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HomeFeaturesINSIDE: THE 2023 ARCTIC CAT ZR 6000 AND ZR 8000


The ZR – One of the greatest model designations in snowmobile history became a dream come true when Arctic Cat surprisingly released them in the fall of 1992 for the ’93 race season. 30 years later, the ZR is still an icon in the High Performance Trail category.

2023 ZR6000 in Black/Medium Green

Why To Buy

Because you want to own one of the most successful racing and production machines in the history of Arctic Cat, and quite frankly, the entire snowmobile industry. 

1. ZR Power– Choose between two no-compromise powerhouse options in the ZR line – The 6000-Series, C-TEC2 599cc two-stroke (125hp) and the overachieving 8000-Series, C-TEC2 794cc two-stroke (165hp)

2. ADAPT – Arctic Cat drive and driven clutches provide minimized wear and extended life to the ZRs drive belt.

3. SLIDE-ACTION – A variety of calibrated ZR suspension options make trail riding smooth riding.  

4. Legendary Colors – 30 years of the ZR have proven the most popular colorways are Green and Orange on black bodywork. You have both choices in 2023.

Tech Talk

With ZR package options centered around two C-TEC2 engines, there’s a new 2023 for every high-performance trail rider wanting one.

The ZR platform starts with the race-proven ultra-rigid ProCross chassis and optimal riding position. Up front, the Arctic Race Suspension (ARS II) offers 9-in. of suspension travel, while the 137-in. SLIDE-ACTION rear suspensionboasts 13.5-inches and emply the Ripsaw II track with 1.25-in. lugs. 

Championship-winning power in the ZR 6000/8000 are all backed by Arctic Cat’s ADAPT CVT System. The ADAPT Drive and Driven clutches are lightweight and employ a compact design with advanced idler system. ADAPT maintains constant belt tension throughout the RPM range resulting in minimized wear and maximum throttle response throughout your drive belt’s lifespan.

(L) C-TEC2 6000 ENGINE with 125-Class Horsepower and (R) C-TEC2 8000 with 165-Class Horsepower

ZR 6000 – Is powered by the 125-Class horsepower of Arctic Cat’s C-TEC2 599cc twin-cylinder two-stroke engine, delivering instant throttle response and the convenience of push-button engine reverse and electric start. A moderately aggressive suspension calibration has high-quality FOX 1.5 ZERO QS3 ski shocks and in the rear are Arctic Cat IFP 1.5 front- and FOX 2.0 ZERO QS3 rear-track shocks. The Deluxe Digital gauge, LED headlight and 11-in. mid-height windshield are standard features and is available in Black with Medium Green. 

ZR 8000 – Has the potent 165-Class horsepower of Arctic Cat’s C-TEC2 794cc twin-cylinder, 2-stroke engine, delivering clean responsive performance with leading fuel economy and is available with two suspension packages: 

The first, is the innovative ATAC suspension system utilizing a thumb-operated button on the left handlebar controls to operate FOX ZERO iQS3 ski and the rear track shocks, allowing the rider to instantly switch between three factory compression settings (Soft, Medium and Firm), with two additional customizable settings (Driver 1 and Driver 2).

The second option has high-quality FOX 1.5 ZERO QS3 ski shocks and in the rear are Arctic Cat IFP 1.5 front- and FOX 2.0 ZERO QS3 rear-track shocks. The Deluxe Digital gauge, LED headlight and 11-in. mid-height windshield are standard features and is available in Black with Medium Green or Black with Woodies Orange color ways.

The ZRs at a Glance

  • 42-in. to 43-in. adjustable ski stance
  • Trail-6 Skis
  • 12V outlet
  • 5.5-in. handlebar riser
  • Mid Tunnel Bag Rear Storage
  • Tether Switch
  • Tunnel Flares

Available ZR Models

2023 ZR 6000 137 ES QS3 Black/Medium Green

2023 ZR 8000 137 ES QS3 Black/Medium Green

2023 ZR 8000 137 ES QS3 Black/Woody’s Orange

2023 ZR 8000 137 ES ATAC Black/Medium Green

2023 ZR 8000 137 ES ATAC Black/Woody’s Orange



  1. Kale! A wrap salesman’s dream, black panels! Although the new graphics look great compared to last years in my opinion.
    Before this comment section turns into the usual cry baby festival (you’d think snowmobilers are a bunch of kindergarteners if you went through most of the recent articles) I just want to clarify something – you haven’t listed orange as an option for the 6000. I’m assuming misprint/forgot.
    Thanks man!

