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Spy Photo of the 2012 Arctic Cats?


(1/31/2011)

Prototype Arctic Cats?

Captured at the Shooting Star Casino in Mahnomen, Minn. (about 45 miles south of Thief River Falls), this photo was apparently captured by someone who recognized something "different" about the two snowmobiles. Nice job!

The image was posted HERE on the ArcticInsider forum, along with about every other snowmobile forum, which has caused a firestorm of activity.

Lots of interesting comments on the forum.

My own thoughts:

The hoods look small, compared to the current Twin Spar sleds. Hard to really comment on the shape of the hoods, since they're clearly disguised.

Spindles look new, but remind me of the Sno Pro.

The sled in front looks like a Crossfire-length track.

Exhaust smoke strongly suggests 2-stroke.

Johnny Cash would love either sled.

I have more questions than I do answers. For instance, are they for sure Arctic Cats?

If yes, why were these guys parked on Hwy 59, in the most populated town between TRF and Detroit Lakes?

What kind of luck did they have inside the Shooting Star Casino? Big payday?

Did these guys get a serious shake-down from their boss?

Can I get one in mostly black, but with some graphics?



Comments (42):

Hambone says:
1/31/2011 3:57:00 PM

Looks fishy to me. Why would a field test rider be dumb enough to park a prototype in front of all those people?
taperk600 says:
1/31/2011 4:47:00 PM

Although I do believe these to be CATs....I wish I could enlarge the pic with more clarity so I could get a better look at the A-arm assemblies. They just don't look like the forward/backward cantered SnoPro race chassis set-up that (in my opinion) is the best on the snow right now.............
Arne says:
1/31/2011 4:56:00 PM

John,
I can tell you these are cats, as I see them most every day when I go to work at DigiKey or other places around town. Been seeing them for a little while now. Mostly black and wrapped in fabric. I have seen and heard them in 2 and pretty sure 4 stroke versions. The day I first saw these pictures posted on the internet I was at Petro Pumper and 2 came across 59 and into Petro lot as I finished pumping gas, I pulled out my phone to take a picture but all I got was a picture of the inside of my pocket and they got too far in front of me and I couldn't catch up.
Hoods and panels seem to have straight edges and look almost stealth bomber like.
spindles look almost identical to sno pro spindles.
Im pretty sure most everyone in TRF has seen one around here.
Mike F says:
1/31/2011 7:19:00 PM

Arne would know of what he speaks. He is not one of the internet "experts" from 2000 miles away. Can't wait to see the final product!
LazyEyeRacer says:
1/31/2011 7:34:00 PM

Look at the rear skid frames. Each sled has the idler wheels in a different location. Looks as if they are testing to come up with the final layout, for the wheels. I can't wait to see them without the wrapper on them.
Erlend says:
2/1/2011 11:09:00 AM

Looks like Ski Doos...?
Captain says:
2/1/2011 1:50:00 PM

Hambone, if they were that worried about people seeing them, they wouldnt be there. IMO they are near completion and since they will be unveiled in only a matter of weeks, they are not that cautious about it.
In fact, I would almost guarantee you that they WANTED to be seen.
Also, I am sure that people like Mr Sandberg here have already seen these things without the wraps, but are held to secrecy.
JonnySox says:
2/1/2011 3:13:00 PM

I love this time of year! When are the Cats released to the public? Cant wait!!
arne says:
2/1/2011 4:00:00 PM

I agree, they arn't so worried about them being seen now. I did catch another today right by the factory as I was leaving work. No fabric wrap, no extra large window. Looked pretty cool and it was a 4 stroke. As he came to the corner he saw me with my phone out and he tried his best to not get caught, and as he was sitting at the gate waiting for it to open I stopped and he noticed that, put it in reverse and took off so again I didn't get photos.
flintstone says:
2/1/2011 4:22:00 PM

