Arctic Cat has not yet responded to our request for more information, but that doesn’t mean we can’t play one of our favorite games – Rampant Speculation!
The last time we played Rampant Speculation was when Yamaha trademarked the name YXZ SS, which you can read about here. We think that is going to be the name of Yamaha’s new pure Sport Side-by-Side, but we’ve been given much less information to work with in regards to the Arctic Cat ALTERRA.
All we know about the ALTERRA is that it is for all-terrain vehicles. While that could mean it’s just the name of a new part, we are leaning towards it actually being a new ATV or Side-by-Side. Also, this is Arctic Cat’s first trademark filing since the Wildcat, so we are expecting something that will make a big splash.
The Case for a Side-by-Side
While “all-terrain vehicle” seems like it is an ATV, when Arctic Cat trademarked the Prowler name it was also listed as an all-terrain vehicle. We are inclined to think the ALTERRA will also be a UTV, as the only current Arctic Cat ATV with a name, rather than a series of letters and numbers, is the MudPro.
Since the Wildcat is still fairly new and ALTERRA doesn’t exactly scream sport performance, we are leaning towards something more utilitarian. None of the current Prowlers has more than one row of seating and only the work-specific Prowler HDX has more than two seats. Could the ALTERRA be a three-seat or six-seat model with two rows?
Something to think about is Arctic Cat’s relationship with Yamaha in snowmobiling, where Cat gives Yamaha a chassis and Yamaha returns the favor with an engine. Maybe Yamaha will give Arctic Cat access to the Viking chassis. The argument against this is that snowmobiling is a much smaller industry and Yamaha has the smallest market share among the four brands (Arctic Cat is third). Yamaha has a much bigger presence in the ATV/UTV world and may not see the need to partner with another brand. But if it did, perhaps Yamaha would get access to the Wildcat chassis for the pure Sport Side-by-Side we think is on the horizon.
The Case for an ATV
If we are wrong about the ALTERRA being a Side-by-Side, there is a case to be made for a new ATV. When Arctic Cat came out with the new XR line of ATVs this year, noticeably absent was a model with the big 951cc V-Twin. While the 1000 XT EPS is in the lineup, it surprisingly did not receive the XR upgrade. Perhaps the ALTERRA is the new name for Cat’s Big Bore ATV, which was formerly called the Thundercat.
The Case That We Are Completely Wrong
One of the problems with rampant speculation is being completely off base. It’s quite possible ALTERRA is not a vehicle at all. In fact, it goes against Arctic Cat’s naming structure of everything being cat-like (Thundercat, Prowler, Wildcat; MudPro is the exception). Quite frankly, the ALTERRA sound more like the name of a tire than anything else. ALTERRA could also be the name of a new differential lock or suspension or any number of things that help an ATV or UTV take on all terrain.
Another thing to consider is that many patents and trademarks never make it to the finished product stage. ALTERRA could turn out to be nothing at all.