By Kent Lester
As soon as next week Supertrax will be in Minneapolis to check out the 2011 Arctic Cat fleet. I wanted to make some last minute predictions on what we’ll see and then you can tell me how stupid I was next month when the OEM embargoes are lifted.
First: Don’t expect the F-Chassis Cats to be replaced with a fleet of Sno-Pro 500 clones based on Tucker’s racer. It’s not time for a new chassis yet and the F-body is still a great design for both turbo and non-turbo Cat 4-strokes. This platform has been getting better every year and Arctic Cat knows it.
Second: We think, despite everything Cat has been telling us, there will be a second version of a Sno-pro based Cat. It would make the most sense for Cat to reveal a new smaller dimensioned 600-class Direct Injection mill (maybe Orbital) but we haven’t heard even a hint of that.
Our best guess would be a slightly stretched version (at the front bulkhead) of the Sno-Pro chassis to accommodate both a 600 and an 800 long-tracked version to obsolete the current and aging Crossfire and Mountain Cat Chassis.
These would be pretty limited production and would give Cat a chance to work the kinks out of them before they went to huge production numbers in 2012.
One thing is certain. If Cat is going to have a DI 2-stroke in 2012 to meet EPA requirements, it will need to accommodate that engine in an all-new chassis like the Sno-Pro, not an F-Series. It’ll either happen this year or next. Count on it.