The January / February 2015 issue of SnowTech Magazine mailed to subscribers a few days before Ch...Read more
This is one of those cases when the planets, the stars and whatever else needs to line up in the universe for something awesome to happen. Arctic Cat has really pulled a rabbit out of their hat with this one, the 2012 XF Turbo Sno Pro. The entire chassis is new, called ProCross, and it is as tightly wrapped around the four-stroke 1100cc Turbo engine as physically possible. With almost 180 HP on tap in stock trim, you had better be in front because when you grab the throttle this thing will go flying past anything in your way. This kind of power needs more track than a plain old short track sled, and the 141” Cobra delivers the premium traction and control that this engine deserves.
Narrower, agile, responsive, these are all words used by our test riders to describe the XF Turbo. Each one of us jumped on this sled with the mindset it would be nose heavy, because it is a four-stroke with extra Turbo plumbing. Arctic Cat has masterfully disguised the extra weight with this package as it is well balanced. Yes, there is extra weight compared to the two-stroke XF 800, but the weight seems to be centered more than with other four-strokes. When added weight is under you instead of in front of you, it isn’t as obvious. Especially when the Turbo kick in, then it flat out disappears. Let off the throttle, and the suspension calibration keeps the weight in place as the sled doesn’t dive or start darting or get nose heavy, steering remains light and the track stays hooked up. Amazing.
One of the reasons people buy crossover sleds is because they use them in a wide range of conditions. Trail riding, blasting down untracked forest roads, flat-out cross country running, or as the occasional mountain sled. With the 141” track length and 1.5” lug height you really can (almost) do it all. And with 177 HP, at ANY elevation, you will not be down on power. If you ride around home and then load it up to go anywhere out West, you don’t need to change a thing. No jetting, no clutching, no gearing, nothing. Load and go. No elevation changes required.
Even if you never head out west, the total package and combination presented here is unmistakably potent. The new chassis rides good, handles great, feels narrower and lighter, with clutching and gearing that stays spot-on all the time. You knowingly add some weight but gain long term durability, which makes the XF Turbo Sno Pro even more attractive. This kind of power will cost you $13,799, but rest assured you will not need to follow anyone.