Arctic Cat engineers and officials exude excitement when talking about their 2007 snowmobile lineup. They were so excited about their new product offering, they broke ranks and showed their new iron to the media in December — and then made the press promise not to release any details until March.
The embargo came with one exception: the all-new Jaguar Z1, which the company released to its dealers and the public on Feb. 20.
Arctic Cat has overhauled its largest market segments. Absent from the new lineup are the Firecats, Sabercats and the ZR 900. In its place is the revamped F-series and the LXR-designated sleds. The LXRs come trimmed with adjustable ergonomics, electric start and a spacious rear storage compartment.
Three engines make a debut for 2007 and two return improved. The newcomers are the 1000 two-stroke twin, a 800 two-stroke twin and a performance four-stroke. Improved are the 570 fan and the 500 two-stroke.
Also in the “tweaked” category comes an ACT drive system with push-button reverse and the disappearance of the narrow F-series track. All tracks are back to 15 inches in width.
A host of new models, flashback styling to existing models and the best fit and finish to date headline the 2007 Arctic Cat lineup.
Burning clean, Burning Rubber
There’s been much speculation among the media, dealers and consumers over how Arctic Cat was going to address building an EPA-approved clean-engine into a performance machine. The answer starts J-a-g.
The Jaguar name is a reference to the past, but this machine looks to the future with its four-stroke technology. The Jag uses a 1056cc four-stroke electronic fuel-injected engine with an oxygen sensor. In Cat’s own testing, the new engine is cleaner than the 660 non-turbo engine, an engine that earned “Best Available Technology” certification for its clean emissions.
The naturally aspirated, dry-sump engine also produces a claimed 125 hp with a 12:1 compression ratio. It features an innovative anti-engine brake control for a two-stroke feel and auto decompression for easier starting.
ZR 900 drivers will get their adrenaline fix from the new 1,000 laydown two-stroke twin. It has a claimed 168.5 hp and 119.8 pound-feet of torque. The new engine comes with a four-tower primary clutch. With the power of the new big twin, Cat officials said the clutch weights became too heavy and were difficult to calibrate.
The 800 EFI laydown two-stroke twin is a punched-out version of the 700 engine that Cat says delivers 145 hp. The 600 EFI laydown engine returns with its 120 hp.
The 500 two-stroke has been upgraded. The EFI engine now has a twin throttle body design. The 570 fan engine gets coated pistons for greater durability and it also makes for improved calibrations.
A New Skeleton
The new backbone of the Jag and F-series is the Twin Spar chassis and its put together with robotic self-piercing rivets. Arctic Cat says the manufacturing process aids in chassis ridigity and that the chassis will be as strong after 8,000 miles on the odometer as it was when it left the factory. Compared to the Firecat and Sabercat chassis, the torsional rigidity of the new chassis is 46.4 percent stiffer.
On the new F-series, the engine placement is engineered so the primary clutch has a .06-inch offset when not in motion. When under acceleration, the engines shift back to bring the primary clutch and secondary clutch parallel.
The new cooling system allows for higher efficiency while using less surface area, which results in a smaller cooler. The rear heat exchanger is also designed as a support member of the chassis, aiding in overall chassis rigidity.
A seventh-generation AWS front suspension features a front CNC-machined sub frame and forged spindles and shock towers for added strength. The lower A-arms are boxed for added strength and the added rigidity should improve overall handling, Cat said. The Twin Spar chassis also has progressive-ratio steering with a steering post that passes through a solid roller bearing for reduced steering effort. An increased steering angle produces a tighter turning radius.
The rear suspension on the new F-series comes right off the race machine. The Slide Action rear suspension allows for full front arm travel, while controlling weight transfer, for better cornering and handling under acceleration. Cat engineers said the result is reduced ski lift and front-end push while cornering, anti-squat resistance while accelerating and improved G-bump control.
Overall driver positioning is rider forward, but Cat wanted to have the chassis accommodate a foot-forward placement as well to reduce rider fatigue. The seating position places riders with a 90-degree bend at the knees. Wide running boards have an adjustable footrest.
The sled packages
The F-Series comes in “standard” models: F5, F6, F8 and F1000, all with 128-inch-long tracks and available in orange, green or black. Each of those models is available in a “luxury” LXR package and a race-style Sno Pro package available on the F6, F8 and F1000.
Similar to the former Firecat and ZR models, a Sno Pro package gets updated suspension from the standard model F-Series machines. Fox FLOAT shocks and a 2-inch diameter rear arm shock have stiffer calibrations and the 128-inch track with 1.375-inch lugs. Sno Pro machines also come with a low-cut windshield for racier aesthetics, and the IRP adjustable bars and seat system. All Sno Pro models are orange.
There is also a F8 limited edition with the new 800 EFI laydown engine and Tony Stewart graphics.
Crossfires and the M-sleds return in the M-Series chassis, but have the new engines under the hood. Crossfires come with a 15- by 136- by 1.25-inch Rip Saw track. The 500, 600, 800 or 1,000 laydown engine is available, and a Crossfire Sno Pro package is available with either an 800 or 1,000 engine. The Sno Pros are orange and come with Fox FLOAT front shocks. Reverse is standard on all Crossfires.
M sleds are available with the 600, 800 or 1,000 engines and have several track options.
The former “Limited” name is nixed in favor of the Sno Pro designation. Titanium springs, Fox FLOAT shocks and an orange cab and bellypan highlight the Sno Pro option on M sleds. Like the Crossfire, the Sno Pro option is available on the 800 and 1,000 engines only.
The Panthers return with the 660 engine or the 370 or 570 fans. They are available in a nostalgic look: retro graphics and a leopard-striped seat. That same cosmetic treatment is available on the T660 machine, in non-turbo and turbo variants. psb
Copyright 2006 Powersports Business