews, riding destination articles, do-it-yourself repair information, snowmobile technology and more! Subscribe to Snow Goer now to receive issues delivered to your door or your computer for a low cost.