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What's It Gonna Be?


(2/22/2021)

There's been alot of great, constructive talk surrounding MY22 in the comments on ArcticInsider which got my mind reeling...

I've sat in the war room when the CEO asks the product strategy group, "You have $XXX. You can spend it to develop ONE category of snowmobile or piece of technology on a snowmobile - What's it gonna be?"  

How would you answer? Remember, you can only pick ONE.

Below are quite a few good choices I see on the interwebs from consumers like you and I.


1. Triple-Cylinder CTEC2 engine?

2. Smaller Bore 440-twin cylinder CTEC2 engine?

3. Bigger Bore 850-twin cylinder CTEC2 engine?

4. An engine with a Turbo or Supercharger?

5. New Chassis? Which segment?

6. New bodywork on a current chassis?

7. New Skidframe Design?

8. A dashmounted iPad with Navigation?

9. Snowbike?

10. Electric Snowmobile?



Comments (55):

JRamatad says:
2/22/2021 9:39:00 PM

No to EV. range and where are you going to charge? Do you like to ride or sit and wait?
Jason says:
2/23/2021 6:40:00 AM

I'd like to see cat keep there 800, it's a good engine and lots of ppl are happy with a 800. I'd like to see a bigger engine. Skip the whole catch up 850, and give us a 950-1000. I wanna blow away the cat haters. The procross is a good chassis, is it possible to take some weight out of it without sacrificing strength. Also is it possible to change the chassis enough to not infringe on the ski doo.
Nick says:
2/23/2021 7:01:00 AM

Option 2. Bring back a small bore lightweight xc trail sled. I love my Sno Pro 500 and Zr 440 Sno pro for general trail riding. Plus they were actually an affordable sled. I can't justify $14k for an Zr 6000 exc with the past winters we've had the last 4 years.
David says:
2/23/2021 7:07:00 AM

#4. A factory turbo option on the existing 600 and 800 would be a beast. Would put out huge results plus a quick up yours to the competition with their 650 and 850 sleds.

IF there could be a second option arctic is very long in the tooth for a new gauge cluster. It dosent have to be I-pad level but definitely needs to get with the times.
Tim says:
2/23/2021 7:44:00 AM

A triple-cylinder CTEC2 would be awesome and keep it in a trail chassis. Id buy it for the sound alone.
Jerry Sim says:
2/23/2021 8:06:00 AM

What is everyones idea of "affordable" and what options do you want on that affordable sled? If Cat offered a stripped down 600 with low end shocks and gauges, there would still be people complaining they wouldn't buy because it needs better components. Sorry to derail. I love the Procross, but the Firecat days were my favorite. I remember people chuckling that I had a small "700", not an 800 or 900, and then you blew their doors off. If Cat needs to keep the two stroke engines they have now, then put them in a chassis thats fast as hell so we can chest thump.
CatSass says:
2/23/2021 8:31:00 AM

I love the Arctic Cat brand because they've gone against the grain. To Jerrys point Cat was putting in 700s when others weren't and are still considered the benchmarks for speed. I don't want to see them add another "me too" 850 engine. Take a page out of the Dodge playbook. While others are trying to figure out electric snowmobiles, stuff a Hellcat engine in a mini-van!
CatSass says:
2/23/2021 8:34:00 AM

And I forgot to say Market the hell out of it. Im getting tired of seeing mountain sleds on AC social pages day after day after day. Zzzzzzzzz!
A Noni Moose says:
2/23/2021 8:46:00 AM

Cat not only needs to retain existing customers but needs to expand its customer base.
Offering minor updates on a 10 year old chassis is not going to bring in new customers when Ski Doo and Polaris continue to release new, class-leading chassis, suspension, electronics / display technology and superior fit & finish. Back in the 90’s sno-mo rags held Cat in highest regard relative to chassis, suspension, and engine technology. Those days are long gone; I can’t recall the last time that a Cat sled was considered tops in its class.
Senior management needs to accept that in order to play, you gotta pay otherwise Cat will fade away into irrelevance.
And those of you who poo-poo EV, be advised that both Polaris and Ski Doo are both working hard on bringing that technology to the snow.
JimR says:
2/23/2021 9:19:00 AM

