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HomeFeaturesTech Insight: Inside the new Arctic Cat 600 C-TEC2 Engine

Tech Insight: Inside the new Arctic Cat 600 C-TEC2 Engine

Arctic Cat 6000-Series C-TEC2 with Dual-Stage Injection

6000-Series Arctic Cat 600 C-TEC2: Clean-Technology 2-Stroke Engine

The all-new 600 Clean-Technology 2-Stroke (or “C-TEC2” for short) is the first snowmobile engine designed engineered and produced by Arctic Cat.

It features a bunch of interesting technology like Dual-Stage Injection, unique open-window pistons, electronic oil metering and more, all of which reflects decades of engine design knowledge from the same Arctic Cat engineers who created the laydown engine, Exhaust Pipe Temperature Sensor and batteryless EFI.

Donn Eide and the 600 C-TEC2 engine. Photo by

“Every component of the C-TEC2 600 was designed and sourced by Arctic Cat,” said Donn Eide, Snowmobile Engine Design Manager at Arctic Cat. “It is a clean-sheet design incorporating new and existing technology pioneered by our team of engineers.”

Displacing 599cc, the C-TEC2 600 delivers class-leading 123 horsepower at 8,100 – 8,300 rpm. It weighs a full 10 lbs. less than the previous-generation 600 engine (and 7-8 lbs. less than competitive DI engines) It will be produced at the Arctic Cat Engine facility in St. Cloud, Minn.


2014 Arctic Cat 600 C-TEC2 2-stroke Engine with DSI

Laydown Architecture: The laydown design common to Arctic Cat since the 2002 Sno Pro 440 race sled (Firecat) means that the combustion forces are in a different directional plane than the horizontal plane of the crankcase halves. The result is the stiffest and most robust crankshaft-capture of any engine design.



2014 Arctic Cat 600 C-TEC2 2-stroke Engine with DSI

Dual-Stage Injection: At lower engine loads, the system injects fuel directly into the combustion chamber, on top of the piston. At higher engine loads fuel is also injected into the crankcase area and into the transfer ports, improving the fuel/air transfer time for added efficiency while also lubricating vital engine components


Arctic Cat slotted piston in 600 C-TEC2 engine

Slotted Piston: The unique open-window/slotted piston design allows fuel/oil mix to be injected into the crankcase area and then into the transfer ports as part of the Dual-Stage Injection design.

Key to this design is the injection of fuel (with oil) at the piston rod bearing, which a competitive DI system does not achieve (and which is known for problems).






600 C-TEC2 Fuel Rail

Fuel Injectors: Lightweight, low pressure Dual-Stage injectors feed fuel into both the combustion chamber, crankcase, and cylinder ports through the cylinder wall. Integrated with EPTS and APV exhaust valves, this clean-burning design helps the C-TEC2 600 achieve Tier III EPA regulations. The cylinder-mounted fuel injectors are supplied with 58-psi fuel pressure and are controlled by the fuel management system using variable injection timing and duration.


Electric Oil Pump: Controlled by the engine management system, an electric oil pump delivers the precise oil requirements, from engine idle to full-throttle, adjusting oil consumption from sea level to high altitude. Oil is injected into the air intake flanges and the fuel rail for full engine lubrication including the pistons.

Fuel:oil ratios can be as high as 65:1 depending on load, which is why the C-TEC2 uses so little oil (and why the engine requires the oil formulated specifically for it).


Oil & Fuel Mix in the Rail: For maximum bearing life, a small amount of oil is delivered to the fuel rail and mixed with the fuel prior to injection. When the fuel is injected and travels through the piston skirt slot, the piston pin bearing receives added lubrication to ensure optimal bearing life even in the most extreme situations.

This is another key difference from high-pressure DI systems which require a return fuel loop back into the fuel tank, thus preventing oil from being injected into the rail (instead, oil is injected directly into the engine). The lack of oil lubrication via the fuel spray is a huge challenge for other systems.


Knock Sensor: An engine knock sensor detects detonation due to fuel octane, quality and/or ethanol content. Based on information from the knock sensor, the engine management system adjusts ignition timing and fuel delivery for optimum performance and combustion. If fuel quality is such that the combination of reduced engine timing and a richer fuel/air mixture can’t prevent detonation, the engine goes into safe mode until fuel quality improves.

The engine is designed for 91 octane fuel.


