Arctic Cat has made a habit of stealing the show with sled unveilings at the Haydays Grass Drags & Swap Meet event in Minnesota every September, and the brand didn’t disappoint this year. In fact, Team Arctic unveiled four sleds at 1 p.m. last Saturday, September 10, including two race sleds for this winter, a racer only package for its mountain backcountry hero team plus a new M 9000 mountain sled featuring the 998cc Yamaha turbo engine unveiled in other 9000 Series sleds earlier this year.
The biggest news on the two race sleds is that the new 2017 ZR 6000R SX snocross-focused race sled will feature electronic fuel injection. The base will be the Arctic Cat-built 599cc C-TEC twin found in 6000 Series ZR, XF and M consumer-available snowmobiles – it’s the first time modern fuel injection has been used on a factory race sled. Cat race department officials worked with its longtime racing partner Speedwerx to make the engine competition-ready, company officials said. Changes compared to the 600 DSI engine include special cylinder porting, throttle bodies, cylinder head, exhaust, ECU, voltage regulator, fuel pump and more.
The SX model also gets a new secondary clutch aimed at better backshifting, plus stronger spindles, new bodywork and other updates over last year’s race sled.
The 2017 ZR6000R XC race sled aimed at cross-country competition comes with new Gen II plastic body panels that improve driver ergonomics and also provide better engine venting while also providing quicker engine accessibility for mechanical adjustments. Cat designers also tweaked things in the chaincase, clutches, exhaust, spindles and seat mounting system for better durability. The XC model comes with Fox 1.5 Zero QS3R coil-over shocks up front instead of Fox FLOAT air shocks.
The most readily available snowmobile unveiled by Cat at Haydays was the new M 9000 King Cat. It features the big Yamaha turbo that has crested 200 hp in independent dyno tests nestled in the ProClimb chassis and pushing a 15- by 162- by 3-inch Power Claw track. It will be similar to Yamaha Sidewinder M-TX models except with the clutching system developed by Arctic Cat and TEAM Industries. It comes with Fox FLOAT 3 Evol shocks above the skis and the front track shock, with a FLOAT Evol R shock on the rear arm in the skidframe. The King Cat’s driveshaft was lowered 1.125 inches to provide clearance for the tall track lugs. The move also improved the approach angle of the skid to the snow, Cat officials said.
The fourth unveiling was an M 8000 mountain sled specifically modified for what a Cat official called their “Dream Team” of backcountry riders. Western ambassadors Rob Kincaid, David McClure, Corey Davis and Bret Turcotte will make up Team Black Cat and will run the identical-looking sleds in hillclimb events and backcountry adventures this winter, though after the press conference an Arctic Cat official noted that the sleds won’t be identical under the hood, as each rider will have their own preferred power package. This first year the sleds won’t be available to consumers, but that could change in the future, Cat officials hinted.
Below is the full press release from Arctic Cat:
ARCTIC CAT INTRODUCES THREE NEW SNOWMOBILES FOR 2017
New Turbocharged M 9000 King Cat plus EFI-Equipped ZR 6000R SX and ZR 6000R XC Race Sleds Unveiled at 50th Annual Sno-Baron’s Hay Days Event
Minneapolis, Minn. (Sept. 12, 2016) – Arctic Cat unveiled three new 2017 model year snowmobiles to more than 10,000 fans at the 50th Anniversary Sno Baron’s Hay Days event in North Branch, Minn. The snowmobiles – a new turbocharged M 9000 King Cat mountain sled, a EFI-equipped ZR 6000R SX snocross race sled and a ZR 6000R XC cross-country sled – joined 17 other new 2017 models that the company introduced earlier this year.
The M 9000 King Cat features the full menu of chassis and ergonomic improvements available on select 2017 mountain models, and is powered by the 998cc three-cylinder 9000-Series engine, which delivers the highest output of any production snowmobile engine regardless of temperature or altitude. Spinning a 162-in. track with 3-in. lugs, it’s poised to set the highest marks on every mountain.
The new ZR 6000R SX is the first production snowmobile built for snocross competition featuring electronic fuel injection. It’s powered by a modified Arctic Cat 600 C-TEC engine that was co-developed for competition by Speedwerx. Other key improvements and features are aimed at defending its ISOC Pro Open and Pro Lite championship titles from last season.
Cross-country racers will pilot the new 2017 ZR 6000R XC production race sled, which features all-new Gen-II plastic bodywork; FOX 1.5 ZERO QS3-R coil-over ski shocks with Kashima coating; and other improvements. It’s powered by the Arctic Cat C-TEC2 600 DSI engine and contained by the ProCross chassis, a combination that captured five USXC championships last season, including Pro 600 and Pro Open.
“The three new sleds that we unveiled at Hay Days reflect our passion and commitment to innovate and win more,” said Greg Williamson, Arctic Cat Chief Marketing Officer. “Whether a rider wants to be the king of the back country or the X Games gold medalist, we build the machines that will give them the experience they desire.”