|Turbo Arctic Cat Wildcat
UTV of the Month for December 2013
We have taken our 2012 to the next level with this build. Increasing power with a turbo setup from MCX-USA. Fine tuning the suspension with new top-of-the-line FOX shocks. Brand new 14″ single beadlock Sindwinder wheels from HiPer Racing and STU sand tires from Fullerton Sand Sports. Super sharp custom full wrap from ProLineWraps. LED headlights from Vision X help us see through the dunes on those night runs and great color-matched seats from Beard.
The Wildcat was introduced two years ago and set the bar for sport UTV suspension. A few new pure-sport UTVs have been introduced since then, but in my opinion, the Wildcat suspension is still tough to match. I have had my 2012 demo unit for quite a while now and have loved bombing through rough terrain. At the rear is an industry-first 5-point multi-link trailing arm with 18 inches of travel. The unique 5-point multi-link minimizes camber and axle plunge to soak up harsh terrain without compromising handling and steering. Up front, the double-wishbone front suspension boasts a best-in-class 17 inches of travel, with geometry thats optimized for stability and control.
While the Wildcat does great in the whoops, g-outs pose more of a problem for the rear suspension. The rear of the car can easily blow through the stroke on g-outs and pancake the rear skid on the ground. Adding more compression helps somewhat, but compromises whoops performance. If I could just add some position sensitive damping, the Wildcat suspension would be hard to beat
When I sit in a Wildcat, it really feels different than any other UTV. The low seat position and the 60/40 weight distribution give me cornering confidence and remind me of my sand car days. The biggest issue I saw with the whole stock Wildcat package was the lack of power. The Wildcat engine is a 951cc v-twin, which is enough displacement to get with the program. But somewhere between the engine and clutch, the Wildcat leaves you wanting more power. I felt that if engine could be brought up to the same level as the suspension, this vehicle could be unstoppable.
Fast forward to the 2nd Annual UTV Industry Ride in Glamis last winter. I brought my Wildcat and had a good time running the dunes, but was once again dreaming about more power. I got to check out Greg Biffles Wildcat that had a turbo-charged Z1 engine in it. While the power in the Z1 is incredible (over 150 HP), I wouldnt want to get that crazy with a full-tilt engine swap. Then on the last day of the event, Trey from MCX-USA tossed me the keys to his turbo Wildcat and I couldnt resist taking it out. I took it on it quick spin around Glamis Flats and was very impressed.
I was hooked, and the plans for the build were formulated on my twelve-hour drive home from Glamis. My first stop was to get the Wildcat to MCX-USA for the turbo install. The installation entails opening up the engine to install low compression that help reduce detonation and allow boost levels up to 13 PSI. The MCX-USA kit uses an air to air intercooler to reduce intake temperature, fuel is delivered through two secondary injectors mounted in the plenum and the setup runs on pump gas. Overall this is a fairly simple system.
The next item on the agenda was suspension. FOX has been working with Arctic Cat and now supplies shocks on 2013 and newer Wildcats. In conjunction with this effort, FOX developed a new Factory Series upgraded shock package. For the rear, FOX has 2.5-inch Podium RC2 shocks with Kashima coating and bottom-out control. Up front are FOX 2.0-inch Podium RC2 with Kashima coating. Bottom-Out Control allows the shocks to be adjusted to give improved small bump compliance while still absorbing huge impacts effectively. And the distinctive gold Kashima coating is backed by its high-performance properties that provide an exceptionally smooth feel, extreme durability and reduced friction, allowing you to ride longer, faster and harder. Both front and rear also feature dual compression and rebound adjustment. The shocks not only look awesome on the car, but feature the bottom-out control that the Wildcat really needed.
With power and suspension handled, I turned my attention to making the Wildcat more comfortable, safer as well as a few goodies that make it look and perform better.
Suspension seats are not only more comfortable, but also hold you in the seat better. Plus the Torque seats from Beard that I chose look so much better than stock! They bolt right up to the factory seat base and offer excellent side containment. When paired with a set of Beard harnesses, the package is hard to beat.
Nigh rides are an integral part of riding in the dunes, and the stock lighting just cant keep up with the speed of this Wildcat. I teamed up with Vision X on this project and we installed a set of the new 4.5-inch Light Canons on the a-pillars and a 40-inch Xmitter LED light bar on the roof.
The Vision X Light Canons are new 4.5-inch round 25 watt Luminus Single LED lights that produce 1000 feet of usable light. Snap-on polycarbonate cover filters are also available to quickly change the beam pattern from Spot to Euro or Flood.
To make the Wildcat pop at night, we added a Vision X Tantrum LED Strobe Kit underneath and a pair of Sick Stick LED whip lights on the roof. Lighted rocker switched from UTV Inc. control all the lights on the dash.
To get the power of the turbo to sling the right amount of sand, I turned to Fullerton Sand Sports. Dave Kuskie is the man when it comes to proper tire and wheel selection for the dunes. We decided on a set of 28-inch STU Blaster sand tires mounted up on 14-inch Sidewinder single-beadlock wheels from HiPer Technology. The single beadlock Sidewinder in a 14-inch is all-new for HiPer and provides the proper clearance on the Wildcat and the carbon fiber material has a great strength/weight ratio. This setup makes the Wildcat look like it is ready to pounce and performs awesome as well.
Although our Wildcat spends most of its time in the sand, I wanted the ability to do some fast-paced trail and desert riding. I decided on a complete set of tires and wheels from GMZ Race Products. I chose their 28x10R14 Cutthroat tire mounted on a set of 14×7 LiteLoc beadlock wheels. The Cutthroat is a heavy duty all-terrain tire with a tight tread pattern and nice profile and the LiteLoc wheels are strong without busting the weight scale.
For roll cage I turned to Benchmark Performance. I really liked the clean lines of their Wildcat cage, especially how they carried the rear bars farther back than stock. Then I swapped out the factory doors for a set of aluminum doors from Pro Armor.
And to finish off the car, I teamed up with FOX and ProLine Wraps for a full FOX-themed wrap. The simple black and white graphics make this Wildcat look clean and ready for action.
Since the build was completed, we have taken it to DuneFest up in Oregon, out to Sand Mountain in 100+ degree temperatures, on the short course track at Prairie City SVRA and down to Glamis. Plus the car has been shown off in the FOX booth at the Sand Sports Super Show andSEMA.
Overall, I am super pleased with how this project turned out. We increased power with a turbo setup from MCX-USA. Fine tuned the suspension with new top-of-the-line FOX shocks. Brand new 14-inch single beadlock Sindwinder wheels from HiPer Racing and STU sand tires from Fullerton Sand Sports. Super sharp custom full wrap from ProLineWraps. LED headlights from Vision X help us see through the dunes on those night runs and great color-matched seats from Beard.
This Wildcat has the power to match the incredible suspension and was built to take on the dunes like a sand car.
More details –2012 Arctic Cat Wildcat Buildup