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What’s new with the 2023 Arctic Cat Wildcat XX?

What's new with the 2023 Arctic Cat Wildcat XX

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Although the manufacturer is not making much noise these days, it is fine-tuning its range by eliminating models that no longer fit the company’s development plan. But above all, he continually improves the models that will be the spearheads of Arctic Cat. We had the opportunity to try the model of the 2023 Arctic Cat Wildcat XX. Here are our impressions.

What’s new with the 2023 Arctic Cat Wildcat XX?

Going around the Wildcat XX

It has already been five years since Arctic Cat introduced the Wildcat XX without much change until now. Developed with the help of the legendary Robby Gordon, the Wildcat XX is intended to be a vehicle without compromising on performance. This year, Arctic Cat is offering an upgrade to the Wildcat XX via the Black Hill Edition version.

First off, the XX is powered by a naturally aspirated 998cc three-cylinder inline engine that produces 130 horsepower. Although the block known as the Genesis comes from Yamaha, Arctic Cat points out that all the cylinder head, exhaust calibration and fuel map are developed by the engineers of the house. This engine is coupled to a new, more efficient and much less noisy clutch, exclusive to this version for the moment. Although it is exclusive to the Black Hill edition, its installation should be extended to the entire range eventually.

What's new with the 2023 Arctic Cat Wildcat XX?
Detail of the rear suspension rocker arm

The suspension is a strong point of this UTV and it proves to be extremely efficient. It’s fitted with Fox Podium 2.5 QS3 shocks and has a massive 18 inches of travel. It is calibrated with staggered front A-frames of unequal lengths to adjust the camber of the tire and ensure maximum contact with the ground at all times. In the rear, the trailing arm suspension allows the tire to shadow its verticality as it moves up and down during the stroke of the shock. For the Black Hill version, the Wildcat XX is shod with 32-inch Kenda Klever tires on 15-inch rims.

The front steering rack is located in front of the axles for better control. The XX’s suspension components are forged aluminum and the wheel bearings are oversized for added performance and durability. Another feature designed for durability is that all steering and suspension components are double shear. This means that all of these components are supported on two sides instead of just one with the connecting bolt passing through two support members for added durability. One only has to look at the size and anchorage of the rear suspension rocker arm to understand the spirit of the design.

Although the height of the threshold requires you to lift your leg very high, getting into the cabin of the Wildcat XX is not a problem, even for a tall person. Legroom is one of the most generous in the category and the adjustable driver’s seat supports the driver well. The digital instrumentation is succinct and installed behind the steering wheel. It is made up of two dials which give all the useful information to the driver. It is easily consulted by looking down, which allows you to stay focused on the track. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the Garmin Tread interface which is standard on the Black Hill Edition. The GPS screen is placed low on the center console and would benefit from being raised a little to be more visible to the driver when the vehicle is launched at full speed.

The heart of the Wildcat XX: the Genesis three-cylinder. Notice the big Fox QS3 shocks on each side.

What is the Garmin Tread? This is the way Arctic Cat has chosen to enter the world of interactive GPS navigation with your group of hikers. Standard only on the Wildcat XX Black Hill Edition, it is available as an option on other vehicles in the manufacturer’s lineup.

Finally we roll the beast

Once seated on board, I turn the key to start the engine. The Genesis revs smoothly and I have to press the throttle lightly for the clutch to engage. It will stay in gear for the rest of the ride. By pushing the engine, the accelerator at the bottom, it comes alive giving a very good linear thrust thanks to an abundant torque and a nice vigor at high revs. It’s remarkable how much power is available under the pedal without the complexity of a turbocharger. It is true that the clutch is much quieter. We are no longer assailed by its shrill whistle and the hoarse music of the Genesis imposes itself, to our great pleasure.

What's new with the 2023 Arctic Cat Wildcat XX?
The graphical interface of the Garmin Tread on-board GPS

Directional stability is top-notch, and nothing in the trail causes the vehicle to veer off course. The suspension works superbly well, we are very satisfied to see it swallow the bumps and depressions of the running surface. You can feel the wheels follow the terrain well and you can hear the clicking noise of the shock absorber valves working efficiently. Uneven ground is absorbed and few jolts are transmitted to the passenger compartment and the contact of the wheels remains solid with the ground. No kick from the suspension nor in the steering wheel disrupts the vehicle’s directional stability, which quickly puts us in confidence. I must admit that I had a wide smile under my helmet.

What’s new with the 2023 Arctic Cat Wildcat XX?

Arctic Cat offers a very competent vehicle in the performance side-by-side vehicle niche: adequate power, diabolically efficient suspension, imperturbable trail holding. It deserves your consideration.

Photo: source Arctic Cat

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Pierre Allard

Pierre Allard

Powersports Journalist
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