    • IMO, the reason for no ATAC on 6000s is based on cost. Add ATAC and the cost of a 6000 jumps up. Despite some of us thinking that would be great, we’re the minority of buyers. Most opt for the lesser priced 600, or jump up to an 8000. Other factors this year might be supply-chain related. If AC can’t get electronic components or shocks, or risk delays from the vendor, it’s a smart decision to focus on a known seller in the 8000. Again, just my opinion.

      • Problem is they did offer it in 2019 through 2021. The cost was like $5-600 over the QS3’s. I had it on my 20 and it was great! I don’t want an 800 because I do not need the extra power or cost for insurance. It is what it is and I would gather that supply issues is the biggest reason but at some point this is going to go away, or at least we hope it does.

      • Ok thanks. As JimR stated they offered it before and it was not that much more. Must be a sales thing. Meaning they probably did not sell many ZR 6000s with the ATAC so it’s not enough to justify the costs. Don’t know. Just seems odd that they don’t offer the option like they do on the other sleds. Oh well, I won’t beat the dead horse about it. Just wondering. Thanks.

    • I can see why they wouldn’t offer that for an in-season model but it’s kind of ridiculous not to offer it for a spring order.

  2. Excellent job on the color and graphics Arctic Cat. Just wish there was a 129 track option and no i don’t want an R XC. Kale, did they change anything from the 2022 model like seat foam density or any other calibrations?

  3. Kale, when u announced 23 preview you said you were also disappointed at no new chassis. I’ve read in multiple magazines cat does have a new chassis. Do you have any knowledge of the chassis there working on? Is it ready and just delayed do too supply and covid? Have you seen it? Also the turbo they have patented is it a similar situation? And if cat does have this stuff almost ready why not give consumers a glimpse so we can have a little ammo for our poo and doo friends that laugh at us cat die hards.

    • I know a guy who knows a guy who’s cousins uncles sisters boyfriend who met a guy in a bar knows a guy whos grandfathers neighbors nephews oldest son heard from his barbers dentists wife that there is one and her best friends oldest daughters boyfriend rode it. The 900 is supposed to be stellar and the chopped strand carbon componentry will produce the lightest sled in the industry. I called b.s. when I heard $12,900 MSRP though.

      There is no 7000

      • There’s GOTTA be a LITTLE more you can leak…new chassis alone, new engine with it, big, small, definitely next year, etc…

          • Yeah. Hilarious. But seriously. Something to get us THINKING. Ya know…WANTING… “They won’t be gray” doesn’t get people to say, “I’m gonna buy THAT from Arctic Cat, not a Ski Doo or Polaris!” textron HAS to release something, give us SOME clue, because if there really is no RR or R XC 8000s or 9000s, like we all think, people WILL. BE. ANGRY. Not I, because I saw this coming in 2017, but hasn’t textron lost ENOUGH customers, ENOUGH MONEY, by angry customers saying, very publicly, that they will NEVER buy a textron, and going ELSEWERE? Doesn’t one BUY a company to MAKE MONEY? HOW will they make money if the have NO CUSTOMERS?

          • I remember seeing a picture of 2 HEAVILY disguised ProCross at a gas station in 2011…but that was a different company. One that CARED.

    • There’s a new chassis and Motor in the works. One was supposed to be release this year other next . With supply issues this year . Hopefully both will be release next year ! Motor mite be outdated. By the time it gets released. With the competition working on bigger and better things . But the chassis sounds better then the competition.

      • Motor *might* already be dated. Lol. I’d say there’s a 95% chance that whatever Textron’s Arctic Cat releases, engine or chassis (if it ever even happens), will already be obsolete.

  4. See how much better orange or green looks on BLACK, NOT GRAY? I LIKE it. Needs a purple to complete the package. Hmm. Upon further inspections, didn’t I suggest something like this LAST year? Hmm. I’ll look later.