New cylinder port timings and shapes are matched by new cylinder head and combustion chamber shapes for optimized efficiency and performance.


Air-Only Throttle Bodies: Two 47-mm new-generation throttle bodies flow air into the crankcase. In addition to flowing only air (and not fuel), these throttle bodies are shorter and lighter than those used with previous engines.


Sealed pump shaft: The center water pump drive shaft is sealed in an oil bath for optimal lubrication, reducing oil consumption.


Double-V Reed Cages: Two double-V-shaped reed cages with 4-petal reeds optimize air flow into the engine.


APV Exhaust Valves: The Arctic Power Valve (APV) exhaust valve system features a new, Arctic Cat designed valve design. The multi-stage valve movement is controlled electronically by the engine management system and works in concert with pipe temperature, ignition timing and fuel/air delivery for optimized performance and efficiency in all conditions.


EPTS: Designed and patented by Arctic Cat, the Exhaust Pipe Temperature Sensor (EPTS) system uses pipe temperature information as an input for the engine management system, helping to control fuel/air delivery, ignition timing and the APV valve opening.


2014 Arctic Cat ZR 6000 el tigre with the 600 C-TEC2 engine. Photo:

Here’s a 2014 Arctic Cat ZR6000 el tigre parked in front of a batch of 600 engines inside the St. Cloud, Minn., engine production facility.



  1. Yummy, I gotta have me some of that. How about some retro el tigre graphics? Thank you Arctic Cat, i “love you long time”

  2. Yummy, I gotta have me some of that. How about some retro el tigre graphics? Thank you Arctic Cat, i “love you long time”

  3. Nice write-up, John.
    The best feature of this engine is the background knowledge that went into it. Greg, Donn and the rest of the guys have sooo much experience with 2 strokes and this is a great example of pushing 2 stroke technology forward when no one else is trying. Low pressure injectors giving DI emissions and performance, I guarntee the other guys are jealous. I want one! Congrats guys, your hard work shows!

  4. I just read about an engine design that, in my eyes, continues the legendary performance of the lay down designed engines. Great snowmobile engines built here in MN! Awesome! The details within this design, tells me the snowmobile engine design group addressed all the key design points and knocked this one out of the park! These guys know how to design a performance snowmobile engine. Can’t wait to ride one! I just may have to get a 2 stroker again, someday! It’s nice to have options!

  5. Sounds like Arctic Cat really did their homework with this new engine. Hopefully it proves to be reliable in the real world. Plus on a personal level I’m glad they brought back both the ZR and El Tigre namesakes. Loved our 1990 El Tigre!

  6. Very nice write-up about some really interesting stuff. I’m so glad they brought back the el Tigre 6000 name (imho it should not include “ZR”)… To me, that is THE most nostalgic sled ever built. BTW – I also like the ZR nomenclature on the remaining lineup.
    The move to a 137″ slide-action skid (and the new 4 stroke) for part of the lineup was also long overdue. Both are VERY good moves.

    It would be really nice to see some youtube footage containing sound clips from this engine. Curious to see what it sounds like.

  7. John- thanks for the info. Wish I would have waited a year to buy a new sled. Very excited with the new engine and new line up- but a little worried now about the resale value of my f1100na (now competing with the yamaha 4-stroke and the new c-tec2. Looking forward to reading more about the new 600, especially from those who have ridden it. Would be SWEET if cat decided to have demo rides closer to home!!! Still snow on Minnetonka!

  8. That is one sexy lady! From the black dress with a slit skirt, to the sleek lines and race horse heritage, she be lean, mean, and a bad a** machine.

  9. Looks awesome! From an engineering perspective those are some original and innovative designs…pretty impressive guys. Now will be the real test, engines in consumer hands…and all that goes with that.

  10. That is one sexy lady! From the black dress with a slit skirt, to the sleek lines and race horse heritage, she be lean, mean, and a bad a** machine.


    Awesome analogy right there.

  11. Awesome sounding motor on paper! I really am rooting for this one. It is AC’s first exclusively designed and manufactured motor and I hope it meets everyone’s expectations (in performance and above all in reliability). AC will always be the underdog given the fact that it is a small company dedicated solely to sleds and atvs. And therein lies the emotional and rational basis of the AC loyalists. A company that is belittled in size and monetary strength by it’s competition, yet still produces a product of equal or greater value through passion, dedication, and innovation. Nothing will cement its influence on the snowmobile market — and the hearts of AC die-hards — like an over-achieving US built engine that balances power, efficiency, and reliability.

