So what else have we missed? Well, a few things Arctic Cat related….
More specifically, it appears that AC is slowly showing their hand for what may be in store for the 2017 Wildcat 1000. We know for sure (at some point) a Robby Gordon edition Wildcat will hit the salesroom floors, most likely as a 2016.5 model. AC has set a precedent for releasing mid-year models with drastic changes, so we don’t expect any less.
At the “2015 Super Sports Sand Show” in Costa Mesa CA and Robby Gordon and his boys from SPEED were there showing off new Arctic Cat Wildcat goodies. Specifically, they were showing off the new Robby Gordon designed (probably) trailing arms and what we can assume to be the 2016.5 Robby Gordon Edition Wildcat:
Lots of interesting things going on with this machine:
– Redesigned front and rear fenders. The Wildcat 1000 was notorious for having some of the most useless fenders ever invented, so this is a welcomed design change! It looks like both the front and rear coverage has been increased dramatically. Hopefully this is a look into the future for the new plastics design.
-New cage with welded in supports. I can’t see AC offering this as a factory option (although, it would be awesome!), but possibly this is a bolt in aftermarket “SPEED” cage. Regardless, the front V bar is a great addition for strength as are the cross bars in the rear.
So there’s the Robby Gordon trailing arms in all their glory! Boy do they look nice, and expensive!
-Production spec? Who knows. Fabricated arms of that caliber usually require a ton of man hours which equals a ton of money. I wouldn’t be surprised to see perhaps a stamped design that was welded together.
-No more radius arms! As we spoke of before, the radius arms are gone. This is a good thing for rocks, but it may also lead to the axle being more exposed. Not much you can do about that though.
-Side hit capable? Probably. The triangular geometry of the arm should aid in it’s strength.
-New wheel bearings? Hopefully! We would like to see a RZR style wheel bearing that isn’t held together by the axle nut. That way when you inevitably blow an axle, you can at least drive back to camp.
OK ENOUGH WITH THE ROBBY GORDON TALK!
What else has Arctic Cat been up to? Well, recent patent filings may suggest that they are doubling down on CVT technology by taking it to the next step.
The new 2017 Wildcat will more than likely have a divorced transmission which allows for more flexibility for CVT packaging, as evidenced in this recent patent drawing:
First, a remote located CVT could allow for tighter packaging of components (turbo!?!) and allow for a lot of variation in the way they mount the ever-inevitable divorced transmission. Granted your gaining some jack shafts, gears, chains, etc, you’re gaining a lot in terms of being able to arrange things in the best way possible.
Next, a the CVT could be “geared down” by the connecting jack shafts and gears which does a TON for belt/clutch life. Putting a mild gear reduction at the CVT would slow the entire clutch system down, allow for lower belt temps, and increase the reliability of the entire system.
Last, it allows AC to keep the CG of the machine as low as possible by removing any additional height to the engine. Clutches aren’t getting any smaller (and the larger, the better!) so this is certainly a means of improvement.
Any more speculations?
Well, with me owning a Wildcat I spend a lot of time on the Wildcat forums. Unfortunately they won’t allow me to post on their site, so I won’t post links to theirs. But, there is a lot of great speculation from some self-described “insiders” who drop some subtle hits on what may be coming for 2017. So with that in mind, here’s our best guesses for what we hope to see for 2017:
–Arctic Cat Wildcat XX. Yes, we coined that name back in August and we still think it will be called that. With the “base” model Wildcat out of the equation, only the “X” model remains. So with the only way to go being upwards, we’re willing to bet AC will throw another X at the name to make sure you know it’s “super special.”
–Displacement change (IF turbocharged). We’re willing to bet AC will follow in Polaris’s footsteps and make a 900-950cc machine that’s turbocharged. We’re also putting our money on a inline design with a divorced transmission. This is clearly the evolution for the market and AC has access to many great inline engines. HP expectation? 150hp turbo minimum.
–Naturally aspirated option. 120hp, naturally aspirated. V-twin? We don’t know yet. But all signs are pointing towards 2 models, one turbo one not. Will they stick with the proven v-twin for the n/a option? Probably.
–Subtle but welcomed chassis changes. We all know at this point that the new 2017 Cat will OBVIOUSLY receive the Robby Gordon trailing arms. AC really showed their hand with their early unveiling of the suspension upgrades, but we still think more is to come. We expect arched lower control arms (for strength and ground clearance), an improved cage design (with better roll over protection), and hopefully improved doors. Granted the Wildcat was first to come with standard doors, anyone who owns a 2012-2014 model knows there can be some massive improvements to be made.
So that’s it. A full update on everything Wildcat. Feel free to drop us a line at SXSBlog.firstname.lastname@example.org, hit up our Facebook page, or leave a comment below with your Wildcat predictions!