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.
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.
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.