The new Catalyst chassis platform from Arctic Cat got a rousing introduction Saturday, September 10, with its unveiling before the crowd at the 2022 Hay Days Grass Drags and Swap Meet near North Branch, Minnesota, in front of a monstrous crowd.
Deemed as lighter, more responsive and more centralized than the previous ProCross chassis, the new Catalyst chassis will be available for model year 2024 in trail (ZR), crossover (Riot) and Mountain (M) machines, Cat officials said, with an interesting catch. For that model year, it will only be available with a 600-class twin two-stroke between the narrow body panels.
The 2024 models will utilize an updated version of Cat’s 600. “We have a higher displacement engine that will follow the next year,” said Troy Halvorson, Cat’s director of snowmobile product strategy, referring to model year 2025. “When it comes out it’s going to be the best two-stroke out there but it’s not ready yet.”
Friday evening, Cat officials gave assembled snowmobile media members a sneak-peek, up-close-and-personal introduction to the long-awaited chassis platform. Frankly, there are things at this moment we can’t share – Arctic Cat slapped a hard embargo on certain information and boxed-in what we and others at the meeting can talk about at this moment. They plan to trickle information out to consumers over a period of time.
So, we’ll tell you what we can below.
Interesting New Features
The three sleds we saw in the Catalyst platform looked angular, compact and highly refreshed. Yet they were also familiar, with a slightly update versions of Cat’s current signature widely spaced A-arm front suspensions, along with carryover switches on the handlebars and – particularly for the green ZR R-XC and red and black Riot – some traditional-looking colors and graphics.
Our eyes were drawn, though, to what was new. As a glance the front profile of the sled looks narrower, with tighter fitting body panels, a sleeker nose and even a narrower windshield/gauge area. The headlight design is also new, featuring what Cat officials referred to as a “raised eyebrow” that sticks up about the rest of the light on the driver’s left side. The models were wearing a smaller, single-screen gauge.
Moving up the side of the sled, the running boards grabbed our attention. The part riders stand or rest their feet on is made of a sturdy composite material instead of aluminum. That material attaches to the tunnel on the inside, with an outer tubular rail that we’re guessing is made of aluminum holding it up on the outer edge. The running boards feature wide evacuation holes.
More secrets are found under the hood, but we can’t talk about any of them. Cat is allowing us to let you in on its use of a belt-based final drive instead of a chaincase. That’s something that’s been done on mountain sleds by Polaris for some time now, but this will be a first in the modern era for trail and crossover sleds.
Walking around the back of the sleds, they feature version familiar looking suspension systems – basically a Slide-Action replica in the ZR, a CrossAction in the Riot and a Alpha in the M – with carryover track designs as well. Cat assured us that weight was taken out of the suspensions and pretty much ever other system on the sled, though.
On top of the tunnel in the rear are new accessory attachment brackets, called Cat’s ATACH system. At a glance, they are basically a unique take on what Ski-Doo has now long offered with its LinQ brackets and what some aftermarket companies have also been doing recently.
Cat engineers and designers at the media event talked in broad terms about a big weight loss, but numbers were not released. We’re told it is a substantial amount, however, and the steps taken to centralize mass are also impactful, they said.
The 600 engine being used is an updated version of Cat’s current 600, with a new EFI system as well as a new crankshaft, but it retains Cat’s basic laydown engine geometry.
The Cat Claims
Cat had a couple of their engineers and racers at the media event to sing the praises of the new machines that they tested. Ergonomically, the rider was moved forward a bit while the engine was moved back a bit – that goes to the mass centralization.
Below are the bullet points Cat used to tell us what we can share with you at this point, complete with marketing spins. We are eager to check out the claims for ourselves in the future.
CAT OUTLINE BELOW:
Centralized Design for More Responsive Handling
- The centralized design makes the operator the active force and requires less rider effort to corner and carve, giving riders more control than ever before.
- The laydown engine design allows for mass centralization
Lightweight for Maximum Maneuverability
- The optimized design with fewer parts utilizes different composite materials, providing a drastic weight reduction for Trail, Crossover, and Mountain, making it one of the lightest platforms available.
Durable and Easy to Service
- The new drive system is belt-driven, unlike the current chain drive, resulting in fewer parts and allowing more power to the track with increased durability.
- The plastic panels’ toolless design allows for easy removal and greater access to key components such as the belt, oil reservoir and coolant.
- The new seat is easily removable with a quarter turn for easy battery access to.
Improved Ergonomics for a More Comfortable Ride
- The ergonomics, coupled with a narrower and centralized design, provides an agile, easily maneuverable sled that minimizes rider fatigue and makes the operator a more confident rider. A more ergonomic design allows the rider to become one with the sled.
All-New High-End Styling
- The platform’s aggressive exterior continues Arctic Cat’s heritage of creating state-of-the-art, cutting-edge snowmobiles. Its sleek, aerodynamic, and agile look with a unique LED headlight complements the innovation found inside.
- Sliding lap joints provide seamless transitions in plastic for better fit and finish.
Optimized Suspension and Steering for Different Riding Styles and Segments
- Optimized suspension and steering provide use-specific systems based on segment.
- The suspension and steering systems are differentiated based on Mountain, Trail and Crossover segments where needed to provide better performance in varying conditions, but commonality was kept where it made sense, so the platform works for all segments.
- The geometry changes, paired with the new suspension, give the rider a more position-reactive sled and improved cornering for a more confidence-inspiring, agile ride experience. The sled works in tandem with the rider instead of the rider muscling the sled.
First Integrated Accessory Mounting System for Added Security
- Available for the platform is the new ATACH the first integrated accessory mounting system that allows for a quick and easy lockdown. To prevent theft, the system comes with a set of keys that will allow you to physically lock your accessories to your sled.
