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The 2023 Arctic Cat ZR 9000 THUNDERCAT is one of the most technologically advanced snowmobiles in the world delivering the ultimate level of premium ride performance thanks to the combination of ATAC Adjustable On-the-Fly Suspension and Electronic Power Steering (EPS).

A close view of the Thundercats thumb operated control settings on left handlebar includes the easy-to-use ATAC suspension settings (Soft/Med/Firm)

The innovative ATAC suspension system utilizes a thumb-operated button on the left handlebar controls to operate the 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 settings (Driver 1 and Driver 2) allowing you to customize your own calibrations between front and rear shocks.

Arctic Cat’s variable assist Electronic Power Steering provides assist based on the input load and the Thundercat’s speed. The varying levels of assist translate into a light steering effort in all snow conditions and greatly reduces rider fatigue by eliminating feedback through the bars from rough trail conditions. 

The heart of the Thundercat is a C-TEC4 9000-Series 998cc with Turbo and 200+hp

The C-TEC4 9000-Series DOHC Turbo triple-cylinder is the reason the THUNDERCAT sets the highest standard for power, smoothness and reliability. Delivering 200-plus maximum horsepower at any altitude is backed by Arctic Cat’s ADAPT CVT System.

The ADAPT Drive and Driven clutches were launched in 2022 and are on all full-size Arctic Cat snowmobiles for 2023.

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.

The chassis and main components of the 2023 Thundercat are painted in Black Metallic which looks amazing in the sun. I personally appreciate the nod to the legacy Arctic Cat colors, green and purple.

As a premium model, the Thundercat’s chassis, suspension rails, spindles, 4.5-inch handlebar riser and both front and rear bumpers are painted a sparkling Black Metallic for a true stand out finish in the sun. Performance bodywork is black with a nod to legacy colors, green and purple.

Other premium standard features include handguards, a comfortable heated seat, the enhanced nighttime performance LED headlight, rear tunnel flares, 11-in. medium-height windshield (Metallic Black) and goggle holder bag.

Pricing will be announced during the start of the Pre-Order Event April 19th.

The 2023 ZR9000 Thundercat caught in its element at speed. Representative of this photo, Willie Ewing just set a world record logging 2,125.04 miles in 24hrs on his 2022 Thundercat with EPS and ATAC. CLICK to read his prep story on ArcticInsider.

The ZR 9000 Thundercat at a Glance

  • 998cc, 4-stroke, C-TEC4 Triple-Cylinder Engine with Turbo
  • 200-Class Horsepower
  • ATAC – Adjustable On-The-Fly Suspension
  • Electronic Power Steering (EPS)
  • ARS II Front Suspension
  • 42-in. to 43-in. adjustable ski stance
  • 137-in. SLIDE-ACTION Rear Suspension
  • 15-in. x 137-in. Ripsaw II track with 1.25-in. lugs


  1. Man that’s a sharp looking sled! Love the colors. Would really like one. I’d like to try one first though. The EPS has me interested and I will not buy another sled without the ATAC. At first I wanted the ZR 6000 limited but you can’t get ATAC with it. If I had my wish I would buy the ZR 6000 limited in those Thundercat colors with EPS and ATAC. Not sure the ZR needs the EPS but I’d like to try it.

  2. I know most won’t buy into this, but I for one think cat sets the precedence for other manufacturers. Not only are the building sleds for the other 3, but I think they are being watched very closely by them as well. They may not have the backing to press forward with innovation year after year, but realistically they’ve done a fine job putting out a solid product. Once poo n doo release power steering, everyone will think its incredible, but still hate on cat for being left behind. The snowmobile arena is a bit fickle, as everyone seems to want all these bells and whistles every year, and complete redesigns all the time. But with prices now over 20k, where does it end? I can’t tell you how many years I rode a sled that didn’t even have a gauge! Now people claim they need a dang iPad to look at while riding. I think we need to get back to basics – Light, Strong & Fast. Everything else should just be an accessory to be installed as the consumer sees fit.

