Pushing hard to create machines people want


In 2018 Dirt Wheels was invited to King of the Hammers by Arctic Cat for the release of the Wildcat XX UTV. Arctic Cat was the first company to build a UTV with 18-inches of rear
suspension travel, but the XX is a modern take on sport UTV effort, we left impressed with a positive feeling for that car. Truthfully, we had a great experience and saw potential for that
machine to be a favorite among the many available sport UTVs. The brand has had some big changes in the last few years including a new product manager and reputable marketing
specialist. A bigger story was the acquisition of the brand by a company called Textron. The cohesion of the two companies has been a big help in developing purpose and vision of the brands’ products.

Notice the steering rack  is in front of the spindles. That offers a more precise steering character. 



For 2022 Arctic Cat has made significant changes to the Wildcat XX with a slick looking new Black Hills edition. Its 130 horsepower isn’t at turbocharged levels like you’ll find out there
in a few different UTVs, but the Wildcat utilizes that power well. In fact, the power off the bottom was surprising and immediately had us smiling. After the initial hit, it consistently accelerates through the power range smoothly. Some credit goes to the 998cc, liquid cooled three-cylinder Yamaha motor with a specific Arctic Cat tune. Good news for die-hard Arctic Cat fans: they announced a five- year plan to develop its own motor. We felt the motor was a perfect match for the size of the Wildcat and it never left us feeling bored with it, actually it was the opposite.

This locking or tire securing device doubles as lug wrench.


Asides from the power delivery, our favorite performance aspect of the XX is the seating position. The seats locate you in a low position which gave us confidence through corners. Some cars
with that low seating position can leave you looking at the hood and not the ground in front of you. That is not the case with the Wildcat. We also like that the stock seats have pass throughs just
in case you want to install a full harness seat belt.

The steering wheel was comfortable and the steering of the car was truly precise. The steering rack is in front of the spindles which is unique among UTVs. We believe it’s a design that benefits steering but could leave it more vulnerable to damage. Accurate and quick-reacting steering on top of good low-end power allowed us to break the back end loose to drift if needed. It had a little bit more body roll through corners than we expected. That may be helped by stiffening up the sway bar a little bit. We were throwing it into corners hard, though, and it consistently felt fast and stable.

We think the choice of 32-inch Kenda Klever tires were a great fit and absolutely benefitted performance. It comes stock with a spare tire that locks in the back with a securing device that
doubles as a lug wrench. A 65-amp alternator comes stock, and the car is prewired for accessories you may install.

Performance, meaty power plant, and racy looking esthetic were the highlights of the vehicle.
Truthfully, it was just a lot of fun to drive and was extremely plush feeling with 18 inches of front and rear travel provided by Fox 2.5 Podium QS3 suspension. The shocks have 3 positions of
compression control. We didn’t see many whoops in Minnesota, but the Wildcat XX is superb in the rough. It is calm and collected even when you are turning through the rough.

The car isn’t exactly easy to get in and out of because the body is raised a little. You must lift your leg pretty high to get in and out. After we got in, we noticed that getting the seat belt fastened is a challenge because the latch sits a little too low. Our car’s brakes were a little spongy and took more pedal pressure than we are accustomed to using to get them to grab. Not horrible by any means, just a little lacking from what we would expect on a car of this performance level. When you turn the key on there is a lag before it turns over. Once it is turning over it takes a few more revolutions before the car starts.

Overall, we had a lot of fun in the Wildcat XX and were particularly happy with the performance factors. We rode in completely different terrain than t we are used to in Southern California, so a complete test wasn’t in the cards this time around. That said, the car has us excited and interested to see what Arctic Cat can do with its own engine in the next couple years.

Things we didn’t like were minor and there was very little of any performance aspect that we found lacking. However, if getting in and out of the car is something you struggle with because of limited mobility, you may want to try before you buy. The Black Hills Edition updated colors and body shape make it look aggressive and ready for a good time.

Check out the Wildcat XX Black Hills Edition by clicking the link below!



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