One of the most accurate indicators of performance is that of power to weight ratio. Some simple math should give us a better understanding of the performance potential and what to expect from the new 2021 Arctic Cat BLAST models.
The 2-stroke EFI single cylinder engine with an exhaust valve is a 397cc engine rated at “65hp-class”. The Arctic Cat 800 engine, basically two of the singles together, claims “165hp-class” performance with the engine more likely producing something in the 160 HP area. For conversation sake, half of this is in the 75-80 HP range.
So Arctic Cat is only claiming 65-class performance. The engine isn’t in as high of a state of tune as the 800, or it isn’t turning the same RRM level. We’re going to be generous and use a 70 HP figure for our calculations.
Let’s say we would like to target the performance of a 500-pound sled with 100 horsepower. Simple 5 pounds per HP. If the new BLAST ZR 4000 only weighs 400 pounds and has 70 HP we have 5.7 pounds per HP. Close, kind of. This would be like a 570-pound sled with only 100 HP, for comparison. Starting to make sense?
To get down to the 5-pounds per HP we need a sled that only weighs 350 pounds with 70 HP. That might be a bit optimistic.
Some mention the Yamaha Phazer 4-stroke sled of recent history. It was generally regarded as too heavy, total sled weight, for the 80HP of the (also heavier) 4-stroke engine. The engine was quite high-strung to make this kind of power, and the handling of the Phazer was also rather quirky. Ride quality was perhaps acceptable, but nothing to write home about.
The Ski-Doo Freestyle was just plain underpowered. In either form, the 300 single or the 550 twin. The twin was easily the better option, and is likely going to end up being fairly close to the BLAST models in terms of power to weight. The biggest handicap of the Freestyle was likely the styling – most considered it to be rather ugly.
Links to all five feature articles on the 2021 Arctic Cat Blast:
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