A Noni:

Bringing it to snow (EV Sled) and being practical are two very different things. As of now, there are absolutely no charging networks in place for an electric sled and range is definitely not going to satisfy the masses. Polaris's new Matrix is not a new sled btw. It is just new plastic on there previous chassis and Ski-doo's sleds are not the most durable things out there.
CatSass says:
2/23/2021 9:32:00 AM

JimR makes a good point. What does everyone consider a new chassis? Restyled bodywork? What if Cat redesigned bodywork for fresh look and installed on Procross chassis, but gave the chassis a new fancy name? Would we know or care? Im not sure?
Nik R says:
2/23/2021 9:40:00 AM

I love the idea of a triple or a 440 but I really don't think that's practical. I own 2 old triples and love them, but the 90's are long gone. I think the Blast could have been more successful if it had a small twin instead of a single. 400/440 liquid twin would have been cool. I just think they are too pricey for what they offer. Maybe they are selling well, but I am yet to see a single one of them out on the trail here in NY. And yes, I have ridden a lot this year. If I was in charge, I'd put $$ into a better 800 class engine. The whole 850 thing is all about perception. Since when has Cat ever been OK with being out gunned?? I'm thinkin back to the 88 Wildcat 650 and 93 thundercat days. I really think people would show up to buy a 170 hp 2 stroke that was more competitive with 850's. Again, its not about real world drag racing, but about feeling as though you have what it takes to get in the ring with those guys and talk it up. I'd build an 862 cc and call it a 900!! Hey where'd I get that idea? Maybe Yamaha could help them develop it and share the development costs? This top 2 stroke segment is way too important to linger in 3rd place any longer. Long live the Cat!
AdamC says:
2/23/2021 10:39:00 AM

I think Cat needs an 850+cc engine right now. Not because the current 800 isn't competitive with the other brands 850's but purely the fact people want the latest and greatest, biggest and baddest. They are losing market share in this segment and need something to get people excited again. If Cat made some geometry and styling tweaks to the Procross with a 850+cc engine I guarantee they would gain customers back. Also interested in seeing the MY22' race sleds as they are typically a look into the future for the consumer line-up but we have to wait until the fall for that.
Elias says:
2/23/2021 10:54:00 AM

I see two engine displacement ranges that AC should bring back: trail version 440cc - 500cc (single pipe) and the Sno Pro version 650cc - 700cc (with twin pipes) engines classes. I miss the Freddy Kruger engine of the old '94 & '95 ZR 700 with twin pipes, that engine had tons of torque. Update the gauge cluster (non laptop design LOL), refine the chassis, engines, suspension, clutching and body coverings and bring back the awesome graphics like they had in the '90's. IMHO, the current 800cc CTec2 engine is fine but maybe could use a displacement and HP increase. AC and Yamaha already have the biggest and baddest engines with the TCat and SRX 998 Turbos.
Dustin says:
2/23/2021 11:31:00 AM

I would chose #7 and #8. It's time to get progressive suspension and move away from falling rate type of suspension. A navigation would be a big plus!

Looking forward to see what Cat brings to the table on March 3rd!
Snowowl says:
2/23/2021 11:46:00 AM

New rear suspension please. As a trail rider I want everything possible to smooth out the trip. I rarely run over 70 mph and any current engine gets me there quickly enough, but, I would like to replace my ZR7000 with another NA 4 stroke.

If Cat comes out with a new chassis please do not beat it up with the ugly stick that BRP used on the Gen 4 or Polaris used on the Matrix.

Take the time to make it stylish, well proportioned and attractive. The procross may be long in the tooth but it still looks great. Keep the curves.

