We are a few weeks out from the 2024 model unveils. All manufacturers have been putting out grade-A products in the last few years. This always hasn’t been the case, as there have been some dark years for the sport! Last year we made predictions based on following the industry for 30 years, and they came true. We know how the OEMs work and their motivations and grasp their timelines well. I will preface this in that we have no inside information, and all of these are educated guesses.
Arctic Cat 2024 Snowmobile Predictions:
Arctic Cat is the easiest of the OEMs, as they released their Catalyst chassis for 2024 at Haydays. They’ve stuck to the line that it will only be available in the 600 this year. This may have been smoke and mirrors to excite people come snow check time with a bigger bore. Do we think it’s likely? No, but there is a chance they have something up their sleeve, which would be a perfect shock to drive sales.
GPS gauges have become a must-have in the lineup for Polaris and Ski-Doo. Arctic Cat’s answer to this has been an add-on Garmin to the gauge cluster. Arctic Cat UTVs has partnered with Garmin to add navigation from the factory. We don’t know if it will be this year, but we think a Garmin-based gauge cluster will be an option from Arctic Cat in the near future. It’s the most economical way to add it without heavy investment into the custom gauge and app solutions like Polaris and BRP. We’ve seen other motor segments use an off-the-shelf Garmin as a gauge instead of a custom design.
4-Stroke: Arctic Cat’s bread and budder is the 4-stroke turbo’s, and it doesn’t look like they’ll make it into the Catalyst this year. A big maybe to keep the consumer base excited is active suspension. They are halfway there with the iACT suspension, and I am sure Fox has something in the works for a more developed active suspension program that calibrates the shocks in real time to the conditions like smart shox. Is it ready and a viable investment will determine if 2024 is the year we see it.
BRP (Ski-Doo and Lynx 2024 Snowmobile Predictions)
With BRP selling both Lynx and Ski-Doo models in North America now, we’ll break these predictions down by motor/chassis specific and brand specific.
850 Turbo for trail and crossover
There is no way Ski-Doo is watching Polaris pump out Boost’s at that price point and is not chomping to get into the turbo 2-stroke trail segment. When they originally released the turbo 850, it had no HP gains on the 850 at sea level and acted as an altitude compensator to keep it around the 165hp number no matter the altitude. Polaris one-upped them by having their turbo 850 put out 10% more than the non-turbo 850. For 23, Ski-Doo answered with the 850 Turbo R in the mountain segment. I think it’s highly likely we will see that motor in Renegade and MXZ trim for 2024.
Next sleds for the Gen 5
We will likely see all high-end 2-stroke models like the Backcountry, Rave, Xterrain, 600 etec Renegade, and MXZ move to the Gen 5 chassis for 2024.
We are 50/50 if the ACE four-stroke sleds debut in a Gen 5 widebody for 2024. Ski-Doo sat in the standard Gen 4 chassis for six years, which would be year 5 for the Gen 4 widebody. It will come down to if the finance folks feel they’ve made enough on this chassis and if they’ll lose market share by not releasing it in the Gen 5 early.
Polaris 2024 Snowmobile Predictions
This one is a no-brainer. The XCR is a great-selling model, as is the Patriot Boost. They have to give a reason for the XCR rider to upgrade that bought a Boost VR1 or held tight for a year. Very confident in this prediction.
9R in trail sleds
Polaris has always liked to test new motors in the first year in the mountain segment. Despite the hype of Mountain sleds, trail sleds significantly outsell them. If you find a problem once the motor hits the market, you want it to happen with a smaller subset of riders. There isn’t any negative chatter on the 9R, so we think things are going well enough for them to bring it to the trail segment. Likely to see the 9R in the VR1 and Assault similar to the Boost and probably the XCR for 25 based on their current patterns.
Like Ski-Doo looks at the Patriot Boost numbers, Polaris probably looks at Ski-Doo’s smart shox numbers with envy. They have had the technology in their UTVs for some time, and they’ve had two years to develop it to match the Smart Shox. A new semi-active suspension system from Polaris is a safe bet.
Yamaha 2024 Snowmobile Predictions
Yamaha and Arctic Cat are tied to the hip regarding new machines. We don’t see this changing anytime soon, as Arctic Cat needs the volume to decrease part prices.
The big question is when Yamaha will get access to the Catalyst chassis. Arctic Cat will likely keep it to themselves for the first year and bring Yamaha if they continue the partnership. Some are pessimistic and think Yamaha will exit but as long as they have an OEM to make the chassis and only have to supply motor and marketing, they’ll stick around.
As for anything new for 2024, maybe are more developed iQS suspension to operate like smart shox and adjust on the fly. Otherwise likely to stay with the same lineup as 23. A wild card would be a Catalyst 600 in Yamaha clothing. It all depends if Yamaha wants another 2 stroke in the lineup and if Arctic Cat wants to move maximum units.
2024 Snowcheck Delivery Prediction
We think 2023 will be the last year of delays, and snow check deliveries will return to pre- covid timelines. Most importantly, the OEMs did well getting the new sleds delivered on time this season. There were a handful of delays, but nothing like 2022. Suppliers have continued to push production forward to prevent delays with fewer and fewer shortages.
Those are all the predictions we have for 2024. Let us know what you think is coming down the pipe, as we have about 4-6 weeks before new models start debuting. The snowmobile manufacturers continue to impress year after year, and we can guarantee 2024 will be the best sleds yet!
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