    Only 1 600? C’mon man!

    ATAC should be available on the 6000, along with orange. If someone wants it, they don’t care about the cost. Besides, it’s already 15 grand. What’s another thousand bucks?

    If said supplier can’t supply what they are hired to supply, another vendor should be sought out, even if just a threat, to increase original supplier’s motivation. GET TO WORK.

  5. While these are sweet sleds, the real question is; for anyone with a 2018 or newer, what is the incentive to upgrade? You aren’t gaining anything really.

    • Better clutching. Better calibrations. I had a 2015 and it was a great sled. Bought a 2018 and the sled was 100% better. Had a 2020 and that made my 2018 feel old. Every year the refinements make it worth it.

    • There’s no legitimate reason to upgrade to an 2023 if you have an 18+. You will pay a HUGE commodity price premium for a unit that is largely unchanged, and you may not even get it until after riding season if this year was any indication. Buy the new ADAPT primary before your TEAM clutch explodes and call it a day. The only way Textron is going to get the message is stop buying their product.

      Kale: For the record I do appreciate what you do here. Amazing job. No one’s beef is with you.

      • As I stated before, there is plenty of reasons to trade up. I have an 18, had a 20 and the 20 was way more sled than the 18 in every way. Waiting for my 22 and with the refinements they make every year, more than worth it. Just sayin.


    • I had a CF7 great sled ! Had a ZR7000, took me 2 yrs to find a sucker to buy it ! It was like driving my ZRT 600 & 800, Heavy and hated it . Not sure about the EPS ? If it was me . The lighter 6000 would by my Choice ! For a female or smaller driver . Just my opinion .

  7. Any word on if there will be a RR version released? Seems like most of the 8000 sleds I know of have been are RR and a few limited.

  8. Best looking sleds on the snow! Well done AC!. Back in black baby. I respect their way of doing business this season in leu of all the supply chain issues. Ethical.
    We all know the hard working men and women inside the walls of TRF are dying to show their new iron. It’s ready. I feel for them. Something is telling me, this will be well worth the wait. Go big or go home has always been AC’s motto. Textron can hold the purse strings, but can’t deny that.
    Kale, you have a tough job; so sorry for you having to take the constant beat down from all of us, me included. How many times have you said to yourself; “shut the He!! up and be patient!??”. It takes time! AC was near bankruptcy 5 years ago!
    I think we are all in for a real surprise, sooner than later. This is Arctic Cat boys and girls, cat-life #3. Six more to go. There is a future…and we will be able to pound our chest’s once again. Start saving for 2024.

    • If they are “dying to show it”, and “it’s ready”, why doesn’t someone SHOW IT? FIND A WAY! I remember back in January 2002, the company that Arctic Cat hired to do the 2003 model brochure leaked the picture of the page with the F5 and F7 on it. Blew up the internet.

      “Go big or go home” doesn’t describe being satisfied with a 2 stroke 800 in an 850, and now 900, world.

      “We will be able to pound our chests once again”? I doubt it. textron won’t allow the snow division to be in business much longer. They will lose a great many more customers this year, as opposed to the normal amount they lose every year, with no 8000RRs. Also, many more will leave due to NOTHING coming on April 19th. The handful that will buy 23s will NOT be able to keep this mismanaged wreck of a company afloat. That’s OK though. Heidi can use her unemployment to buy more lapdogs.

      • Wow Dave (Dan, Dawn Debbie, Karen etc.) I would hate to be in your circle. Nothing but death and destruction because you did not get what you wanted. Feel kind of sorry for you. Not really. Life is to short to get your panties in a bunch over a sled. The Pro Cross is just as good as any other sled out there. You just have to learn to ride maybe? Did you miss the part where they are not going to be able to get the shocks that go with the RR’s? I am guessing you think it is not real and that covid was faked by the Government. Have a good night and don’t go hurting yourself. One day you will be able to call yourself Dave the happy camper. Next season is fast approaching.