Finally I get that a lot of guys want a high tech gauge with gps etc. so I think Cat needs to bring one out. Please make it optional.
Bulldog says:
2/23/2021 1:05:00 PM

How about keeping the current motors but creating a chassis / clutch system that has very little rolling resistance. Something that would add MPH to the top end for the lake racers, better mid range for the trail crowd and increased fuel economy for the long range / touring folks. A win win win for us all!
klj says:
2/23/2021 1:53:00 PM

Fix your existing problems first. Terrible air box sealing, no top end, flame throwers. Then new rear suspension. The problems mentioned are why I can’t buy another cat.
Krom says:
2/23/2021 1:56:00 PM

Cat desperately needs a new chassis, lighter weight, progressive rear suspension, with updated ergos (people have been complaining about the seat since 2012, the 14 up version is better, but not what it needs to be).
900+cc 2 stroke
and a display.
Even the die hard cat guys are leaving because they don't see the point in buying another "new" sled that's basically the same as their last 3 or 4

Sadly, from the leaks it doesn't seem like Textron realizes this
Kyle T says:
2/23/2021 1:59:00 PM

Number 1. Take the 2020+ 8000 and make it a 12000. People will beat a path to your door.
KLR Arctic Blast says:
2/23/2021 2:01:00 PM

I would opt for option #5. Make it a "right sized" chassis for the 2-strokes (600 to ???). Give it all the ride qualities the Blast people are raving about but with more CC's. Leave the 4-strokes to their own chassis.

MNSnoPro says:
2/23/2021 2:31:00 PM

A 140-150 HP N.A. four stroke that's as light and nimble as a two stroke in tight and rough trail conditions. Please keep the exhaust note sporty when on the throttle but not something that resonates in your helmet and creates "sound fatigue" when riding for 6 - 10 hrs a day.
Rick Schafer says:
2/23/2021 4:08:00 PM

1. #7 Upgrade the rear suspension for a better ride and slightly more weight transfer.
2. #8 upgrade the gauge.
3. #6 - Improve the rider interface around the gas tank for improved ergonomics. Seat narrower and a bit stiffer. Just rode a 21 Polaris with redesigned body work was a good fit!.
4. #3 - Not necessarily a bigger bore engine but at least upgrade so it is in the 165 HP class (or quit advertising that it is). Also correct the hanging idle after a hard run.
5. Please, enough with the white skis.

Performing the above would get Cat back to being completive with Polaris and Ski Doo IMHO. However as Krom mentioned above it appears this whole thread is a moot point for MY 22 based on the "leaks".
Ken says:
2/24/2021 8:17:00 AM

I would not pick any of the 10 above. I would put the money into marketing and dealers like the olden days. I for one love the Procross. I do not see where Cat needs anything on it that Ski-Doo and Polaris have on their sleds. If anything Cat has more then they do. Cat changed the game with Alpha and ATAC. Cat has changed/refined the procross since 2012. They did new plastics, new controls, new front end and the list goes on. No need for another engine either but I do like the idea of a Triple C-Tech. ZRT! I also like the drawings in the first picture. Anxiously awaiting March 3rd!
Kale says:
2/24/2021 8:30:00 AM

Ken - Ive seen the comment, "Arctic Cat needs to put money into Marketing" and that comment always grabs my attention. What type of marketing does Arctic Cat need to do to sell more snowmobiles?

More ambassadors? More print ads? More digital ads? Highlighting more Tech? More Club or Grassroots support? More Racing? More Social Media? There's a ton of places to spend money.

Answering "all the above" doesn't count. What marketing moves you, or anyone else, to buy snowmobiles?
CatSass says:
2/24/2021 8:48:00 AM

How about Arctic Cat Marketing focus on a different segment like us trail riders? Of the last 50 posts on AC Snowmobiles Facebook page, 31 of them were Mountain sleds and Instagram is higher yet.
Aprilfools says:
2/24/2021 8:48:00 AM

Sadly you can do everything that everyone has listed here and everyone would still ***** and complain....

I dont need an expensive gauge, I loved my turbo sleds and my current 800. And I love how this chassis handles and holds up. It does what it was built to do. Best front end in the business. I have had 5 (2 and 4 stroke), all improved from the next.

New rear skid to ride better and add to the play factor and transfer more would be on my list. Along with....
Dont follow with an 850, go outside the box like Cat always does (did), 900 or better yet, a tipple! That would be my engine of choice.

But you got to do what sells to stay in business. Thanks to the employees for the product they do give us and there hard work.