  12. Awesome job, Arctic Cat!

    This is proof 2 stroke engines will be in the future of snowmobiling!

    Hopefully this engine design will eventually end up in the ATV line-up too… I’ve had my fill of 4 stroke engines in powersports that don’t have the instant ‘snap’ of a 2 stroke.

    Yes, there are expensive technologies (like turbo) and radical modifications that bring ‘snap’ to a 4 stroke rivalling 2 strokes… Sometimes at the expense of lifespan (compared to naturally aspirated 4 stroke).

    But the reality is, making a 4 stroke have comparible hp/cc as a two stroke is more expensive overall from either the manufacturing or ownership perspective. And in the end it (most modern examples) will still have a lower hp/Lb ratio than 2 stroke engines.

    It’s been a long time in waiting but finally AC’s mastering of technology has brought us a clean & efficient 2 stroke engine, proving 2 stroke engines have a future in snowmobiling.

    Seriously would be nice to see this engine tech displace 4 stroke ATV engines over time too. Might even help bring the MSRP down a bit, to help usher in more of the population who would otherwise not be able to afford the higher costs of manufacturing 4 stroke ATV engines.

    Thank you Arctic Cat!

  13. Was up close and personal with an El Tigre today at the USXC race in Park Rapids MN……Flippin sweet! Puts a smile on my face! Go Cat!

  14. Betting this will be the best 600 class two stroke ever built. Cat has been designing there motors forever and St. Cloud is one of the most high tech plants in the world. Win win. Would definately not be afraid of this motor. Wish it came in a lower priced sled like the Indy’s are. I trail ride and have no use for rebuildable shocks. Just another waste of $ every year. 7500 miles on my old ZL 600 with Ryde FX and the shocks are like brand new. Two Strokes rule. 2015 I will have on in my stable.

  15. Premium: What you wrote above is perfect and pure truth. Thanks for expressing it so well.

    AllenO: You might be surprised to learn that it was strongly considered for use by a top team in this year’s Iron Dog, knowing full well it would have been illegal. They would have voluntarily “quit” the race at the end, having proved their point about its strength and effectiveness. True. It will be raced next year, you can be sure of that.

    AG: Awesome post, I agree wholeheartedly.

  16. I hope that this motor will be able to be run on 89 gas as where I do all my riding, you cannot find premium fuel. With the knock sensor I am going to assume it will run richer yet not hurt the motor. Am I close there John? Premium is also $0.40 more a gallon which adds up pretty fast on 200 mile days.

  17. Been waiting for this from arctic cat for a long time. Now just gotta get that 4 stroke American made. GO CAT

  18. Sounds nice, but what happens when the electric oil pump decides to malfunction? Oil made just for that engine? Sounds like a good way to charge tons for it.

  19. Well Rob,, that electronic oil pump could never match the “failure rate” of the E-tec piston ring epidemic, so if folks are happy with those, there outta be a lot of happy Cat fans wouldn’t you think?

  20. Why would it be illegal? I remember late 80’s early 90’s watching the Kotzebue race, the new next year machines were being raced by the top racers.

  21. Brandon. Hate to break it to you but I dout you will ever see a high performance Cat built 4 stroke. Not enough market out there for it to make it profitable. 600 class is the best selling class of sleds by far. You will see more 2 strokes in other classes (500, 800) but unless they get the molds to the 1100? Four strokes dont belong in sleds anyway.

  22. AllenO: Brian Dick (and thus his partner Eric Quam) were considering using the new el tigre in the Iron Dog. Doing so would have violated the production rules of the race.

    Rob: Oil formulated for particular engines has been happening for a long time, with a level of seriousness/truth that ramped up with advent of exhaust valves, then became (IMO) critical with SDI and DI engines. No matter what brand of SDI/DI engine I owned, I would also burn the recommended oil. I’ve seen the pile of E-TEC engines that failed when testing aftermarket oil in long duration tests. Ain’t pretty, not worth the risk (to me).

    JimR: I’m pretty sure that with 89 octane the knock sensor/fuel management system will throw it into “safe” mode. I will find out and put in a another story in the coming weeks.