        • I got your Karen hanging, pal.
          You wouldn’t fit in anyway. We don’t do psychodelic drugs.
          Did you get what you wanted? Your 22 come in yet?
          Yeah, I’m angry over a sled. Have you had a LOOK AROUND?! Probably not. You and your ugly gray car.
          I never said I wanted a new chassis. I want NEW ENGINES.
          How long you been riding?
          No, I didn’t miss that. Did YOU miss the part where I said that these companies need to find OTHER VENDORS for their parts? For example, if Fox’s vendor can’t supply the parts they need, FIND ANOTHER VENDOR. NOT rocket science.
          chinafru WAS made in a lab in china, and released, to get Trump out of the White House, and not because some a$$hole ate a bat. If you don’t believe the facts, and that America, if not the WORLD, is worse off with this incomparable fool biden in the White House, YOU ARE LOST.
          I’ll have a good night, knowing I can always depend on your illogical answers to keep my brain functioning on how to beat you down.
          I’ll call myself “DAVE, WHO WAS CORRECT ABOUT textron KILLING CAT THIS WHOLE TIME, THE HAPPY CAMPER” when it happens, OK sunshine?

          • Finding new vendors sounds great, but wont fix the issues that everyone is facing. I’ve been riding for 50 years! Cat will be here long after you give up the sport. Textron is not killing anything. Just correcting mistakes made by a company who hired a CEO named Jordan who blew it big time!

  9. Hey Dtd take a valium. I don’t come on this site to read your kind of frothing at the mouth B.S.
    I don’t like the direction Cat seems to be headed either but you’re contribution is not helping.

  10. What issues won’t it fix? It’ll show that whoever is slacking off and not producing the product won’t make the money. And money is what makes the world go round.
    Cat is DEAD. textron killed them. Cat is just a name now.
    textron is not killing anything? They killed Polaris…
    Yes. I will agree. Twomey was the last good one.

    Bandit, don’t like it? Don’t read it.
    Well, there is the IMPOSSIBLE chance that someone at textron reads my (AND OTHERS, THAT YOU SEEM TO BE DOING A GOOD JOB OF IGNORING) words, and gets their ? together. But don’t hold your breath. Or do. I don’t care.
    What are YOU doing to help?

  11. I’m glad AC is still in the game and that Black and Green ZR 8000 is one sexy bitch! I hope they can get the 2023 sleds out in a timely fashion next year and then they do a limited build mid year release of the new chassis and motor in late January or early February. They’ve done that before in years passed and I think it would be good to get a very limited amount of sleds out to the dealers to create a buzz for sales in 2024. That would also allow them to see if there’s any problems before going full build in 2024. Kind of like a soft opening.

    • That’s a good idea, and HAS worked in the past, especially with the FIRECAT! That’s why textron WON’T do it.

        • My Dad was at the cancelled 2nd hometown tour in early 2002 and they had a few hand built ones in the race department, if you knew someone, you could see them… Just sitting on it convinced him to order one as soon as they were available to order. Also, the Firecat page of the 2003 model book was leaked online and the internet went CRAZY!

  12. Dear arctic cat, my 22 tcat is lost. Maybe you will find it before next riding season. Dont worry you keep my 500 I gave you a year ago. What are your plans for customers that got totally screwed this year. Are we seeing extra warranty or cash back? Or discount on your new exciting future sleds that we keep hearing about but dont see.

    • You better not talk negative waves like that, or JohnR or yamahabandit will think you need meds!
      Man, I am SO sorry about this Jason. This is a DISGRACE, and I consider, a DISREPECT, to you and ALL the others, not just Cat, but Yamaha, Pul-yer-a$$, and Ski-Don’t guys too.
      Yeah. They can keep your 500. They can use it for PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT for something that will NEVER come!
      What are their plans? Here is their “response”. The most insincere “Sorry” you’ve ever heard. I assume you’ve seen “Animal House”? Ya know the part where Bluto smashes that wimp’s guitar in the stairwell, and he says “sorry” like he really isn’t? One of those. Here’s what I would DEMAND. You deserve a 23 T-cat for the SAME price as the 22 that never showed up, a 4 year no questions asked warranty, no shipping fee, no doc fee, no state tax, a matching cover, a spare belt, and how about an oil change kit or 2? If they fail to deliver, which they won’t, I’d hurt them by not buying a textron product ever again, and buying a Ski Doo turbo, as I assume that’s what you want. Even if it’s not as good as a T-cat, it will take money away from them, like they care. Also, I’d raise SUCH A STINK on the interwebs, no amount of pine tree spray air freshener could cover it up. Boast on the Doo forums and say the truth on ALL the Cat forums I could find. Again, like they care.
      You’re pretty much gonna get NOTHING AND LIKE IT from textron. Sorry my friend. ?

