2023 Arctic Cat Mountain Snowmobiles | Mountain Sledder
March 15th, 2022

2023 Arctic Cat Mountain Snowmobiles

The mountain segment will stay status quo for model year 2023 Arctic Cat snowmobiles.

Arctic Cat’s mountain sled offerings for model year 2023 can be summarized by the three word phrase: Bold New Graphics. But before you click away, let us explain why that’s not a bad move for Arctic Cat in MY23.

Like just about every large manufacturer in the known universe, Arctic Cat struggled to meet demand on a timely basis in the last year.

We all know by now how we got here, but a two sentence summary goes like this: In the past two years, snowmobiling has exploded with the demand for snowmobiles and parts going through the roof. Meanwhile, parts shortages (of things like gauges and shocks in particular) and worldwide labour issues due to pandemic restrictions have throttled back the ability of the manufacturers to meet high demand on time.

All of the Big 4 snowmobile manufacturers fell victim to these issues in model year 2022—Arctic Cat, Yamaha, Polaris and BRP—all. Some weathered the storm better than others, but no manufacturer escaped the ire of a customer sitting out a winter storm at home with no sled to ride.

Like the rest, Arctic Cat spent much of the last year scrambling to find ways to secure its part supply and control the ability to deliver sleds on time in a crazy and unprecedented situation.

For Cat, a flip of the calendar and a new model year brings a fresh opportunity to better adapt to what will undoubtedly be continuing supply chain difficulties for everyone moving forward into the next few years.

So why is BNG probably a good idea for Arctic Cat mountain sleds for MY23?

Ponder this: When winter arrives, is it better to have a snowmobile in your garage (even if it doesn’t feature a bunch of new model year tech), or a spring order form with the unfulfilled promise of something new and exciting in your pocket?

There’s wisdom in the saying, “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.”

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2023 Arctic Cat Mountain Snowmobiles

For MY2023, Arctic Cat faithful will have the option of manual or electric start and three track lengths in both the Mountain Cat ALPHA ONE model and the Hardcore model for more aggressive riders.

Both models will continue to be powered by Arctic Cat’s 165 horsepower class 794 cc C-TEC2 engine.

And both will come in a choice of either blue with orange highlights or green with orange highlights colourway. While the same two colour options are available on both the Mountain Cat and Hardcore mountain models, the graphics are subtly different. That is to say, from a distance it can be hard to distinguish the Mountain Cat from the Hardcore, but a closer look at the decals will reveal which model it is that you’re looking at. The quickest way to tell the two apart from a distance though is to look at the shocks—if you see coil-overs, you’re looking at the Hardcore model.

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For more details on Arctic Cat tech in the mountain lineup, check out our post on the model year 2022 Arctic Cat snowmobiles lineup.

2023 Mountain Cat ALPHA ONE

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The Arctic Cat Mountain Cat ALPHA ONE is the flagship mountain model that will draw most of Cat’s high elevation customers.

Of course the somewhat unique feature that sets it apart from other mountain sleds is the ALPHA ONE single beam rear suspension that makes the sled easier to tip up and sidehill.

Arctic Cat also draws attention to its proprietary clutches that were released on MY22 sleds, called ADAPT. These are a lightweight and narrow design that utilizes an idler system for belt tension that is constant and does not require adjustment. The benefits include lower inertia for quicker throttle response and improved belt life.

Arctic Cat ADAPT Clutches

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The Mountain Cat can be ordered with one of two suspension package options. The standard option uses FOX FLOAT QS3 shocks for quick adjustability on the shock itself.

The other option is ATAC—Artic Cat’s on the fly suspension adjustment system. Riders can adjust the shocks settings between soft, medium and firm from the control on the handlebars. The rear track shock can also be locked out in the same way, which is useful for controlling transfer in the rear suspension to keep the skis down and the sled in control when climbing or riding in steep, technical terrain.

The ATAC system also offers two customizable driver profiles for convenience.

For model year 2023, Mountain Cats will be available with the option for electric start or manual start.

Track options for the Mountain Cat include:

  • 146 x 15 x 2.6”
  • 154 x 15 x 2.6”
  • 154 x 15 x 3”
  • 165 x 15 x 3”

2023 Hardcore ALPHA ONE

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The Hardcore model offers some changes from the Mountain Cat that focus on durability and strength for the more aggressive rider.

First of the these is the use of FOX FOX ZERO 1.5 QS3 Coil-Over shocks. These feature more adjustability than the FLOAT QS3 shocks, and some riders prefer the feel of a coil-over shock. These are used in the ski and front track shock.

The rear track shock uses a FOX ZERO 1.5 QSL shock that can be locked out to essentially couple the rear suspension to help control transfer and keep the skis down on the snow.

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For aggressive riding, the Hardcore model also features more robust tunnel rolls for added strength and quick responsiveness to weight transfer, as well as some additional rear tunnel bracing.

The Hardcover model can be spec’d out with either electric or manual start.

Track options for the 2023 Arctic Cat Hardcore include:

  • 146 x 15 x 2.6”
  • 154 x 15 x 2.6”
  • 154 x 15 x 3”
  • 165 x 15 x 3”

2023 Arctic Cat BLAST 4000 M Limited

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Arctic Cat has a new mid-sized configuration in the lineup called BLAST 4000 M Limited.

The big change for this limited edition sled is a 36” ski stance, down from a 38” ski stance on the standard BLAST 4000 M model.

We applaud this change, because while a narrower ski stance will make the sled slightly less stable in cornering on trail, the greater benefit is off-trail riding maneuvers made much easier to accomplish with less input. It’s supposed to be a mountain sled after all, so we’re glad that Arctic Cat has made it easier to use for that type of riding—especially for younger, smaller, less confident riders who typically have less body weight to throw around.

The other news is that the BLAST M Limited model will feature a big suspension upgrade with FOX FLOAT 3 ski and rear shocks. The front rear shock will be an IFP shock.

The BLAST M Limited will also feature a lightweight mountain seat and special colours and graphics.

The numbers of BLAST 4000 M Limited sleds are indeed capped—it will truly be a limited build, not just a fancy namesake.

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2023 Arctic Cat BLAST 4000 M LTD
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2023 Arctic Cat BLAST 4000 M

2023 Arctic Cat snowmobiles spring order period, Snowmageddon, will take place a little later this year, between April 19 and May 3, 2022.

Pushing back the spring order period is an unusual move by Arctic Cat, but these are unusual times. This announcement by Cat us back full circle to the reason behind BNG for MY23. On time delivery is Arctic Cat’s ultimate goal, and they’re doing everything they can to get there. But with some few MY22 sleds still waiting for final components before going out the door to customers, the company feels that it is important to prioritize and focus all their efforts on delivering those outstanding orders first, before moving forward into building the next round of sleds. And that also is not a bad move.


– MS

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