    • Tex, I partially agree with you, I do think the other OEM’s at least respect Cat, you are right on about the power steering comment, even though Cat had it first! Everyone seems to want a new chassis from Cat, do you have any idea how much that costs? and guess who pays for it, the consumer. I have 3 proclimb sleds a ’13, ’16 and a ’20, the ascender chassis is head and shoulders above the ’16 proclimb, and the ’16 is much better than ’13. Sure they look similar but that is the AC way, come out with a chassis and keep refining it year after year, look at how long they kept the original ZR chassis and how many models used it. Doo and Poo have some new chassis, I keep asking why, did they not get it correct the first time and had to build a new chassis? This is why sleds are $20K and up. One thing about AC, when they do come out with something new it has been thoroughly tested and it just works, I think the other OEM’s just push product out the door, whether it works or not, because everyone is asking for it, this makes it look like AC is falling ‘behind’ when in reality they are refining their product before launch. It would be interesting to know how many new products were cancelled after AC realized they weren’t all they were cracked up to be after the other OEM’s released them. I do wish AC would communicate more with current and prospective customers, a perfect example would be the sleds ordered a year ago that are just now being delivered. From reading the forums sounds like some customers had communication from AC but a lot didn’t, IMHO AC should have been in touch monthly with all pre order customers starting in the late fall when they knew the sleds would be delayed. How long does it take to pound out an email and hit send? AC could also feed Kyle info that he could pass on, on this site, the total silence from AC is deafening. Cheers and happy riding, hopefully there are a few more weekends left!

  3. I for one, don’t know a single person spending 20k on a quad (not utv). Dont think there is even one available that expensive. And you can ride it anytime you want and do a whole lot more stuff with it. I think this constant nagging and complaining about new stuff has forced manufacturers to price people right out of this sport. Then they try and come out with entry level sleds and get ripped apart for that. Social media has truly ruined everything. The old “opinions are like a-holes” couldn’t ring more true.

  4. Ken, let me tell you. I tried a Thundercat. I wanted to try a 4 stroke, mainly for the quietness. All my 800’s haul the mail, and the 600’s rail. So, speed, handling really,,, a big heavy turbo will be nice just for cruising with the wife. Yes I have a sickness, and just like riding this or that, all are great rides.. A Thundercat is the sled that all others, and brands are compared too. Sure it’s nice, but what really hit home was 4 days of riding only the T-Cat. Snow storm fresh powder on trail superb handling. The 20 some year old nephew on a 600, who can cook, where is he, I’m not even trying. A lake only thing you worry about is a sidewinder, or a T- Cat. ATAC use it all day, Heated seat about 3 times a day. Power steering it’s always their. So after 4 days I jump on the Wifes 600 RS. Normally it feels like a lite feather that’s quick, and easy driving. Halfway out the driveway are you kidding me, this thing is a work out. A little trail, this is terrible. I come to a lake, oh for Pete’s sake how does she ride this turd. Yeah a Thunder Cat with power steering is that good. It is a Trail sled, and it excels at it. The down side is ,it’s a boat load of cash, and it’s so easy to go fast, you need to keep yourself in check. Yeah I called on a new one, not sure if she wants one.

    • Thanks for the feedback on the Thundercat. Oh, I want one! I probably would take the Thundercat over the ZR 6000 but would really like to test drive one first. I’m having a hard time converting to a 4-stroke because I’ve always been a 2-stroke guy with the 8000. Last year for the first time I test drove a 6000. I really liked that 6000. It’s getting a little easier to probably switch to the 4-stroke with all the feedback on how great the turbo Thundercat is. Building a shouse this year so money is pretty tight right now with building costs. My 2019 8000 Limited is getting up there in mileage, so I am due for a new one soon. So, if I do order a sled, it probably would be the Thundercat. I just want to test drive one to be sure because I probably would have purchased my prior sleds with the 6000 if I would have test drove them first.

    • 100% Agree !!! My 2021 Thundercat with TD Powertrail, clutched & geared is the best trail sled I have ever owned !!! 3000 miles of perma grin so far …. I may order a 2023.

  5. I love the look of the 2023 T-Cat finally back to cat colors. I have a 2021 T-Cat and whomever thought the black and grey color scheme was a good one is so off point. I love the power, ride , and handling of the T-Cat. I have owned Arctic Cats all my life and I personally dont think there is a better sled out there.