  13. I dont want the 500, I want a sled. And I’ve seen many 22s for sale at dealers advertised on marketplace. I’d like to know how dealers can sell 22s at insane prices when customers are waiting for snow checks. I saw a riot at a dealer for 18,500 and a tcat for 20,500us. During the riding season. I thought dealers weren’t getting inventory arctic cat?

    • Jason, look at the sticker on the back of the tunnel . They we’re probably built in July or earlier . Before all the manufactures knew everything was going to go downhill . On parts ! July , I was told I was good to go . Because I didn’t put in for an RR or a Turbo . August was when I was told. I wasn’t getting a sled . And dealers got the same notice . On there dealer stock . There’s dealers around here . That sell Poo & Doo’s . They have sleds on the showroom floor . But no gauges in them. Good luck on your sled.

  14. It’s simple. They ordered T-cats a year ago for inventory, and nobody bought them. Just ? luck that they got theirs before you got yours. If they are out of the crate, textron probably can’t legally buy them back, put them in a new crate, and send them to your dealer. I wouldn’t want a display sled that little kids have been climbing all over, and idiots who can’t close the panels correctly have been screwing up anyway.
    When is the straw gonna break the camel’s back Jason? When are you going to deliver your ultimatum? Do you like the one I’d send?

  15. So obviously you were OK with paying for, and not getting your sled Jim, but Jason is NOT, nor would I be.

    He can’t look at it AC142, it hasn’t shown up yet.

    • So what good now is getting your sled Karen? So you can sit on it all Summer? My sleds go into storage at our farm. Wont be digging my other sleds out till then so it might as well sit in the crate. But have your little hissie fit every single day. Your life must be a real joy for your family and any friends you probably dont have.

      • Again. YOU are fine with NOT having you sled. OTHER PEOPLE have OTHER OPINIONS. You want your $15,000 sled sitting outside, in a crate, gathering corrosion all summer, that’s fine. Some of us take GOOD care of our rigs, ya know, keeping them INSIDE.

        Karen? Aren’t you a little OLD to be resorting to a YOUNG PEOPLE insult?

        Hissy fit? Ha. I have MANY friends, probably more than you, and I DEFINITELY have more who agree with me here than you. And we DON’T DRINK THE KOOL-AID.

        • My sled will be sitting in there storage warehouse, not outside. That is what a great dealer does. And no. I am just old enough to call you what you act like.

  16. I wish cat would STOP calling the 800(153 ish h.p.) an165’h.p. Cat. Who do they think they are kidding? For god sake tell it like it is. Its not that big of a deal to tell the truth to your customers. WAKE UP TEXTRON?

  17. Glad to see the ugly gray is gone! It looked like someone forgot to paint it.

    While my 2020 Riot 8000 is great for off trail, I prefer my 2018 ZR 6000 for trail riding. Snappy little engine and with Woodys Dooley skegs there is no darting and feels like it has power steering. Unfortunately, my Significant Opposite won’t give it up!?

  18. And for those who say the gauge on Arctic Cat snowmobiles is outdated, you do have a choice. It is called the NS1 gauge system from Next Stage Gauges. The 8″ display is an all-in-one unit with which you can scroll through 5 different modes from full engine parameters to full map.

    Kale, maybe you could interview Stefan McDaniel, owner of Next Stage Gauges, and then do an article on the NS1. I am sure many Cat owners would like to know more about it.

    • The NS-1 IS a bad hombre! We bought one of the 10 prototypes (number 8) when Stefan first offered them. VERY impressive! And his gauge reflash is on several sleds in our group! He knows his stuff!


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