Textron UTV Product Reviews

Arctic Cat Wildcat Sport Dune Review

Arctic Cat Wildcat Sport Dune Review

Arctic Cat Wildcat Sport
Wildcat Sport Limited at Sand Mountain, NV

By Jon Crowley, UTVGuide.net

We are lucky enough to have an Arctic Cat Wildcat Sport in our fleet of manufacturer demo units. The new Wildcat Sport is 110.5 inches long and 60 inches wide and fits in between the Wildcat Trail (110.5″ x 50″) and the Wildcat 1000 (128″ x 64″). With it’s 60-inch stance, most would consider the Wildcat Sport to be targeted as a trail machine. But I like to see how machines do in all sorts of terrain, and after doing some extreme rock crawling with the Wildcat Sport, I felt it would be great to see how it did in the dunes.

The Wildcat Sport utilizes a 60-plus horsepower, 700 parallel-twin engine that  feeds into the TEAM Rapid Response clutch. While the horsepower rating may not scream “dune shredder”, the Wildcat Sport is a light weight machine that tips the scales at 1,050 lbs. Power-to-weight ratio is a number that many people don’t pay enough attention to, but when you really get serious about true off-road performance, less weight means you need less power to get the same performance level.

We slapped the stock tires back on our Wildcat Sport and headed for the dunes at Sand Mountain, Nevada for a few days of riding.

Wildcat SportWildcat Sport
Jumping the Wildcat Sport in the dunes

The Wildcat Sport frame features a 40-/60-percent front/rear weight distribution and I found that the vehicle responded in a very predictable manner while jumping and through high-speed cornering. The seats in the Sport are low which in turn translates to a low center of gravity and a very confident feeling while transitioning dunes and cornering hard.

Wildcat Sport Limited
Low center of gravity and light weight chassis makes for an exhilarating experience

The Wildcat Sport Limited model, features Elka Stage 5 shocks with high and low speed compression dampening.  We put these shocks to the test and were very impressed with how they were able to handle jumps, g-outs and whoops.  For an OE shock package, these 2-inch Elkas worked very well. It is so nice to see top-of-the-line shocks as an option from the factory.

Elka Stage 5 Shock
The Sport Limited comes with Elka Stage 5 shocks with high and
low speed compression dampening plus rebound adjustment.

Less weight also affect how your suspension works. While higher performance vehicles like the RZR XP 1000 and Wildcat 1000 come with 2 1/2″ and even 3″ shocks, the Wildcat Sport can easily get by with a lighter 2″ shock without losing performance.

Elka Stage 5 Shocks
Elka Stage 5 Shocks on the Wildcat Sport Limited

The Wildcat Sport comes with 26-inch Carlisle Trail Pro 4-ply tires. This tire is light which helps in the dunes, but they don’t have much bite and could use a little larger footprint for more floatation.  We duned quite a bit with 8 PSI and couldn’t get to the top of Sand Mountain.  Dropped them to 4 PSI and it powered to the top. I think the Wildcat Sport would react well to a nice set of paddle tires.

Carlisle Trail Pro Tires
Carlisle Trail Pro 4-ply tires, designed exclusively for the Wildcat Trail and Sport.

The Wildcat Sport has a TEAM Rapid Response Clutch. This clutching system is super smooth and responsive on the trail and worked equally as well in the sand. We have now driven the Sport hard in the rocks, on the trail and in the sand without a single belt failure. The clutch is tuned to handle a variety of terrain very well.

Team Rapid Response Clutch
TEAM Rapid Response Clutch

One nice change to see from Arctic Cat is the clutch arrangement. From everything I could see, the cover on the TEAM clutch can be removed easily for in-the-field belt replacement.  Even though we never had an belt issue, it is nice to know that a belt change in the field is easy to accomplish.

Wildcat Sport Limited
Our Wildcat Sport Limited carving in a bowl at Sand Mountain

With more power and suspension, the Wildcat 1000 is better suited for the dunes. The good news is while the Wildcat Sport was designed primarily as a trail machine, it is also a capable dune machine. Arctic Cat’s lightweight, nimble and sporty Wildcat Sport is quite the versatile UTV.

Arctic Cat Wildcat Sport Limited
It would be fun to get

Standard on Limited models, this underhood storage box keeps your items secure while you’re out in the dunes. The box is great for carrying lunch or snacks and keeps everything sand free.