My 2 cents
Thanks


Ken says:
2/24/2021 9:10:00 AM

Kale. I fall back to the earlier days of advertising and marketing. Remember the sayings Cat would have? Remember the commercials Cat would have? Remember all the items Cat had? They sold a ton of Cats then. My point is getting brand names out there draws the attention. Just like any other product out there. You know as well as anyone the more you advertise and get your product name out there the more you will sell. Ski-Doo and Polaris are not any better or worse between them and Cat. I just see more on them then Cat. Watching Snocross Cat is not even listed on the podium any more. They just have some flags on a corner. I won't even get into the loss of Dealers. That's another book. All I see is Ski-Doo and Polaris. Need to see more Cat. Bring back the great creative marketing strategies they once used. It worked on me. I've been Cat since the 70s and will not change and my first sled was a Ski-doo. Once I sat on a Cat I was sold for life.
Catscan says:
2/24/2021 10:53:00 AM

I agree with Ken 100 percent. Right now Cat is acting like Yamaha. Who even thinks of Yami when it comes to snowmobiling? Nobody. Cat was the most creative in the past and had the most loyal brand following of any brand in the world. And they are letting all that slide by the wayside. But who would expect anybody at Textron to know that. It's really become apparent that Textron just doesn't understand so many things about this industry and Cat in particular.
Mark says:
2/24/2021 11:18:00 AM

Need to revive their dealer network. Parts availability was a problem before COVID. Fix the seat. Make the rear suspension transfer. Allow some options when buying, which shouldn't be hard as it's all preseason now anyway. 600 needs a bit more power for the chassis - not sure if it's the engine or the chassis. Not sure if the 800 is sorted out now or not - the injector problem this year seems like a one-off issue. Nothing major is needed but something to show they are in the game.

Based on the leaks it seems weird they are having a big unveiling when they have nothing to show. A lot like Yamaha.
JimR says:
2/24/2021 11:42:00 AM

I have an 18 and a 20 and both are 600's and the motor is just fine power wise. I have run my 18 to 101 on GPS. Have not tried to find out how fast my 20 is but it has no problem keeping up with any other sled.
Jesse Last Name says:
2/24/2021 3:14:00 PM

triple ctec 900 plus cc's
MNSnoPro says:
2/24/2021 3:19:00 PM

What sells sleds??? Snow in snow country sells sleds. This year in MN that's just been tough to come by. Second is a personal dealer that provides true value to the user. These sleds aren't getting any cheaper and I need to know that the reason I'm working 50 to 60 hours a week is worth it when I spend my money on a Cat. As a past racer I certainly get fired up seeing Cats on the podium but that's just icing on the cake, not the cake itself. If you want me and my family to buy a sled I need to have a PERSONAL dealer that I can talk to and have a relationship with. It really is simple.... Snowmobiling as a member of the A.C. Family is a passionate thing. When the smaller dealers located in small town USA went away it took the personal touch with it. People sell snowmobiles not marketing and it's the people in the dealerships that feed the fire within the cat faithfull.
Krom says:
2/24/2021 4:15:00 PM

Kale, as far as where to spend $$ marketing, at this point anywhere would be good. A lot of sledders really believe that cat is going out of business, or textron is going to pull the plug, even die hard cat folks
mzr800 says:
2/24/2021 4:54:00 PM

As a life long Cat fan I am for the first time in 20 years about to purchase a brand new '22 sled.(just sold my 05 F7 and won't sell my 01 Thundercat) I am at a serious cross roads here as I am (and I feel like im cheating on my wife) looking at a Matryx. I have two great dealers about a half hr from my house so that is a non issue. I am seriously nervous about the future of our beloved Cat. I will be anxiously awaiting 3/3 to see what these guys have to offer and then I will start the tossing and turning for a few nights before I put money down....decisions decisions
Chris says:
2/24/2021 5:55:00 PM

Cat has some of the most loyal customers of any brand and they are jeopardizing losing them. They need to invest the money back into the parts of the company they gutted like field test and engineering before they come out with something new. They can’t keep come out with something big and new like the blast, then when it starts having issues (ex. chassis buckling with only a few hundred miles) act like it’s not happening. If this was happening before Textron they would be doing whatever it took to fix it instead of hiding it. If this continues to happen there will be no loyal customers.
B&E Outdoors says:
2/24/2021 8:56:00 PM

