A few years ago, loyal Arctic Cat riders got the news that the Arctic Cat off-road vehicle manufacturer was bought by Textron. But what exactly did this mean for Arctic Cat ATVs, side-by-sides, and snowmobiles? Some models like the Thundercat were particularly loved. But is the Arctic Cat Thundercat ATV or snowmobile discontinued? What’s up with the 2022 Arctic Cat ZR 9000 Thundercat?
What is the Arctic Cat Thundercat?
According to the Thundercat Wikipedia page, the Arctic Cat Thundercat was first a snowmobile. From 19993 to 2002, the Thundercat was known as one of the baddest snowmobiles in production. The first Arctic Cat Thundercat snowmobile was a 900cc model. Then the next generation was a 1000cc Thundercat snowmobile that produced up to 175 horsepower.
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In 2003, the Arctic Cat ZR 900 replaced the Thundercat snowmobile. But the story didn’t end there. In 2007, the off-road manufacturer debuted the Thundercat name again. This time, as an Arctic Cat ATV model.
Arctic Cat ATV
When Arctic Cat released a new ATV in 2007, the company revived the Thundercat name. This time, however, the Thundercat name thundered through the mud on a 950cc V-twin ATV. Some form of the Thundercat ATV stuck around for quite a while.
There are several other Arctic Cat ATVs as well. For example, the Arctic Cat Alterra ATV comes in an assortment of displacements. In fact, it’s back around this year for 2021––with the Arctic Cat brand name still in tow. However, the Thundercat ATV isn’t around anymore.
Is Arctic Cat out of business?
No, this off-road vehicle manufacturer is not out of business. That said, it was bought in 2017 by Textron Inc. This parent company owns other big name brands as well. Bell helicopters and Cessna aircraft are both part of Arctic Cat’s new family.
When Textron originally took over, the Arctic Cat name died. New models debuted and hit production under a new name––Textron Off Road. Textron Off Road offered some prestigious models such as the Wildcat XX. However, according to Arctic Cat the “loyal riders” of Arctic Cat products missed the old branding.
People didn’t want the machines as much now that they were no longer marketed under the Arctic Cat name. This is definitely an industry that welcomes change and innovation. However, brand loyalty is a real thing that drives the market.
If you have spent a decade of your life riding Arctic Cat products and forging a fierce loyalty to the brand, then you’re not likely to be stoked about a big name change. Some allegiances run so deep that people don’t care if a product is great if it’s not wearing the badge of their favorite manufacturer. So Textron listened, and Arctic Cat is back.
The 2022 Arctic Cat ZR 9000 Thundercat
On the website, Arctic Cat and Textron claim that this is the “world’s fastest production snowmobile.” This model now has electronic power steering for enhanced handling. Plus, riders get ATAC “Adjustable On-the-Fly” suspension. The model is arguably one of the best snowmobile machines ever produced.
The 2022 Arctic Cat ZR 9000 Thundercat employs “an untouchable C-TEC4 turbo-charged 998cc triple for instant 200-class horsepower.” It’s fast and fierce––as we expect from an Arctic Cat snowmobile. When this Arctic Cat Thundercat debuted it started at $17,695. Right now, it’s actually on sale until April 30th, 2021 for Arctic Cat’s Snowmageddon sale price of $15,695.