I think those are polaris proto-types and my guess is that cat isn't real happy about those polaris test riders wearing ac jackets!!!!
taperk600 says:
2/2/2011 9:06:00 AM

Arne... you need to buy a GoPro video cam and mount it to your dash. Start recording everytime you drive by the factory. No more excuses for not getting us newer and better pics/vids on these new sleds !!!! J/K !! I'm sure those around the factory have seen a lot more than is shown here.....
Nhuskys says:
2/2/2011 9:55:00 AM

Tom,
I'm willing to chip in to buy Arne a GoPro.... Anyone else willing?
Junior says:
2/2/2011 11:30:00 AM

C'mon John, you're pretending to know a lot less than you do. Any fool can see that. You're Arctic "Insider" site was the last one to display pics of these 2012's. Not much "Insider" info here.
John Sandberg says:
2/2/2011 12:50:00 PM

Junior: As ANY of my school teachers will attest, I've ALWAYS been behind the curve. Late to the dance. A couple bricks short.

Etc...

Try as I may, I won't always be the Website with first/new info. I still appreciate that you (and everyone else) stop here to check things out.
Todd Ulschmid says:
2/2/2011 3:15:00 PM

Can't wait to see them without the disguises! What I wonder is what motes they have under those hoods????

arne says:
2/2/2011 10:09:00 PM

Sorry no pics, as it turns out I got a call today ;-)
so I'll respect that persons wishes, who was very polite about it by the way, and go back to not caring about snowmobiles again.
Captain says:
2/3/2011 8:37:00 AM

Interesting. Arne, I commend you for honoring their wishes, I am not so sure I would be able to. :-)

I do wonder how they tracked you down though.
Rusty says:
2/3/2011 11:30:00 AM

Would "Elvis love either sled"???,,,,, THAT is the question here!
Brian Manderscheid says:
2/3/2011 12:35:00 PM

Thinking out loud here... Arne Sr. & Arne Jr. owned a performance shop specializing in Arctic Cats, just wondering if this is one of the two. If so I sure miss that company.
Capes says:
2/3/2011 3:27:00 PM

Like Flinstone suggested - I bet AC was pissed these Polaris guys were wearing AC apparel. Either that they were Ski Doo guys wearing AC apparel.
John Sandberg says:
2/3/2011 4:27:00 PM

I'm wondering if these are the long-rumored Honda snowmobiles? I know Honda does a lot of vehicle testing in Mahnomen, Calloway and Winger.
Captain says:
2/4/2011 8:21:00 AM

John, maybe its the rebirth of redline. Since we all know that AC bought up their assets and are just waiting to release something cool. LOL
jimu@sledracer.com says:
2/4/2011 9:18:00 AM

The presence of snowflaps and actual running vehicles would tell me they are not Redlines.
Capes says:
2/4/2011 9:25:00 AM

LOL, second that jimu!

Still think its a great ploy to where AC clothes and test another brand.

But, like John says, lets not discount that Honda may come out with a sled at some point.
Brad Reardon says:
2/8/2011 10:12:00 AM

i hope that is not the look of the new cats!!! Ive had 5 cats so far and if this is the way they are making them for 2012, Im out!!.. Looks like a Ski-Doo to me
jimr says:
2/8/2011 10:51:00 AM

Brad:

These sleds have covers over them. You can clearly see that in the pic's even without blowing them up.
Brad Reardon says:
2/9/2011 9:19:00 AM

Jimr:

I know they have covers on them, but still looks like a doo!!
Chase says:
2/10/2011 8:51:00 AM

Brad:

i dont get why you think they look like skidoos, they are just like the sno pro chassis
Xcat says:
2/16/2011 11:52:00 AM

if these are Cats then they will be known as the Copy Cat
Mike says:
2/18/2011 6:46:00 PM

These are cats, those are the new cat skis.
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Dalimin says:
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Thanks for posting these Tara! I love that you can see Caleb's litlte fat rolls.He always wants to see the picture of the kitty. He points to it and than smiles at himself
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