All of Arctic Cat’s new models have been released for 2025. The big surprise came in September when they unveiled the new 858cc 2-stroke motor and the new Garmin gauge with GPS. So, we’ll speculate for 2026.
New 4-stroke turbo that fits in Catalyst Chassis
2026 will be the first year without a Yamaha motor. The 4-stroke turbo has put both manufacturers on the map, and we don’t see Arctic Cat abandoning that market. 4-strokes also serve a huge purpose to compensate for the 2-stroke emissions under government regulation, so they serve a need to consumers and regulations.
One rumor about why Yamaha bailed on the sled market is that the Catalyst cannot house the 998 triple 4-stroke motor as it is. Before the Yamahacat days, Arctic Cat pioneered the factory 4-stroke snowmobile and had high horsepower in a Suzuki twin. It was a highly regarded motor and made high hp with upgraded tunes. We think Arctic Cat will return to a twin-cylinder 4-stroke turbo that can be bolted into the Catalyst. It’s not ideal for a company to have multiple chassis for 2-stroke and 4-stroke.
So, who is going to make the motor? Will Arctic Cat return to what they know in the Suzuki twin, or will they look to another company owned by their parent company? Weber is owned by Textron and produced the 750FST for Polaris in the late 2000s. Our bet is they keep it in-house to maximize the bottom line, and Weber produces a solid replacement for the Yamaha motor, which, combined with the Catalyst chassis, provides a significantly improved machine.
We think this is in the works, but maybe a year too soon. Arctic Cat is keen on dropping a significant improvement or motor a year, so our bets are a new 4-stroke before we see the 858 with a turbo.
BRP (Ski-Doo & Lynx)
2025 Ski-Doo Release Date: February 19th or 20th
For 24, Ski-Doo brought most of the remaining Gen 4 models to the Gen 5 chassis, bringing all models except Sport and Utility to the new platform. We don’t see the sport chassis getting refreshed to a Gen 5 for quite some time. The last refresh went from XP to Gen 4 and skipped a generation, so there is no constant timeline.
850 Turbo R lineup expanded
The most significant move we think Ski-Doo will make is expanding the 850 Turbo R lineup to the Backcountry and potentially a 129. The Backcountry with a turbo makes a lot of sense as it becomes a sled that can perform well in the Midwest and mountains of the West. We also think it will be possible to get Smart Shox with the 850 Turbo R for 25. They alluded in a tech video that they didn’t want to test the waters for one year before going all out.
Verdict: True, now available in the Backcountry, and Lynx equivalents.
We do think for 25, the models will finally get a built-in GPS and no longer depend on a cell phone. It’s been the weakest spot for the gauge since it debuted, and we are surprised it hasn’t been addressed already. Arctic Cat’s Garmin gauge will have built-in GPS, so it doesn’t sound like patents prevent them from doing this.
Verdict: True, the 10.25" screen has a stand alone GPS and doesn't require phone connection to operate.
Ski-Doo likes to run the same or similar color patterns for two years on trail models and then switch it up. 2025 is year three, so expect to see some new color schemes for the MXZ and Renegade.
Verdict: True, models like the MXZ competition stayed the same as they were new last year but the rest of the line up has a new look.
Lynx 4-Strokes move to Radian2 chassis
Last year, many Lynx models were upgraded to their equivalent of the Gen 5 chassis called the Radien 2. The 4-stroke X-Terrain model stayed in the previous chassis. They will likely move these models to a wide-body chassis with new gauge and LED headlights.
True: All Lynx 2025 snowmobiles are on the Gen 5 equivalent Radien 2 Chassis
Lynx X-Terrain 850 with trail-friendly track options
Last year, BRP brought the Lynx crossover to the North American market. It had the trail front end but, in a surprising decision, did not include an option for a trail-friendly track. It was only available with a 2” lug. The machine has the specs to compete directly with the Polaris Assault but missed that key detail. We think they will make the switch, and you will see a 1.6 Cobra option this year, which would be a formidable option to the Assault crowd that loves the trail front end.
Verdict: False, the 1.6 Cobra is only available on the 900 turbo.
What we missed
New RAS RX Front Suspension: We thought it might be a year early for a new front end but Ski-Doo surprised us and introduced a new front end found on the XRS and X package 2-strokes. A new deep keel ski is part of the package as well.
Trail front end option for Backcountry XRS: While BRP came to market last year with a direct competitor to the Assault with the Lynx X-Terrain, it only had a 2.0" track option. While they did not change the track options for the Lynx, they did make it an option to order a Backcountry with a trail front end finally filling a void many fans have been wanting for years.
2025 Polaris Release Date: March 4th
Last year, we predicted some incremental changes to the Polaris line using existing motors and technologies, and what we got was essentially the same lineup as 2023. They might have held back last year for a couple of reasons: 1. To get back to reliable delivery dates and 2. Save a big splash for their 70th anniversary.
Rumors are that a new chassis is being released. It would be a year or two early in the timeline they’ve followed over the last 15 years. The Pro-Ride was five years, and the Axys was 6. This would be four years for the Maytrx. We can see a few justifications to bump it up a year. Sales over the Maytrx timeline have been excellent, so the chassis investment was paid off sooner than in years past. Second, Polaris has the oldest 2-stroke chassis on the market, with increased competition from Ski-Doo’s Gen 5 and Arctic Cat with the Catalyst. Third, it’d likely be a less costly update and maintain most of the tooling from the Maytrx chassis, similar to Ski-Doo’s latest update with the Gen 4 to the Gen 5 using a ton of the same parts like tunnel and items under the plastic. Fourth, this puts them on a better timeline for the 75th anniversary to get five years before an update.
9r in Trail Sleds/9r or Boost in XCR
We are 50/50 on this one. Polaris could be holding on to this one to stoke some fire into the lineup for this season. Dropping an existing motor into an existing model is a no-brainer to consumers, but will it make financial sense for Polaris? At the end of the day, if Polaris feels adding the 9r to trail sleds and more options to the XCR will sell more sleds and increase profit, they’ll do it. We don’t know the reliability of the 9r at sea level or the warranty cost on the back end. We also don’t know if it would hurt Boost sales. If it would, we don’t see it ever happening. Either way, Polaris has the number crunchers working hard every year to determine what motor options make sense.
Semi-Active or Active Suspension
It’s been two model years since Ski-Doo released Smart Shox, and Polaris did not answer in the first two years. We know this is a matter of when, not if. They have a semi-active suspension on their UTVs, so they are familiar with the technology. The fastest path would be to use Fox, the same company doing their Dynamix shocks, but who knows, maybe Arctic Cat has exclusive rights to the technology on snow as they’ve had ATAC for quite some time. Polaris purchased Walker Evans last year and may want to develop something in-house. We think 2025 is the year Polaris releases active suspension on their sleds.
2025 Yamaha Release Date: Likely 3rd week in March
With the announcement of 2025 being the last year for Yamaha, no improvements or changes are expected for this model year. It’s a sad ending after many decades in the business.
We expect graphics celebrating the legacy, and honoring the last year of production but that’s about it—last chance to get a Sidewinder that has dominated the high horsepower segment since its inception.
Comments are open below; let us know what you think will be coming for 2025!
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