I was listening to Dave and Ben White on a podcast and Ben the man for marketing Arctic Cat lives in Georgia 12 months a year that he has no idea what is going on in winter in Minnesota Kale your a Minnesota homeboy does this make any sense to promote the sport of snowmobiling and live in Georgia come on now I know why their marketing is going know where when you can’t ride from your back door or from the plant it does not make any sense to this 40 plus year owner of Cats I feel sorry for Ben he is missing out on the true culture of snowmobiling from seeing Fresh tracks going to work or freshly groomed trail and attending snowmobile club meetings Or hanging out in a unheated garage when it below 0 looking at and talking sleds and tweaking them just my 2 cents on their ideas that they don’t see the affection that we have for the brand we love Arctic Cat
Robert Klapperich says:
2/25/2021 7:14:00 AM

B&E - I'd like to extend your line of thinking: A marketing professional in Georgia may be extremely good at their job, maybe the best. As with every profession, there are skills needed that regular people don't understand and never see, yet are critical. Every company needs people who aren't just competent, but excel at those things.

On the other hand are people who have a very deep understanding for what they are marketing, they get it, they feel it, they connect emotionally to it.

Rare are those who have both the invisible yet absolutely necessary skills and the passion.

As far as the above comments, I'm struck by how many are related to image, either as a driving force for what kind of things Cat needs to work on or stand alone. A few people commented about something that isn't somehow connected to bragging rights, but most seem to need Cat to be the center of attention.

I hate to say this (because it probably isn't going to go over very well), but I don't think an engine between the 800 and the turbo 4-stroke is going to make any money. There will be some sold, but it's the same subset of people who own Cat now, who want the biggest and the fastest and can afford it. That's not a very big group of people. R&D money needs to go where it can gain the most in return.

A new rear skid is important, but it seems like that's what the racing program is for, to develop that... right? So, the xc racing skid from this year becomes next year's trail skid, right? I think suspension R&D is tied to racing, but it's not glamorous enough for a big 60th announcement. People will be let down.

A new chassis would be appropriate for the 60th celebration. I think that's the thing that opens the door to the future. And, it has to be a trail chassis for regular trail riders - not a catchall for 400/600/800/turbo engines and all types of riding. Someone else said, leave the 4-strokes in the current chassis and I agree. Those owners buy the engine.

The Blast was a step in the right direction and is perfect for kids stepping up from a 200 and also for some adults at the same time. But, now Cat needs something for those people to step up to, and that's the chassis I'm talking about.
Michael says:
2/25/2021 10:30:00 AM

My vote is #1. Big twins have good torque but the hp is being stretched too far. A c-Tex triple would satisfy the go fast crowd and build new passion. It worked wonders for Polaris years back and everyone followed. Just look at Cat and the 4-strokes. We went from twins to triples. The 4-strokes are too heavy. My buddies are wore out at the end of the day. A triple 2-stroke would be far lighter and rev freely without vibration and would sound amazing.
Michael says:
2/25/2021 10:38:00 AM

It would be hard to argue against #2. Our sport needs lower hp, light trail sleds, at a competitive price. 4-strokes seem to fill this slot but they are too heavy and more expensive to build. A light weight 440 would be an excellent family sled, but might not drive marketing.
A Noni Moose says:
2/25/2021 12:56:00 PM

Now that the Lynx brand is being sold in the North American market, will it siphon off sales from Ski Doo, Polaris, or Arctic Cat?
The presence of Lynx and what appears to be a 2022 line-up lacking anything note-worthy (sorry, electronic driver-assist to help driver steer a bloated sled doesn’t impress me).
Revolutionary front and rear suspension, light-weight chassis, class leading HP in all displacements, fit & finish / attention to detail, and competitive electronics / display is what it’s going to take Cat to remain relevant (Cat wants my money they better offer something that warrants the cash outlay).
Paul Nadeau says:
2/25/2021 6:52:00 PM

My choice would be 2, something in the 440-600 cc range, designed with a good suspension, skis, and great ergos. As far as advertising goes, maybe a little less for the mountain folks, how about the trail riders who go out for a great day of snowmobiling and enjoy all the pleasures of the sport without traveling at high speeds. Focus on the family aspect again, the more involved the more the sales.
TP says:
2/25/2021 9:16:00 PM

