Arctic Cat Previews New Wildcat 1000i H.O.
It was back in March that Arctic Cat previewed its new Wildcat side-by-side model, and now the details are out. The 2012 unit features a unique look, serious suspension and a powerful engine that will surely make its mark in the SXS category.
According to Arctic Cat, the new 2012 Arctic Cat Wildcat 1000i H.O. will feature a powerful 951cc four-stroke V-twin motor Arctic Cat says the Wildcat was inspired by the rough terrain of the Baja 1000, and it is engineered to attack the toughest obstacles with precision and control.
Arctic Cat also touts the all-new Arctic Cat Wildcat V-Twin 1000 H.O. as the most potent pure-sport recreational off-road vehicle ever built. It will feature industry-leading suspension travel that provides 13 inches of ground clearance, a full-perimeter frame and the largest displacement engine in its class.
“The Wildcat has no equal. Period,” says Claude Jordan, Arctic Cat President and CEO. “Our customers asked for a high-performance side-by-side, and we happily responded with a no-compromise, pure-sport hot rod that redefines what’s possible with a production off-road vehicle.”
The powerful V-Twin engine might make headlines, but it’s the Wildcat’s suspension that will make serious off-roaders drool. Arctic Cat says the Wildcat can “effortlessly hammer through whoops and dunes thanks to a front and rear suspension combination that rivals those used on off-road race buggies.”
At the rear of the Wildcat is an industry-first five-point, multi-link trailing arm suspension that is designed to keep the tires’ contact patches flat while the suspension moves through its 18 inches of travel. Yes, we did say 18 inches of travel. “The unique five-point, multi-link minimizes camber and axle plunge to soak up the harshest terrain without compromising handling and steering,” says Arctic Cat.
Up front, the double-wishbone front suspension boasts a best-in-class 17 inches of travel, with geometry that Arctic Cat says is optimized for stability and control. Both the front and rear suspensions are dampened by Walker Evans Racing shocks. These remote reservoir shocks are machined from billet aluminum and feature 17-position compression dampening adjustability, dual-rate springs and preload adjustment. They’re calibrated with ample ride-in to help keep the Wildcat’s tires on the ground.
The all-new Duro Kaden 14-in tires were developed specifically for the Wildcat, utilizing an elongated tread pattern designed to extend to the tires' shoulder and provide excellent cornering, traction, performance and durability in rough conditions.
The foundation for the Wildcat’s suspension is a full-perimeter frame that Arctic Cat says sets a new standard in strength, rigidity and durability. Usually found only in off-road race trucks, the chassis is constructed from High-Strength Low Alloy (HSLA) steel with a full-perimeter exoskeleton design that’s a first in the SXS class. With a 40/60 front/rear weight distribution, the Wildcat’s front end is designed to remain light for optimal handling when tackling brutal terrain. According to Arctic Cat, occupants in the cockpit of the Wildcat are positioned close to the low center of gravity, leaving them less affected by movements of the suspension and chassis to produce a more comfortable ride.
The 1000 H.O engine, built in St. Cloud, Minn., powering the new Wildcat has the largest displacement of any pure sport UTV. The 951cc V-Twin, SOHC four-stroke with electronic fuel injection has proven itself on the Prowler XTZ. On the Wildcat, the 1000 H.O. has been tuned to deliver even stronger acceleration thanks to the extra torque and horsepower provided by the 50mm throttle bodies, a new 2-into-1 ceramic-coated exhaust and an all-new air intake system. The close-coupled, mid-chassis engine location is designed to neutralize the Wildcat’s handling, maximize the rider/passenger volume and reduce cockpit noise.
The engine transfers power to the driveshaft via the Duramatic automatic CVT transmission. The addition of the Spike Load Dampener allows the driveline to slip for a millisecond under harsh spike loads, reducing the torque load to the system for optimal durability. A console-mounted shifter allows quicker gear selection between Reverse, Neutral, High and Low gears. Likewise, a dash-mounted switch activates two- or four-wheel drive with differential lock. Four-wheel hydraulic disc brakes provide strong, enhanced braking.
