Arctic Cat has released another set of teasing details on the Catalyst snowmobile chassis it plans to unveil for model year 2024. Much of the information released is mostly a restating of platitudes related to the Catalyst being a lighter, more centered design, but a few additional details are included for folks who dig into the minutia.
Among the additional details, Cat is now officially releasing the “10 percent weight reduction” claim, something that engineers previously spoke about but now are putting down in ink. When you think about that, on a 500ish pound 600-class snowmobile, that would be a 50 pound reduction. That’s rather significant.
In addition, those eye-catching running boards that we could see were a composite/plastic material when the machine was unveiled at events like the Hay Days Grass Drags and Big East Powersports Show are now being officially described as “low thermal conductive running boards” that’ll be lighter and less likely to hold snow. They will also being more durable, Cat now says.
A few more details were also discussed about the final belt-drive system. It’ll have an adjustable center distance, meaning owners or racers will have the ability to alter their gearing options. There are other hidden gems in the information as well related to everything from suspensions to the steering system.
Below is the full statement from Arctic Cat.
Arctic Cat Centralized Design for More Responsive Handling
- Arctic Cat focused on geometry starting from the middle and placing the heavier components in a more centralized location — with lighter ones on the exterior — for a lower center of gravity.
- The narrow, tightly compacted and completely balanced platform features Arctic Cat’s exclusive laydown engine design. The design utilizes the highly reliable C-TEC2™ 600, 2-stroke 125-horsepower class engine that is tight-packed by a lighter, stainless-steel exhaust with the airbox up front.
- The ADAPT CVT System allows the body panels to be narrow and sleek. The optimized shape of the 10.4-gallon gas tank keeps weight centralized, provides aggressive ergonomics and maintains constant fuel pick up, regardless of riding style.
- Lighter components — such as the new intake — were placed on the perimeter of the chassis to keep the ride balanced.
- The centralized design makes the vehicle more reactive to rider input and position, requiring less rider effort to corner and carve. This design makes them a better rider.
Lightweight for Maximum Maneuverability
- The new CATALYST platform features fewer parts for a drastic 10 percent weight reduction for trail, crossover and mountain vehicles.
- The reduction was accomplished by using less plastics and parts, lighter seats, a new intake configuration with a better seal, use of the ADAPT CVT system, shorter and lighter weight heat exchanger, and new belt drive system with less than half the components of the current system. The engine is also mounted with a long fiber composite Torque Control Link (TCL) with integrated clutch guard which decreases weight and improves engine vibration dampening.
- The platform’s low thermal conductive running boards — a first in the industry — helps keep snow from sticking to minimize additional weight and improve durability.
Durable and Easy to Service
- An ultra-high-strength steel, one-piece chassis with an aluminum tunnel provides extra support and durability where needed without being bulky. The improved weld joints on the chassis mitigate stress, providing a strong, more efficient design that is easier to service.
- Unlike many competitive units, the new CATALYST platform features a one-piece tunnel that is easily and quickly replaceable.
- The new drive system is belt-driven — unlike the current chain drive — resulting in fewer parts for significant weight reduction, easier serviceability and maintenance, and enhanced performance. It features an adjustable center distance for multiple gearing options and allows for easier belt replacement.
- The plastic panels’ toolless design makes them easy to remove to access key components such as the belt, oil reservoir and coolant. And the new seat is easily removeable with a quarter turn to access the battery quickly.
Improved Ergonomics for a More Comfortable Ride
- The new CATALYST platform’s ergonomics make the rider one with the sled. Its narrower design, along with the optimized shape of the gas tank, give the rider more maneuverability on the sled.
- The rider will appreciate a new recoil rope routing for easier pulling and less rope wear.
- The running board design decreases vibration to the rider’s feet.
- The ergonomics coupled with the centralized design makes for an agile, easily maneuverable sled that minimizes rider fatigue and gives the rider more confidence and control.
All-New High-End Styling
- The new CATALYST platform’s aggressive exterior continues Arctic Cat’s heritage of creating state-of-the-art, cutting-edge snowmobiles. Its sleek, aerodynamic and agile look — featuring a unique LED headlight — complements the innovation found inside.
- Sliding lap joints were used where possible to provide seamless transitions in plastic for better fit and finish.
Optimized Suspension and Steering for Different Riding Styles
- To complement the new CATALYST platform’s centralized design, which benefits all riding styles, Arctic Cat optimized its legacy suspension and steering to provide use-specific systems based on segment. The focus was to differentiate where needed but keep commonality where it made sense, so the platform works for all segments.
- The trail and crossover platform has the belt case rotated rearward, providing added ground clearance and allowing the front and rear suspension to move rearward for optimal sled balance.
- The front suspension features upper A-arms that have been lowered and shortened, restyled spindles so the sled hugs the trail and stays flat in the corners. New ball joints are lighter and more durable.
- The geometry changes, paired with the new suspension, give the rider a more position-reactive vehicle and improves cornering for a more confidence-inspiring, agile ride experience.
- For easier and more predictable steering on the trail and crossover sleds, the new CATALYST platform features ratio steering which provides a lighter and tighter feel coupled with progressive steering — an innovation from the Snocross track — where the sled uses leverage first for a more power steering-like feel.
- The Mountain platform has a driver position that is optimized for floatation and provides a lower center of gravity for improved climbing, carving and descents. With its centralized and constant center of gravity, the platform works in tandem with the rider instead of the rider muscling the sled. The design provides less weight shift to-and-from the skis for a more enjoyable, smooth and agile ride experience. Its 36-inch width ski stance features a longer lower spindle and shortened top of spindle for an increased lower A-arm clearance from the bottom of the ski. This new design provides increased belly pan and track driver clearance through the rough terrain commonly found in the backcountry.
- The mountain platform features vertical steering for optimal response when carving and slaloming through trees. The centerline steering was made possible by integrating with the new intake, exhaust and chassis. The new spindle steering geometry, paired with a vertical steering system, provides an adjustable ski stance and reduced steering effort for a better ride and reduced rider fatigue.
- The new CATALYST platform utilizes an all-new heat exchanger design with an optimized fin profile to provide additional surface area to improve heat rejection. This improves cooling performance in low snow conditions.
- The trail and crossover models feature an all-new snow flap design that enhances cooling performance for any trail condition.
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. Subscribe to Snow Goer now to receive print and/or digital issues.