2013 Snowmobile New Model Preview

Mar. 14, 2012 By Off-Road.com Staff/Jerry Bassett, Photography by Jerry Bassett and Courtesy of Manufacturers

2013 Artic Cat Snowmobiles

When Arctic Cat kicked off its 50th anniversary year with a host of new models, consumers responded by snatching up the newly designed sleds. Unfortunately, the natural disasters that devastated the Asian markets impacted many snowmobile manufacturers, as they were unable to get enough of the products needed to produce sleds. With many of those part avenues coming back as Asia recovers, expect Arctic Cat to be even more aggressive with its host of new models and designs in the coming years.

2012 Arctic Cat F1100 Turbo Ltd. Orange

Arctic Cat’s 2012 model mix fits right into the key growth segments of snowmobiling. Expect that trend to continue in 2013, because according to Arctic Cat’s Brad Darling, general manager of the snowmobile division, five of the sport’s 10 top selling models were Arctic Cats. The crossover XF800 was the company’s best seller, and the Arctic Cat should end the season as the number one selling brand in four-stroke crossovers.

Noted Darling, “Our four-strokes were very successful.” Some of that would be due to Arctic Cat’s extremely aggressive pricing versus the category’s more traditional 600cc two-stroke powered competitors. The company GM said that the Minnesota-based manufacturer would continue to focus on four-stroke models, with 2014 seeing the arrival of Arctic Cat’s own engineered and manufactured snowmobile motors.

The changeover from Twin Spar to ProClimb chassis powder sleds continues and you will see more evolution than revolution. The ski stance on these models moves in two inches to 38-inches center to center. Company engineers feel this will enhance side hilling and the rider’s ability to carve and counter-steer in deep and loose powder. This change results from development of new, shorter upper and lower A-arms.

The HCR (Hillclimb Racer) retains the 42-inch stance to meet hillclimb rules. Arctic Cat offers two variations of its steering post, including one version that continues Cat’s exclusive and innovative telescoping design. Also expect changes in the spindles to provide tighter turning and more adjustability.

2013 Arctic Cat M8

The upcoming season sees all Sno Pro versions of Arctic Cat’s four-strokers (except the M1100) getting the same steering as the two-strokes.

You’ll also see a PowerClaw track with 2.6-inch lug for 2013. This is a lightweight single-ply track that Arctic Cat’s mountain engineering crew feels works well on its ProClimb models. For 2013, all Sno Pro and the HCR M models will offer this track in both 153 and 162-inch lengths. Other changes include cutting some weight from the crossover and standard mountain suspensions via updates to Fox Zero Pro shocks on the rear arm. There you’ll find the Fox shock with coil-over springing to replace the previous dual rear torsion springs.

While the 800cc two-stroke will remain a popular choice for the ProClimb models, Cat’s turbocharged 1100 four-stroke remains unique to the Minnesota sled maker as does its 177 hp at 7850 rpm and 121 ft.-lbs. of torque at 7300 rpm that kicks in at any elevation and temperature. This one-liter turbo motor remains the most powerful production engine offered to date. Built by Suzuki but spec’d by Arctic Cat, the motor features an intercooled turbo system that works off 9 psi of boost.

The ProClimb series to include all your 2012 favorites but with some serious evolution. There will be M-series with 1100 turbo power as well as the 800cc two-stroker. As in past seasons, these models come in various states of dress: the Sno Pro designates models with more aggressive performance pieces; the Limited version adds more civility to the performance Sno Pro model by adding touches like electric start, extra onboard storage, and even adds a heated seat for Turbo buyers. The HCR returns with a choice of turbo or 800 motors to power its 2.6-inch lug height track.

New XF Cross Tour

A new model, Arctic Cat’s 2013 Cross Tour counters Polaris’ Adventure. Based on the XF “mid-length” chassis, the Cross Tour features a 141-inch track that can be powered by the turbocharged four-stroke, the normally aspirated 1100 four-stroke or the popular 800cc two-stroke option. The Cross Tour may seem to be a duded-up crossover with all the goodies — electric start, bags, cargo rack, mirrors, and high windshield — but in can be transformed from solo sport cruiser to touring duty by simply adding an extra seating option. Arctic Cat expects this extended seating will make the Cross Tour a popular purchase in the Scandinavian market.

As with the ProClimb models the base XF family includes performance-oriented Sno Pro, LXR and luxury-appointed Limited models equipped with a trail-tuned “slide-action” suspension.

Springing forth from the XF model line is a backcountry marauder, the High Country and High Country Limited. This XF derivative will only come with a choice of the turbo or 800 engines. It parts with the XF trail orientation and draws upon “M” features. Its ProClimb derived chassis is the same length as the ProCross but you’ll note it spins a 141-inch track with off-trail 2.25-inch tall grippers. It’ll have the trail preferred 42-inch ski stance and full length cooling extrusions.

In 2013 you can get your own replica race sled right down to the green on one side and white on the other side styling. Of course, if you’re not showy, go for either all green or all white.

The new for 2013 F800 Sno Pro RR is equipped with competition-spec components that include: Fox Float EVOL X ski shocks; reinforced runningboard edgerolls; and the race-version Slide-Action rear suspension with remote reservoirs and clicker adjustable Fox Zero X shocks. You’ll get a racer ride as the RR front and rear suspension come calibrated with the same specifications as the cross-country Sno Pro race sled. For race-quick stopping the RR features the complete RMC race brake system, including power-enhanced 9/16 master cylinder, lightened disc and race pads. Base power is the 160-hp 800cc two-stroke twin featuring battery-less EFI, electronic APV valves and Exhaust Pipe Temperature Sensor.

With solid sales in the trail sport category, Arctic Cat focused on making its second-year F-series better. One approach was to “clean up” the console area. As one Arctic Cat spokesman told Snowmobile.com, the open “naked look” around the steering column and gauge of the 2012 was not popular. This season that area has been closed off with a snap-in vented panel. Of course, it pops right off if you want to add a bag that permits warm air from under the hood to keep your goggles or spare gloves warmish. It does add a more finished look to that area.

The F-series base four-stroke was Arctic Cat’s trail sports bestseller in the 125-hp category thanks to the solid performance of the torquey, ultra-clean 1100cc engine and the combination of exceptional handling and control from the ProCross chassis. The F-series enters 2013 with only minor changes. It retains the ARS front suspension with the extra-tall spindles, wide A-arm spacing and one-piece ski spindles. Balancing the handling is the FastTrack Slide-Action rear suspension.

The F-series offers a choice of the 1100 four-stroke, turbocharged 1100 or the 800cc two-stroke to work with the Arctic Drive System.

You’ll find a sampling of F-series models designated for high mileage comfort (LXR), aggressive trail (Sno Pro) or the best combination of the two offered in the early season as special Limited versions.

If you liked the older chassis 2012 Twin Spar models, you won’t find much has changed on the 2013 versions. The Bearcat, Z1 Touring, F570 and F500 will have minimal changes.

2013 Arctic Cat F500

The Sno Pro 500 will continue as the starter sled for developing future snocross and cross country racers. Arctic Cat offers specific setups to control engine performance for the 10- to 13-year-old class of rider. This is Arctic Cat’s sled to feed new riders into the various racing circuits.

For more information, visit ArcticCat.com.

For first impressions of the 2013 sleds, visit our sister site at Snowmobile.com - 2013 Snowmobile First Impressions

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