  23. I took a demo ride on a 2014 el tigre in hazzlehurst wi last weekend It was very responsive and quick I was thinking of going 4 stroke but I think I will order one of these nice trail sled for sure

  24. John, about the oil…

    My E-Tec DI 2 stroke outboard motor using the recommended OEM oil can have the ECU re-programmed to use half the amount of oil (up to 100:1) as compared to non-OEM oils (up to 50:1). The OEM oil is that good.

    Sure, at first I wasn’t happy about the more expensive OEM oil, but it’s far from double the cost, maybe only 20% more. It actually costs less to use the recommended OEM oil @ 100:1 than non-OEM oils @50:1.

    The non-OEM oils are more expensive if twice as much is needed to get the job done.

    And in terms of long engine lifespan, many aftermarket oils may not get the job done as good as the OEM recommended oil. Engine parts, rebuilds, etc., are more expensive than the money saved on less expensive oil.

    Using half as much OEM-oil costs less overall than using double the amount of aftermarket oil… Because the recommended oil is roughly 20% more expensive than major brand name aftermarket oil. The math is simple, but so many are bad at math!!!

    So if the new AC engine uses considerably less oil (hopefully), but it’s significantly better oil, people may suddenly realize dollars per gallon of oil isn’t the only thing to consider.

    Does anyone remember the saying… “The most expensive thing you pour into an engine is cheap oil!” LOL

  25. Well, the demo ride in Old Forge made a believer out of me. Thanks Krom! Ordered my el tigre yesterday to the surprise of many including me, I was really expecting to go with a ZR 7 or 9 but couldn’t get over how much I liked that 6. Rusty, are you paying attention? TC’s are still in the fleet, for now.

  26. Directly injected fuel and oil onto the con rod, interesting part is that points out the weakness of existing systems, they even put that in print.

    Even when it’s injecting above the piston crown it’s pointed at the open exhaust port.

    Light, small and powerful appear to be its main attributes.

    What’s with the messed up painting of the sectional cuts.

  27. OK, Its about time you do something like this for the Jetski. I own the Daytona 1000 Tiger Shark and I’m really mad.

  28. To: Rogermac

    I’m a bit confused here.

    There have been 2 different people posting with the name Rusty apparently. I have went back and read thru many of the topics on here and do not see where either said anything in relation to where your TC mentioning points towards.
    Please enlighten us a bit, Thank you.

    John E.

  29. To: Informant

    I believe it’s me that’s confused, the Rusty I thought I was addressing knew of my affliction for Thundercats these last 20 years. I thought he would get a kick of me finally “getting it”. Sorry for the confusion.


  30. Roger, with 2 “Rusty’s” posting here, maybe dropping a subtle hint of sorts as to whom you are referring to may help? Maybe not either if they’re not certain as to who you may be as well?

    I understand the confusion though, anymore it’s a daily thing it seems.

  31. So everyone knows – the El Tigre’ 6000 will be a very limited build. My favorite northernwestern Minnesota dealer, who has been selling Cats since the beginning, is only getting two sleds.

  32. bought a new 2014 c teck el tigre in March everything I read it should be as good or better than my first Arctic Cat 1971 Puma 440

  33. sprinklesJune 29, 2010p0401 is egr system fraluie. the egr vavlve most likely needs to be replaced. check the vacuum to the solenoid first. if it is ok, you need a new valve/solenoid assembly.

  34. Hey this is a great post. Could you keep me updated with any other info slimiar to this? If travelling to the UK why not stay at Stratford hotel and watch a Shakespear play [url=]wosaajwt[/url] [link=]iamxjuwrxi[/link]

  35. This engine sounds perfect for the powered parachute folks. They need to take a look at that as the top supplier is pricing themselves out of the industry and people are looking.

  36. rode my crossfire 800 for yrs, 5900miles, loved the sled,up graded to 15 zr snopro w/ ctec2 6000, love it, lostabout 120 lbs sled wt, can through it around on the trail w/ eaz, can I increase timing adgree or 2, or 3 for better low end pu?? ur in put in this would be great thanks on all ur hard work lovthose sleds for many yrs now…

  37. Mine overheated on hard pack snow conditions. Dealer says need ice scratchers? Dealer also said you don’the need to fog these engines since they have sealed crank bearings, what about the piston rod bearing? Comments.

  38. Directly injected fuel Technology in 2-Stroke Engine with additional fuel and oil onto the con rod is very good Achievement.


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