SCORE Journal

SCORE Journal Issue - NOVEMBER 2017

SCORE Journal - The Official Publication of SCORE Off-Road Racing

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Page 48 of 82

UNLEASHED Textron’s New 2018 UTV Models Retain Arctic Cat’s Performance DNA By Dan Sanchez Photos Courtesy Textron Off-Road After the acquisition of Arctic Cat, Textron needed to re-brand the full line of UTVs to position them as a top brand among other Side-by-Side manufacturers in the industry. While some of the vehicles will retain their Arctic Cat name, other new models will fold into the Textron Off-Road brand. Nonetheless, the brand continues to push harder with improvements in power and suspension capabilities within its entire line-up of enthusiast and utilitarian vehicles. With a new 2018 line of UTVs, the brand had some duplication with new and current vehicles. This meant that some models had to be discontinued for 2018, which include the Arctic Cat HDX 700, Prowler 700, and HDX Crew. Brand stalwart enthusiasts won’t be disappointed, however, as the new 2018 models arrive with some updated features and more powerful engines. Wildcat Models The company will continue to boast the Wildcat models as its performance line, featuring improved bracing for the vehicle’s roll cage, (full ROPS) that provides an extra level of safety for occupants. The Wildcat X model is still the top of the line UTV and sports a 951cc two-cylinder engine with electronic fuel injection. The company’s TEAM Rapid Response clutch comes linked to an electronic front differential that locks into two and four-wheel drive on-the-fly. The Wildcat X also comes with LED lighting and the company’s EPS electronic power steering. While there isn’t much change to the 2018 model, the vehicle remains impressive with excellent wheel travel from its double A-arm front and 5-link rear suspension, (17-inches front and 18-inches rear), and fully adjustable Elka Stage-5 shocks. The Wildcat X’s seating is another plus with a low position that helps give the vehicle a great center balance and low center of gravity that helps while flying over sand dunes or taking tight corners. The Limited edition comes with full doors. The four-seater is also available for 2018 as the Wildcat 4X. The LTD model includes four full doors, but both models feature the same double A-arm front suspension with a 5-link rear suspension that provides optimum traction and high-speed off-road capabilities as the two-seater model. All Wildcat X models also come with aluminum beadlock wheels and ITP Blackwater Evolution Tires. Wildcat Sport & Trail Models While not everyone needs the Baja ready capability of the Wildcat X models, the Sport and Trail models do offer more versatility with uncompromising quality and reliability. While these models are smaller in size, (60-inches wide x 110.6-inches length), they can be outfitted with some of the same features as the Wildcat X models. Wildcat Sport Limited models come with Elka Stage 5-shocks and full doors, while XT models come with JRi ECX-2 performance shocks. Sport models are powered by a 700cc two-cylinder EFI engine and use the company’s TEAM Rapid Response clutch. A two-inch receiver is included on Sport models that feature a 1,500-pound towing capacity. All Sport and Trail models utilize an electronic 2WD and 4WD electronic system with front locking differential. Sport models also have a high-strength welded steel frame, but Trail models are narrower to maneuver on the narrow 50-inch wide backcountry trails and provide industry-leading suspension travel of 10-inches front and 10.5 inches at the rear. Also equipped with a 700cc two-cylinder, EFI engine, Trail models feature FOX shocks and aluminum wheels on XT and Limited models. The Wildcat Trail UTVs also features a rear cargo box with a 300-pound capacity. Half-doors are also included, while full-doors are available on Limited models. Utility Models Textron’s utility UTVs for 2018 include the Prowler 500 and Stampede model lineup. The mid-sized Prowler features a tilting rear cargo box with a 500-pound capacity and an 80 horsepower, 443cc, liquid cooled, single cylinder EFI engine that is capable enough to haul your cargo with ease. The double A-arm front and rear suspension provide 7.5 inches of travel and with a 1500 pound towing capacity, the Prowler 500 is designed to be the workhorse of the 2018 Textron lineup. For 2018 the new Stampede models replace the company’s base model from last year and features power steering and availability in two and four-seat configurations. The models utilize a five-inch LCD display and the company’s ROPS cage for added strength and safety. Stampede models which include the Stampede X (four passenger is Stampede 4X) feature full doors on both two and four seat vehicles and have a 600 pound capacity on the tilting rear bed. With electronic power steering and additional storage space (on two-seat models), the Stampede is a multi-purpose UTV that’s ready for just about anything. While the new Textron models still have the heart of the Arctic Cat DNA, the company plans to be competitive in off-road racing and will have vehicles competing in SCORE races during the 2018 season. SJ

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