Editor’s Note: Every Snow Goer issue includes in-depth sled reports and comparisons, aftermarket gear and accessories reviews, riding destination articles, do-it-yourself repair information, snowmobile technology and more. This Cold Tested write-up was first published in the October 2022 issue of the magazine. Subscribe to Snow Goer now to receive issues delivered to your door or your computer for a low cost.
30 thoughts on “Cat Unveils New Catalyst Chassis For 2024”
Looks awesome I’m curious of the weight of the Sun and to get rid of the chain case is awesome. I like the looks of the sled and the seating on the sled time will tell but it looks awesome
I’m sure ski doo will try to sue them, it looks just like a ski doo G4
Crossed my mind as well. Definitely looks very similar to the Doo G4. Used to be a diehard Cat guy. Hard to ignore they’ve been surpassed for years and this reveal is frankly pretty underwhelming. They are working on a new engine apparently. Has to be an 850 and an 850 turbo if they want any chance to stay relevant. Years behind the competition.
The biggest innovation (besides Alpha- which none of the top mountain riders run) was the 2018 Snocross sled. First OEM to run 136” and lots of revisions to the procross chassis. That thing DOMINATED. With this new Catalyst being a 600 offering only, I’d imagine they have a SX version. I certainly hope. It’ll be interesting to see it on the SX circuit.
Years behind in competition is BS.
Cats held the glory in cross country racing for 2 decades at least.
The thundercat still fastest production sled ever built. Only weighs about 60 pounds more than the new patriot boost.
Cat has more wins podiums and championships in terrain racing than the other 3 combined.
Looks lot like the old sno pro chassis from back in 2008-11. But the rear bumper and flap definitely looks ski doo.
Yes does resemble sno pro chassis.
My favorite race sleds of all time was won lot races on sno pro 600’s.
If new catalyst is better than sno pro its going to be awesome.
No it doesn’t.
The rear bumper yes but it definitely does not look like a ninja turtle or ugly duckling.
I agree dont look ugly like a ski doo
I’m concerned that the new sleds are getting too narrow and will be very cold to ride. Northern Minnesota is not always warm.
Kinda been that way for while now.
Definitely getting colder to ride but high windshield really helps.
600 RXC will this be the new cross country race sled this year?
Is the 9000bgoing in the same direction as the 600/800. Deleting the chain case as well for 2024.
Sure looks like a Doo. Lol CopyCat
Dont look like a duck bill to me looks awesome. Don’t forget cat was first with A arms aluminum tunnels slide rail suspension, tipped up tunnels. Cats been copied more than anyone. First EFI system that was worth anything. Polaris did have EFI half a year first but it sucked.
No ur history
Been riding and racing sled for over 30 years cats a innovative company more so than anyone else.
I don’t think it looks to bad. I would have loved to see a 20 year anniversary firecat. Those sleds were awesome I would have liked to see a bigger engine available.
Looks like Competition pushes for innovations and improvments.
Looks great! I’m excited that Cat is back in it.
Great looking sleds, it’ll be interesting to see what digital gauge technology cat will use.
I am a big guy with long arms and legs. I am worried about how short the seat looks. Hoping they add an “ATACH” 2- up seat so I could drive it without feeling like a T-Rex.
I’ve owned a sled repair shop since the late 70’s and was a die hard Arctic Cat racer and trail rider till 2015. Had a couple of Procross chassis sleds and hated them. The poorest handling , design and quality of workmanship i had ever seen in a snowmobile. Sure hope the guys at arctic cat have addressed these points on this new chassis. Looks it still has the crappy hood/intake pod design – Really ? – Come on. Not keen on the front looks and only a 600 engine ? Looks like their behind the 8 ball already. After 13 years , I kind of expected more. I switched to Polaris in 2016 and still no looking back. I still have a very tiny place in my heart for Arctic Cat and the future of this new chassis remains to be seen and proven.
Funny iv won a lot of races on cats and procross won 2014 pro stock and open in 2014 on my 2012 sno pro 600 with USCC east. 3 years of racing broke not enough to say so.
Sorry u had bad luck but cat’s domination the past 2 decades in terrain racing speaks for itself. No body has more wins and championships than cat does. I don’t think all 3 of other manufacturers combined do lol!!
I love my cats love my pro cross’s
Nothing stays as flat in the turns iv rode them all.
Looks good. I’m not sure I understand the logic of no 800 class motor or 4 stroke. Also, no variant made available for Yamaha who is you’re biggest buyer doesn’t seem to add up. You can make the greatest chassis of all time but if you can’t sell it or cater it to your customers then chances are slim for success. Marketing is the key to success in this industry. The majority of snowmobilers are brand loyal, that is a tuff trend to brake.
4 stroke won’t fit. Production 800 don’t fit. Not the current version. (Other than prototypes that have been on the snow for a while.) The 900 engines are what will fit when they get them done.
Do you need to lock and key to attach the tunnle bag/jerry can on the Atach system? i could these locks getting moisture in them, and freezing, making it hard to remove the bag after a day of riding (unless you have a heated trailer).
Looking forward to see what the tunnel bag options are.
the other concern is front bumper. I’m hoping they have some good after market bumpers to put on, I’ve never liked the little horse shoe. it doesn’t hold up well to trees.
All in all, I am looking forward to seeing these things out there and seeing what they can do, even if it is just a 600.
I like the color on that sled I have a
Fire cat 500
ugly sled , just like the bombardier , same style and look ,cheap sled ,,, POOR DESIGN???
My son and i came up to hay days to see the new cats WE LIKE GOOD JOB!! and thanks for the vip passes love the show. I need to get more miles on my 22 800rr and I see a catalyst in the future…
Kind of reminds me of one of those English Bulldogs with the big chest and short legs. LOL