Doubtful any option will happen. A/C snowmobile operations needs to start making a profit or the axe will fall. Textron is only interested in the bottom line. Numbers for the new Blast should tell where this conversation goes next. If they missed the target, expect wholesale changes.
JimR says:
2/26/2021 7:57:00 AM

TP:

They are making money because they have no leftovers. They know how much they are making before they start the build because they know the number of sleds they are producing.
TP says:
2/26/2021 10:19:00 AM

JimR: Not according to Textron Financial statements. We shall see when the second quarter statements are made public. I do not hold much hope for it. Covid and job losses do not make for a good recipe for profits. Also curious as to how many sleds are still on dealer floors. Time will tell.
MRT says:
2/26/2021 1:55:00 PM

Why is there a picture of a "KTM" sled above????
Kale says:
2/26/2021 4:04:00 PM

MRT - the KTM is a concept. It gets your mind thinking. I find the skidframe particularly interesting on that KTM.
Ken says:
2/27/2021 7:17:00 AM

I totally agree with Paul. That's what Cat did before with marketing and advertising. Remember Cat's commercials and photos? It was family orientated. I could have made a commercial about it last weekend. My family which consists of 6 adults and 5 Grandkids went out on the ice last weekend. We had 5 sleds. All Cats of course. Old, new and a 120. We also brought out the portable fish houses. We had family day on the ice riding sleds, ice fishing and having a picnic. Do you know what the Grandkids are still talking about? Yup the snowmobile riding. They had so much fun and are still talking about how much fun they had riding and driving around on the Cats. Guess who else is happy about that? Yup, me. Guess who purchased these sleds and who will purchase sleds in the future? Hope they are Cats.
AdamC says:
3/1/2021 7:22:00 AM

A Noni Moose : If Cat made the upgrades you listed above to "earn" your money, would you be willing to pay $2-4K more than the 2020/2021 spring order pricing?
yamahabandit says:
3/1/2021 9:27:00 AM

A Noni Moose #2: Have you even driven a new Turbo? Is it a ditchbanger? Is it for everyone? No, but I'd hardly call it Bloated!
A Noni Moose says:
3/1/2021 3:35:00 PM

AdamC: Cat used to be regarded as the leader in chassis, front suspension, rear suspension, and engine technology. I can’t recall the last time that Cat was tagged as the leader in any of those categories (yeah, I’ll concede the Alpha skid but I haven’t heard anybody call it’s peers obsolete or uncompetitive). Fit and finish / attention to detail- Cat is 4th in a 3 horse race.

Yamabandit: Look at the weights of Cat’s offerings vs its peers. And yes, the turbo is bloated; try wrestling it free if you ever get it stuck.
Elias says:
3/1/2021 5:43:00 PM

Well, I don't know why everyone needs or wants a new sled every year? Everyone wants the biggest and best from every manufacturer. IMHO, just be happy AC didn't close it's doors and are still producing awesome sleds. I have the following Cats in my yard: 2007 F1000 Sno Pro(ice/snow drag sled), 2009 T570 Touring(wife's sled), 2017 ZR 6000R XC race sled and a 2015 ZR 4000RR (daughters sled), all doing well, plus a 1996 TCat 900 triple that needs some TLC. I sold my 2014 ZR 8000RR last winter. These sleds do what I require of them even though they are older models. We ride on ungroomed trails, tundra, sea and lake ice ice up here in Canada's Arctic.
Greg Hallstrom says:
3/1/2021 8:15:00 PM

A dash mounted tablet with navigation is already available for Cat and has been for several years. It is called the NS1 Gauge system and is available from Next Stage Gauges. I installed one on my 2020 Riot 8000 and love it. The cost is $599.
Michael says:
3/2/2021 8:54:00 AM

Thanks for the info Greg??
Elias says:
3/2/2021 10:14:00 AM

Well AC better be releasing an awesome line up for 2022. Last night I seen the '22 Polaris sleds, and man did they nailed it with their model lineup. What caught my attention with Polaris for '22 was the new Indy 650 XCR and the new competition Indy 600 Cross Country race sled.

If AC doesn't produce anything great for MY22, I bet you'll see some Cat fans jump to Polaris sleds? Hope not though.

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