Arctic Cat Enters New Era of Cleaner, Quieter Snowmobiles; Fifty Environmentally Friendly Snowmobiles Going to Yellowstone National Park

11 December 2000

Arctic Cat Enters New Era of Cleaner, Quieter Snowmobiles; Fifty Environmentally Friendly Snowmobiles Going to Yellowstone National Park

    THIEF RIVER FALLS, Minn.--Dec. 11, 2000--Snowmobile manufacturer Arctic Cat Inc. today announced a limited production run of its new cleaner, quieter four-stroke snowmobile. The company is building 100 four-stroke snowmobiles, including 50 machines that will be available for public use in Yellowstone National Park this season. The U.S. Department of the Interior has announced it intends to ban snowmobiling in Yellowstone, beginning with the 2003-04 season, as a result of sound and emissions issues.
    Arctic Cat is on schedule to begin full production of the four-stroke product next year, making it commercially available in time for the 2001-02 season.
    Arctic Cat is the first major manufacturer to deliver four-stroke engine technology in a snowmobile, a development that the industry views as a significant breakthrough. The four-stroke product runs quieter and produces lower emissions than typical two-stroke machines.
    Arctic Cat has worked on the four-stroke technology since 1996, specifically to address customer requests for snowmobiles with less smoke and a quieter ride.
    "Last winter, we loaned two concept four-stroke snowmobiles to the National Park Service for use and testing in Yellowstone National Park," said Chris Twomey, Arctic Cat president and CEO. "Although Park Service staff members gave the product positive reviews as they studied snowmobile use and impact in the park, the U.S. Department of the Interior continues to pursue an outright ban on snowmobiling in Yellowstone and other national lands. Along with other manufacturers, we maintain that the environmental impact study was flawed and that the non-legislative path to a ban prevented public involvement and recklessly ignored highly significant strides like four-stroke technology.
    "Arctic Cat remains committed to refining and perfecting four-stroke engines and other technologies that specifically address sound and emissions concerns. Our ability to bring a four-stroke product to market next year reflects several years of development aimed at meeting customer needs, which include requests for quieter, cleaner machines. We are also continuously at work to improve the emissions and sound level performance of traditional two-stroke engine technology."
    Four-stroke snowmobiles do not produce the blue smoke that is more typical of two-stroke engines. The machines also use electronic fuel injection (EFI) instead of carburetion, making the sled 65 percent more fuel efficient than a two-stroke engine.
    Ongoing engine development at Arctic Cat includes identifying ways to overcome performance issues inherent in four-stroke technology. Arctic Cat said that current four-stroke technology does not meet the performance needs of many users, but these models are ideal for a certain segment of snowmobilers who want a nearly exhaust-free, quieter ride at trail speeds.
    Arctic Cat four-stroke snowmobiles use a naturally aspirated 660cc liquid-cooled engine which produces approximately 45 horsepower. The snowmobiles use regular unleaded gasoline, obtain 20 to 30 miles per gallon during normal trail usage and have an operating speed range of 60 to 70 m.p.h. depending on load.
    Arctic Cat Inc. designs, engineers, manufactures and markets snowmobiles and all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) under the Arctic Cat brand name, as well as related parts, garments and accessories.


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