  6. Here’s something else. I don’t care about gas milage, but I look at the pump, just so I can get a feel for range, and what the gauge is telling me. Once she had over 1000 miles on it. The Tcat starts to just run better and fuel usage drops. The wife rides he 6000 easy like she’s driving a car. I drive smooth and steady, not a track spinning animal. Now she’s taking more fuel than me. Nothing wrong with a 6000, or a 8000, I have a couple of each. They run strong, use no oil, and ride good. Not a Thundercat. T-cat is lower and handles a trail way better, and just is more comfortable to me. Like I said really don’t pound my sleds, but once she had 1000 on it. I took my morning ride to the lake down the road, that has a trail going across it. -20 hard pack, and flat. I’m 220, Mid windshield, 98 studs and Dooley’s. Screw it I’m just going to see what’s what. Left hand death grip on the bar, take right hand death grip with throttle under. I’m a trades guy so I do have a pretty good grip and OK shape for a old guy. I don’t care about launch control or what anyone thinks, this is how it went. 30, 70 now I can just barely let off a little with right to use thumb, left is still glued to bar, 103 109 ,,,115,,,,,,,,118. 3 times all the same violent result. It just took you longer to read that then it happened. OK lets play around 50 hit it, shit 100,,110, lets roll on at 70 hit even harder. So after this I cruise the 1/2 mile back home. Get off and it’s purrrrr, in drive, wow. I’m laughing all the way into the house. The wife ask’s what is going on, I say whole #@*% is that mother &)%#$% fast. And then I go on my normal 30 to 50 mph ride all day with her. And every time it just sits waiting purrrrr, it is the craziest sled to date. A true Jekel and Hid. But a word of caution, it’s that good and so easy to go really fast, BE Careful. Jekel and Hid.

  7. Now for the bad news. It’s a trail sled, that’s it. You aren’t ditch banging, or Braaap over a bank. You get stuck you better have a lot of friends. I got a rattler just encase. You come across the groomer on a tight trail, and you have to get creative with a hard edge leading up to powder. Can get interesting real fast. Unless you’re a gym rat, forget about touching the front end and lifting, not happening, that’s pretty much the whole sled. All that ski pressure keep a good stock of carbides on hand, if poor road conditions. Not sure if it’s because of the power steering, but at times when doing some crazy stuff, wow I really need to throw a lot of my weight at it, to pull her back in line. Still it is a amazing ride. Oh, and your insurance company, they like it too.

  8. No thanks!! I’ll keep my spring order 2012 1100 turbo I bought from country cat. I have an open check book on that sled and at 10,600 miles it does great. I’ve took it apart, all apart a couple times now. She’s a keeper!! That 1100 turbo Suzuki is a winner!! And mines stock. Box stock

    And everybody that rides it falls in love with it

  9. Well, everyone including Textron is avoiding the elephant in the room. No 9″ navigation GPS screen from Cat.
    No attempt or even a murmer about it. Who doesn’t need to know where they are at, up in the mountains and 80 miles out in the woods in the U.P. with no cell phone signal when its dark out?
    No heated seats on the 2 stroke sleds, again, and the heated ones on every one of my Thundercats stop working and break every time you remove the seat for battery maintenance. And need a ” new element ” installed.
    Not to mention that they overheat, almost constantly and need a lower temp thermostat so when you shut them off the coolant doesn’t start boiling over 20 seconds after you shut the machine off.
    Who the hell is in charge of the R and D department there anyways, jesus, anyone know?
    I’d love to have about a 2 hour conversation with them.
    Maybe try an electric cooling fan if you’re unable to slove the actual overheating issue with this turbo 998 Yamaha engine.
    Not to mention there is, again, no 900cc 2 stroke and no 900cc turbo 2stroke being offered, after consumers are all asking for these items.
    And no Arctic Cat dealerships in Indiana.
    I can send my 24 year old son over there to Minnesota and he can break every model, and show you what’s wrong with every one of these sleds. And I can too. Its not rocket science.
    But these are tough times, so let’s keep ignoring the consumers who buy the sleds in the first place. And look the other way.
    I wish I had the money to buy the company, I would and I would fix all these problems.
    The black, green and purple Thundercat graphics look amazing this year. Great job!

  10. One last thing, there are no replacement arctic cat modular heated helmet shields to be purchased in the entire USA. So what do we do with these helmets with scratched or broke shields now? Just asking.
    It’s ridiculous.

  11. I guess when you have to follow a buddy around in the mountains for 7 days that is on a rented 850 Polaris with a navigation screen laughing the whole time it kinda pisses you off. When you have bo idea where you are at….Did me anyways.


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