The only direct competitor to the new narrower Wildcat is the 50-inch Polaris RZR 800 – the machine that started the Sport Side-by-Side craze when it was unleashed in the 2008 model year. Assuming the 50-inch Wildcat retains the same 951cc V-Twin engine as the rest of the Wildcat family, it will hold a significant power advantage over the Polaris RZR 800. If the new Wildcat can offer a competitive price, this machine could be a huge it for Arctic Cat.
A 50-inch Side-by-Side is important to both Polaris and Arctic Cat because it allows riders access to authorized ATV trails. Arctic Cat expects to begin shipping the 50-inch Wildcat side-by-side to dealers in the 2014 fiscal fourth quarter.
“The new 50-inch trail model builds upon the success of our pure-sport Wildcat,” says Claude Jordan, Arctic Cat’s chairman and CEO. “Our 50-inch model will feature everything enthusiasts love about the Wildcat, including the styling, and will lead the trail category with an unmatched suspension and ride-in comfort. Combine this with an all-new twin-cylinder engine and consumers will have an unrivalled Wildcat riding experience.”
Arctic Cat has clearly taken notice of the success of the Polaris RZR family. In just over 18 months Arctic Cat has introduced the Wildcat in Base and Limited models, as well as the recently introduced four-seat Wildcat 4 and high-horsepower Wildcat X. The only obvious hole in the lineup was a trail legal model, and the new 50-inch Wildcat fills that in nicely.
Unfortunately, no pictures of the trail-legal Wildcat have been released yet. We will post them as soon as they become available.