|Arctic Cat Prowler XTZ 1000 H2 Review
I had the opportunity to ride the 2009 Arctic Cat Prowler 1000 XTZ at the press intro in South Dakota. Arctic Cat had three 2009 Prowler 1000’s available for us to play with, along with two 2009 Prowler 700s and a 2009 Prowler 550 Flatbed.
Without a doubt, the engine of the new Prowler 1000 XTZ is the one thing that has everyone talking. In the competitive side x side market, having the most powerful engine is incredibly important. The engine alone will be enough for the Prowler to appeal to a whole new set of customers that desire high horsepower (like those that ride in the dunes, desert and mud).
The 2009 Prowler XTZ has a 950cc v-twin hemi that puts down serious torque which completely blows away other sport side x side vehicles that are currently available by Yamaha, Polaris and Kawasaki. We had the Prowler XTZ over 65 mph and it still had more in it. If you are interested in the fastest production UTV on the market, the XTZ is the current winner. Arctic Cat does not limit the speed or rpm on the Prowler 1000.
Arctic Cat Prowler 1000 XTZ – High speed run video
The units we were driving were Arctic Cat’s prototypes, and they still had a bit of clutch tuning to do. Against a Prowler 700, the XTZ was faster off the line, but at about 15mph, it took off. With the clutching work that Arctic Cat will be doing for the production units, I have no doubt that it will be even better off the line.
Arctic Cat Prowler 1000 XTZ vs. Prowler 700 XTX – Short drag race video
And for those that worry about first-year issues with a new off-road vehicle, the engine in the new Prowler also finds a home in Arctic Cat’s Thundercat ATV. The good news here is the Thundercat used this engine in their 2008 model, so it has had a bit of time to work out any kinks.
Seat Height and Ground Clearance:
One of my biggest complaints with the Prowler 700 has been the high center of gravity. Arctic Cat has addressed some of this with the new Prowler 100. The Prowler 1000 XTZ has a seat height that is advertised at 2 1/2″ lower that the Prowler 700 XTX. This is a direct result of lowering the ride height. Now you have about 10″ of ground clearance.
While the lower overall vehicle height achieved a lower center of gravity, I think more work is needed to really address this issue.
Suspension and Handling:
The Prowler 1000 has a different suspension from the Prowler 700. The front/lower a-arms are the only common a-arm between the two models. Plus the frame is different as well. This means long travel kits will need to be engineered from scratch on the 1000.
In stock form, the lower ground clearance definitely helped the tippy feeling that I feel in the Prowler 700. I felt the rear shocks needed some more work, but after talking with the folks from Arctic Cat, they acknowledged that they are still working on dialing in the shocks. Hopefully we’ll see some improvement in the production models.
Leg protection – And with the lawsuit happy society we live in, it surprises me that Arctic Cat did not follow suit with other side x side manufacturers and include some sort of leg protection via a net or door. If I owned a Prowler, I would look into aftermarket half doors.
Roll cage is now ROPS certified, but I am still not a big fan of the Arctic Cat roll cage design. I would like to see a more traditional tube cage. I typically upgrade cages in all the UTVs that I own, so this isn’t a huge deal for me.
Restraints – Arctic Cat has stepped up and moved away from a lap belt only and now provides a lap and shoulder belt. Much better that the lap belt on other Prowlers.
I always upgrade to 4 or 5 point harnesses, and if you want to blaze down a trail at 75 mph, you should think hard about doing the same.
All in all, if I am going to feel safe in a vehicle that is capable of doing 75mph, I will make sure I have 4 or 5 point harnesses, some sort of leg protection and a roll cage I can believe in. That being said, I typically replace all of these items will all the UTVs I own anyways.
The radiator and oil cooler on the Prowler 1000 are larger than the Prowler 700, but it seemed like the fan was on a lot. It did not overheat, but with how much the fan was running, I would have to assume that the cooling capacity might be a bit low.
Ergonomics & Storage:
Steering Wheel – Larger steering wheel is nice, but unlike the Prowler 700, the Prowler 1000 does not have tilt steering.
Under hood storage – Lift the hood on any Prowler XTZ and you will find a storage compartment that can hold 25lbs of hunting supplies, tools, and can double as a cooler to store ice.
Tires & Wheels:
Arctic Cat has chosen to go with a Maxxis RAZR tire. This tire choice seems better suited for ATV use. I think a Maxxis Bighorn or a Goodyear MTR would have been a better choice.
The Prowler’s hitch is 2″ which is nice, but it is not strong enough to handle a heavy trailer even though the towing capacity is rated at 1500 lbs. This photo is of a 2008 Prowler 700, but no changes have been made for the Prowler 1000.
The Prowler 1000 is 60 inches wide, 75 inches tall, 118.5 inches long.
The Prowler is deceivingly big. Taller, wider and longer that a Polaris Ranger, it is a big vehicle.
Stock width of 60″ will make long travel a bit interesting. If you went with a typical +6″ long travel kit that you see on Rhinos, you’d be sitting at 6 feet wide! I think that a +3″ or maybe a +4″ a-arm is the most I would consider for recreational use.
Let’s face it. To date, the Prowler hasn’t come close to the popularity of the Rhino or RZR, and that directly translates to how much effort the aftermarket manufacturers will put into it.
Now the Prowler 1000 changes things a bit, and I expect that more manufacturers will jump into long travel kits and other accessories.
On the engine side of things, there are already shops out there making performance parts for the Thundercat 1000 ATV, so this should help quite a bit.
The heart of the new Prowler XTZ 1000 is a fuel-injected , 90-degree twin cylinder, hemispherical combustion chamber, single overhead cam (SOHC), with four valves per cylinder. Displacement is 950 cc, which makes it the current king of UTV engines. The engine gurus at Arctic Cat developed it for maximum torque with two valves per cam lobe and forked rocker arms. Arctic Cat claims 188 ft. lb. at the crankshaft. and a rumored 70+ horsepower. The 90-degree angle of the cylinders is an ideal balance to minimize vibration since each cylinder offsets the other. Parallel twin designs like what you find in the Polaris RZR need extra counter-balancing for their twin cylinder 760cc.
The cylinder head design on the H2 engine (Prowler 1000) is the same as the H1 (Prowler 700).
Other New Stuff:
The XTZ 1000 sports an all new chassis. A-arms from the Prowler 700 will not bolt up to the Prowler 1000.
Air intake system has been rerouted and re-engineered to the forward compartment which helps keep noise levels down, and helps keep the filter cleaner. Arctic Cat also added a pre-filter.
Parking brake is now operated by a hand lever instead of foot pedal.
Axle half shafts are larger.
New clutch calibration different rollers and weights for increased acceleration.
Brand new outboard-mounted rear disk brakes provide positive stopping performance while the hand-operated parking brake located on the center console keeps you planted while parked.
To handle the 1000 H2s enormous power output, Arctic Cat has engineered a rear differential to deliver maximum power to the tires with minimum driveline wear. Arctic Cat integrated what it refers to as a “spike load dampener” into the rear differential. Essentially what that does is limit the amount of torque put on the rear axle by allowing the differential to slip at peak torque output rather than disintegrating.
The Prowler XTZ has a front locking 4wd differential with a new, all-in-one 2wd/4wd/Diff Lock rocker switch button for quick engagement shifting and rear mounted swaybar for improved trail driving.
Additional Arctic Cat Prowler XTZ 1000 Photos:
Arctic Cat Inc.
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All photos used with permission.
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