Arctic Cat started production of its twin-cylinder diesel-powered ATV on Sep. 13.
Shown as a concept vehicle at the Arctic Cat dealer meeting in June and now produced at the company’s facility in Thief River Falls, Minn., the TRV model will initially be destined for distribution in Europe. There, half of passenger vehicles and most off-road vehicles rely on No. 2 diesel fuel, which which can be up to 25 percent the cost of gasoline.
Arctic says the 686cc SOHC four-stroke diesel engine provides 30 percent greater fuel mileage over a conventional gasoline engine and provides gobs of low-end torque. Sourced from Lombardini of Italy, the engine runs efficiently on six forms of diesel fuel (No. 1 DF 1, No. 2 DF 2, DF A Arctic, JP 5, JP 8 and bio diesel) with a glow plug pre-heater assist for starting.
If the term “bio diesel” caught your attention, Arctic Cat hadn’t originally planned to test the new ATV on the alternative fuel made from vegetable oil or animal fat until the Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council, Minnesota Corn Grower’s Association and the Minnesota-based Agricultural Utilization Research Institute floated the idea to test the unit on a bio diesel blend.
“We were really impressed with the B20 tests we performed,” Ole Tweet, Arctic Cat’s vice president of new product development, told Powersports Business only minutes before presenting the manufacturer’s test results to the ag organizations.
Tweet said the findings suggest bio diesel burns cleaner than conventional diesel, producing fewer carbon dioxide emissions and lower levels of hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide and particulates.
“And that complements Arctic Cat’s stewardship goals,” he said. “We’re trying to reduce the impact of our ATVs on the environment and we like the idea of making an ATV that could run on renewable fuel grown by farmers, some of our best customers.”
While the initial production run of the ATV will be sent to Europe, Tweet said he’s optimistic the unit will find success in North America.
“I think our sales in the U.S. and Canada will be good,” Tweet said, indicating he suspects domestic consumers will include farmers, ranchers and even construction crews.
Other users of the ATV could include the military, which is working toward one common fuel (JP 8) for all of its vehicles.
“There’s been a lot of interest from the U.S. military as well as other militaries from around the world,” Tweet said.
Roush Technologies, a U.K.-based company part of Michigan-based Roush Enterprises, Inc., assisted in developing the diesel TRV.
Copyright 2006 Powersports Business