Friday's Fast Five: Top 5 Snowmobiles That Need To Be Built Again

For this Friday’s Fast Five list, we move away from the snack bar and into the sled factories with a list of five snowmobile models that need to be built again. Chevrolet brought back the Camaro, Polaris brought back the Indy; they’re not the same as the originals, they’re modern renditions of classics. Here are five nameplates we’d like to see make a comeback.

Team Arctic won many races on Arctic Cat ZR 440 snowmobiles.

1. Arctic Cat ZR This one was an easy choice, and all Cat would have to do is change the vinyl on the Sno Pro 500 — which would actually make it a ZR 500. Even though the ZR 500 was an over-achiever in terms of engine performance, we’re bigger fans of the ZR 440 because it wasn’t built for the masses like the 1998-2002 ZR 500. The old ZR 440s — 1993 to 1997 — were hero sleds, and a re-badged Sno Pro 500 could be a hero, too, with some refinements.

2. Ski-Doo Nordic BRP’s snowmobile division has more utility models in its lineup than Motley Crue had groupies. There are Skandics, Expeditions and Tundras. The Nordic name evokes images of a brawny, rugged northerner — Scandinavia, in fact — so why not throw back 40 years to a once popular Ski-Doo model and replace the Tundra Xtreme with Nordic Xtreme?

3. Polaris TX-L Polaris brought back the Indy name for 2013 and based it on an existing platform, but the new Polaris TX-L would be an entirely new snowmobile. It should have a liquid-cooled engine — the reason for the ‘L’ — in the 80- to 100-horsepower range, and a smaller chassis with reduced suspension travel that will lower it for better handing. To reduce weight and size, and to bump up the cool factor by being different, spin a 14- by 116-inch track around the rear suspension.

A 4-banger, the 1992 Yamaha Vmax-4 won the Snow Goer Snowmobile of the Year award.

4. Yamaha Vmax-4 This snowmobile is currently being built, but it’s more widely known as the Yamaha Apex. The key trait of the Vmax-4 was its four-cylinder engine, and the Yamaha Apex has a four-cylinder, four-stroke engine — so maybe it should be called the Vmax-42 instead. Just like with the new ZR that Arctic Cat should build, all Yamaha would have to do is change the graphics on a current model and roll it out to the masses.

5. Ski-Doo Formula S or SLS The MX Z nameplate might be the most over-used label in all of snowmobiling.  There are four MX Z platforms — X-RS, X, TNT and Sport — and six engine choices in Ski-Doo’s 2013 lineup, so why not reduce the lineup and make the MX Z Sport models Formula models instead? The liquid-cooled versions — 600 Carb and ACE 600 — would be the SLS models and the 550 Fan would be a Formula S.

What model name would you like to see your favorite snowmobile manufacturer use again? Leave your comments below.

5 thoughts on “Friday's Fast Five: Top 5 Snowmobiles That Need To Be Built Again

  • I’d like to see Yamaha widen up their lineup a bit… Especially in the performance caragory… Maybe some lightweight direct injection 1 strokes with the SXr nameplate?

    All the Arctic Cat models still using the F moniker is retarded… It was originally short for the firecat that the new chassis is clearly not. Why not bring back the wildcat and thundercat? The puma, prowler? Add some distinction in body features to separate the performance models from touring and trail models…. Maybe not the most cost effective move though…

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  • Agreed, bring the thundercat back, as well as the mach z. Some big bore forced induction 4 strokes, or large bore direct injection 2 strokes.

    However, a machine i should have kept, the 1995 xlt special! A new XLT model would be nice to see.

    There is no replacement for displacement.

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  • I think it would be awesome to see a low-cost Polaris Switchback with a 136″ conventional suspension and tunnel called the Indy Snow King Special!

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  • Yamaha uses there small four cylinder inline four on there snowmobiles they should use there powerhouse VMAX cycle engine.
    200 Hp Change the name on there sled from Apex back to VMAX.

    J.L.

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  • Yamaha needs to do something based off their SRX 700 triple from the early 2000’s. Its the fasted 700 2 stroke out of the box sled ever made. And the Yamaha 700 triples last forever. They should bring something like that back on the new viper chassis from arctic cat or wherever bring it back please that’s all please!

    Reply

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