Electronic Power Steering
Arctic Cat outfitted the Wildcat with Variable Assist Electronic Power Steering to deliver even greater steering control. The EPS system is a managed electronic control unit that measures steering input force, tire resistance and vehicle speed, and then provides the appropriate assist to the steering column through an electric motor.
Steering assistance begins at idle and it varies based on the above inputs. According to Arctic Cat, this results in light steering input effort at speed while maintaining the right amount of driver feedback to feel the limits of traction and control. The power assist is particularly noticeable at low speeds and when in four-wheel drive (especially with the differential locked), where its reduced steering effort eases changing direction or navigating tough obstacles like washouts, rocks or mud.
In the Cockpit
In the interior of the Wildcat you’ll find contoured, high-back bucket seats with upper body supports that are designed to deliver exceptional comfort and body stability. In fact, Arctic Cat boasts that these seats rival any aftermarket suspension seat on the market. The cut-and-sewn design cradles the Wildcat occupants to minimize fatigue. A three-point seat belt with an anti-cinch design keeps you in place.
Getting in and out of the Wildcat should be quick and easy thanks to a tube-frame door with integrated nets. Pivoting from the rear and latching at the front via a simple one-latch mechanism, the doors open quickly and easily, swinging out of the way for hassle-free entry/departure.
Other interior features include an infinitely adjustable tilt steering wheel, a new five-inch digital/analog round gauge that displays 14 critical operations, a locking glove box, and two easy-to-reach cup holders.
The Wildcat is dressed in automotive-style paint: Black Metallic or Arctic Green Metallic. LED headlights and taillights come standard and provide clear, bright light. The Wildcat’s rear cargo bed has the largest capacity in its class with a 300-pound payload to carry a cooler and additional fuel containers. A 12-volt accessory outlet is located in the center console for GPS or cell phone adapters. The alternator capacity has been increased for accessory lights, radios or winches. The underside of the Wildcat features full-protection HDPE skid plates to help glide over protruding obstacles, while the chassis utilizes maintenance-free bushings for added durability.
Arctic Cat will offer more a massive 50 products to help further set it apart. An array of trick lightweight aluminum protective accessories will be available, like front and rear pre-runner bumpers, rock sliders, A-arm guards and skid plates. A contoured half windshield with a dust management system will divert the wind up and over the rider while the stylized T-top style roof with integrated rear spoiler and built in headliner has room to install your tunes. Look for other items like a gas can holder, spare tire carrier, cooler holder, fender flares and a box cover to arrive shortly among a host of other products.
2012 Arctic Cat Wildcat 1000i H.O. Specs
Engine Displacement: 951 cc
Engine Type: V-Twin, SOHC, 4-stroke, 4-valve
Fuel System: Electronic Fuel Injection
Cooling System: Liquid
Transmission/Final Drive: Duramatic CVT P/R/N/L/H; Shaft
Drive System: Electric 2/4 WD w/ 4WD Lock
Front Suspension: Double A-Arm (compression adjustment & reservoir); 17 in. travel
Rear Suspension: 5-Link Trailing Arm, (compression adjustment & reservoir); 18 in. travel
Brakes: 4 Wheel Hydraulic Disc
Parking Brake: Park in Transmission
Tires: 26x9R-14 front; 26x11R-14 rear
Fuel Capacity: 8.8 gal.
Bed Box Dimensions: 35.8 x 21 x 8.4 in.
Bed Box Capacity: 300 lbs.
Payload Capacity: 740 lbs.
Lighting: White LED, High/Low front; LED, Tail - Brake rear
Adjustable Steering: Tilt Steering Wheel
Electronic Power Steering: Yes
Instrumentation: Digital Gauge, Analog Speedometer, Odometer, Tachometer, Trip meter, Gear Indicator, Fuel Gauge, AWD Indicator, Hi-Temp/Low-Batt Lights, DC Outlet