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Arctic Cat Wildcat X Review

Arctic Cat Wildcat X
Arctic Cat Wildcat 1000 X

By Jon Crowley, UTVGuide.net

Last year, the Arctic Cat Wildcat hit the market and I was completely impressed with the suspension.  We had the press intro in Barstow, CA and I could not believe how fast we could drive through the rough terrain (see Arctic Cat Wildcat Review for more details). Although the suspension was second to none, the power and power delivery left me wanting more. Well, Arctic Cat has made some great changes to the clutch on all Wildcats for 2013.5, and for those that want even more, there is the new Wildcat X!

Arctic Cat Wildcat XThe Wildcat 1000 X is the next evolution in the Wildcat line for those that want even more performance. The Wildcat X combines a new 90 plus horsepower engine with the incredible suspension of the Wildcat to take it to the next level. High horsepower is only a number on paper if you can’t get that power to the ground where it matters. That’s why Arctic Cat engineers partnered with Team Industries to develop a new “dry” Drive and Driven clutch that delivers power to the ground much better than the 2012 Wildcat.

The Wildcat X features a new sway bar that has been designed to work harmoniously with the all-new, 23-position, compression-adjustable FOX Podium shocks and 27-inch Maxxis Bighorn tires to create an unrivalled pure-sport ROV experience. The Wildcat X also comes with color-matched seats and front/rear aluminum bumpers.

The Wildcat X engine will require 91 Octane gas because of higher compression pistons, cams and ECU changes.

Right away I noticed a huge difference in the new clutch. Engagement is much crisper and you can feel it working properly through the entire power band. Arctic Cat mentioned that the new 90-plus horsepower engine was a 15 percent gain over the standard Wildcat, and we could easily believe that with our precisely calibrated butt dynos.

Arctic Cat Wildcat XThe new suspension setup with FOX Podium shocks is firmer than we experienced with the original Walker Evans Racing shocks. In combination with the new sway-bar the car seemed more sure footed in corners and tracked straighter and predictable in the whoops. The Wildcat X also had fewer tendencies to bottom out with the FOX shocks.

Overall, the Wildcat X is a big step forward for the aggressive driver that wants to go fast in the dunes and desert. While the Wildcat X is still all about suspension, it now has the power and clutch that many enthusiasts have been wanting.

One area where I would like to see a change is to a slightly larger and more robust tire.  The Wildcat X handles the rough terrain at such a high speed that you almost forget what the tires must be going through.  With the 14-inch wheels on the Wildcat, I'd like to see a little more sidewall that a 28" tire could afford.

More information on the Wildcat X engine:

The Wildcat X engine is based off the same High Torque 951cc V-Twin that powers the standard Wildcat. The new X engine boasts over 90 hp, 15% more than the standard Wildcat. So how were we able to squeeze even more power out of this torque monster? One of the ways we were able to boost HP is thru improving volumetric efficiency by changing cam profiles to boost its breathing capability. We improved both valve lift and duration, and combined that with a new pistons and a manifold to maximize airflow to the cylinders. This combined with boosted compression ratios made up the bulk of the power gain. The remainder of the HP gains can be attributed to extensive time spent reducing frictional losses and strategic fuel and ignition calibration strategies. As well as increasing HP we also reduced inertia mass in the crankshaft to give this engine a huge boost in out of the hole acceleration.

Sand Tires for the Wildcat X

Arctic Cat Wildcat 1000 X with Sand Tires Arctic Cat Wildcat X with Sand Tires Arctic Cat Wildcat X with Sand Tires
Arctic Cat Wildcat  X with Sand Tires in Glamis

Dave Kuskie from Fullerton Sand Sports added this set of 14" STU Blasters on the Wildcat X and took it for a spin in Glamis. Here is what he had to say about the new Wildcat X:

"Huge improvement in clutching putting the power to ground, great clutch engagement and backshifting. You can definitely feel the increased power. Between the power upgrade and the new clutching, the car pulls hard all the way through the powerband. Suspension has been changed from Walker Evans to FOX shocks. The setup is firmer than the old setup, but I really enjoyed the new settings the car seemed more sure footed in corners and tracked straighter and predictable in the whoops. Look out Polaris and Can Am, this could possibly be the best "ALL SPORT" SXS on the market", Dave Kuskie.

Wildcat X Features:

  •  90 plus Horsepower, V-Twin, SOHC, liquid-cooled, 951cc, Electronic Fuel Injection built for massive torque and the utmost of acceleration
  • Industry-leading 5-Link rear suspension with 18-inches of suspension travel and 17-inches in the front and 13-inches of ground clearance
  • Full Perimeter Exoskeleton frame with a best-in-class ride-in comfort and leg room
  • Variable Assist Electronic Power Steering (EPS) designed to maintain a light steering input effort with an infinitely adjustable tilt steering wheel
  • Automatic transmission has a park-in-gear shifter with Reverse, Neutral, High and Low gears while the 2wd/4wd/Diff Lock switch is easy to locate on the dashboard
  • Interior has a locking glove box and cup holders, color-matched bucket seats with 3-point seat belts, tube-frame doors with integrated nets and front and rear sport bumpers
  • LED Headlights and Taillights utilize 50% less wattage

Team Industries Clutch and New Crankshaft
New Team Industries Dry Clutch and Lightened Crankshaft


Wildcat X Video Overview

More Wildcat 1000 Resources:

Manufacturer Info:

Arctic Cat Inc.
601 Brooks Avenue South
Thief River Falls, MN 56701

Website:  www.arcticcat.com

Phone: 218-681-8558

About Arctic Cat:
Arctic Cat Inc., based in Thief River Falls, Minn., designs, engineers, manufactures and markets all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and snowmobiles under the Arctic Cat® brand name, as well as related parts, garments and accessories. Its common stock is traded on the Nasdaq National Market under the ticker symbol “ACAT.” More information about Arctic Cat and its products is available on the Internet at www.arctic-cat.com

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