Underhood Storage
Underhood Storage Box

I did find that the seat did not have much bolstering and wasn’t well designed for optimum leg room. I am 6′ 1″ and felt like my knees were bent more than I’d like and the relatively short seat bottom  left me feeling like I was slipping off the seat.

Wildcat SportWildcat Sport
Wildcat Sport Limited

Wildcat Sport Limited
The Wildcat Sport Limited features Elka Suspension stage 5 shocks, full doors,
underhood storage, and electronic power steering.

Wildcat Sport Features:

  • New 110.5-in. length x 60-in. width chassis dimension slots in-between the original Wildcat (120- x 64-in.) and the Wildcat Trail (110.5- x 50-in.).
  • Double A-Arm front/ rear suspensions with rear swaybar feature 12.2 in/12.6 in. of travel, with 13 in. of ground clearance, for premium handling and comfort in all terrain conditions.
  • 60-plus-hp 700 parallel-twin
  • 4-stroke engine with closed loop EFI, SOHC and liquid cooling provides class-leading performance, durability and excitement.
  • TEAM Rapid Response clutch system for optimal drivetrain performance and durability
  • High/Low/Reverse/Park and with electronic 2WD/4WD/Differential Lock
  • Variable Assist Electronic Power Steering (EPS) (Limited)
  • JRi ECX-1 piggyback gas shocks feature 2.5-in. reservoirs, plus full compression adjustability, for fade-free suspension performance in all terrain conditions. (Sport and XT)
  • New Carlisle Trail Pro 26-in. tires provide optimal traction, durability and flat-protection in a wide range of trail conditions.
  • Elka Stage 5 aluminum piggyback gas shocks with Dual-Speed Compression and rebound adjustability for the ultimate adjustable, fade-free suspension performance. (Limited)
  • New fully variable tilt steering mechanism offers greater overall range, infinite adjustability and increased room for driver entry and exit.
  • 12-in. steel wheels
  • 12-in. machined cast-aluminum wheels (XT and Limited)
  • New dual-piston caliper hydraulic front brakes provide enhanced braking performance.
  • Easy-hinge doors with automotive-style handles and latching ease vehicle entry and exit.
  • 300-lb. rear cargo box capacity
  • 1500-lb. towing capacity and 2-in. rear receiver hitch
  • Underhood storage box (Limited)
  • Automotive-style painted bodywork (XT and Limited)
  • Color-matched suspension arms (XT and Limited)
  • Available in Lime Green and Red (Sport)
  • Available in Viper Blue and Vibrant Red Metallic (XT)
  • Available in White Metallic and Matte Black (Limited)

Wildcat Sport Specifications:

  • ENGINE TYPE – 4-Stroke Twin Cylinder
  • BORE & STROKE (mm) – 76.9×75.3
  • COOLING SYSTEM – Liquid Cooled
  • TRANSMISSION – Rapid Response Clutch, Hi/Lo Range, Reverse & Park
  • DRIVE SYSTEM – 2/4 WD + Electric Front Differential Lock
  • OVERALL WIDTH (in./cm) – 60/127
  • OVERALL HEIGHT (in./cm) – 64.3/163.3
  • OVERALL LENGTH (in./cm) – 110.5/280.7
  • WHEELBASE (in./cm) – 84.6/214.9
  • GROUND CLEARANCE (in./cm) – 10/25.4
  • FRONT SUSPENSION TYPE – Double A-Arm w/ Anti-Sway Bar
  • REAR SUSPENSION TYPE – Double A-Arm w/ Anti-Sway Bar
  • FRONT BRAKES – Hydraulic Disc
  • REAR BRAKE – Hydraulic Disc
  • FUEL CAPACITY (gal./liters) – 7.4/28
  • FRONT RACK CAPACITY (lbs./kg) – NA
  • REAR RACK/BOX STORAGE CAPACITY (lbs./kg) – 300/136.1
  • TOWING CAPACITY (lbs./kg) – 1500/680.4
  • SPEEDOMETER – Digital
  • ODOMETER – Digital
  • DRY WEIGHT – Approx. 1050 lbs.
  • MINIMUM OPERATOR AGE – 16 with Valid Driver’s License
  • AVAILABLE COLORS – Green, Lime, Red
  • SPECIAL FEATURES – 2 Bucket Seats, Tilt Steering, JRi Shocks, Front & Rear Sway Bar, LED Taillights, Rear 2-Inch Receiver, Rapid Response CVT System
  • MSRP – $13,399 Sport, $13,999 Sport XT, $15699 Sport Limited EPS

Manufacturer Info:

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 atwww.arctic-cat.com

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