Arctic Cat is releasing a new ATV, and it’s exactly what we were hoping for. The last few years have seen a slimming down of the Cat off-road lineup, but the new 2022 Alterra 600 EPS ATV reenergizes the Arctic Cat ATV line, and promises a new direction forward. All trails lead to (the) Arctic.
THE ALTERRA ATVS
Arctic Cat is one of the original powersports companies, and through the years they’ve built everything from snowmobiles to watercraft. ATVs (And later Side x Sides) are a big part of their lineup, and just like with their sleds, they were built with a premium on performance. The last round of changes to their ATVs also rebranded them as the Alterra line, with significant changes to the chassis, engine, suspension, and rider comfort. They were the best ATVs Arctic Cat had ever produced. The problem was, with the corporate takeover by Textron a few years ago, development effectively came to a standstill. Until now.
We were stoked to hear Arctic Cat was introducing a new ATV for 2022, and to be honest, we’d have been happy if it was nothing more than a 250cc intro machine with 3-wheels and a board for a seat. What Arctic Cat delivered is right in the heart of the market, and exactly what we would have designed. Called the Alterra 600 EPS, the new model features a completely new chassis, innovative design, improved rider comfort, and of course, Arctic Cat performance. Highlights of the new machine are:
- NEW FRAME FROM THE WHEELS UP! The new Alterra 600 gets an all-new chassis designed for premium performance, riding on 25” tires.
- LARGEST AVAILABLE TIRES IN CLASS - The Alterra 600 EPS can be equipped with 27-inch tires.
- TRUE 600cc ENGINE with 45hp. A new engine offers class leading horsepower
- BEST IN CLASS RANGE. A larger (5.7 gallon) tank means more time on the trail.
- DUAL A-ARM FRONT AND REAR SUSPENSION. 11.5” of ground clearance on base models, 12.25” on LTD and SE models.
- POWER STEERING ON EVERY MODEL. Electronic Power Steering feels precise and new steering geometry makes all day rides much easier on your arms.
- DESIGNED TO DIRECT HEAT AWAY FROM RIDER FOR ALL-DAY COMFORT.
- 1050 lbs. TOWING, 300 lbs. RACK CAPACITY
- READY FOR GARMIN GPS INTEGRATION
- 12 MONTH WARRANTY
INTERESTING TECHNOLOGY and DESIGN
Designed and built by Arctic Cat in St. Cloud, Minn., the engineering team placed a premium on performance, but also wanted to make the new Alterra 600 a machine you could ride all day. One of the most innovative features is an exhaust that is routed out the bottom of the chassis. It’s an interesting feature! This quickly disperses heat, which is a big factor in rider fatigue. Large floorboards with integrated foot pegs keep your feet securely planted, but also well protected from anything kicked up by the front tires. From the comfy rider’s seat, everything is placed exactly where you need it although we would prefer a second brake lever, which would allow you to control both ends independently, rather than a linked system. At times it’s a big advantage to be able to steer the vehicle using only the front or rear brake.
When the trail gets sticky it’s easy to grab 4wd on the fly thanks to the handlebar mounted button, and between the riders’ knees is a handy .6-gallon storage compartment. It’s perfect for a phone, a snack, etc. Just ahead of the steering columns is Cat’s digital display, the key, and a 12v power source. Arctic Cat makes accessory integrate easy with the new Alterra 600, and the dash area is ready to accept a “plug and play” Garmin GPS.
FOUR NEW ALTERRA MODELS
The four new Alterra 600 EPS models are:
- ALTERRA 600 EPS – The base model. Color is Arctic Cat Medium Green and Black, with steel wheels and 25-inch tires. – MSRP: $ 8,399
- ALTERRA 600 EPS XT - Aluminum wheels, 25-inch tires, and 11.5 inches of ground clearance, protected by a premium bumper. Color is a new Phantom Grey. MSRP: $ 8,799
- ALTERRA 600 EPS LTD - 14-inch Al. wheels with 27-inch tires and 12.25 inches of ground clearance. Composite racks, premium bumper and winch. Available in a new Fossil color. MSRP: $ 9,399
- ALTERRA 600 EPS SE - 14-inch Al. wheels with 27-inch tires and 12.25 inches of ground clearance. Composite racks, premium bumper and winch. Available in Phantom Grey. MSRP: $ 9,999
MOTOR, CHASSIS, and MAINTENANCE
The Alterra 600 EPS features an all-new engine with an overhead cam, and the deepest oil pan on an ATV we know of. While this would seem to raise the overall engine center of gravity, Arctic Cat engineers assure that it still retains an overall low CG thanks to the engine positioning. Mated to the engine is Cat’s CVTech transmission which features an Arctic Cat-tuned Trailbloc drive and Invance driven clutches for increased performance, smooth low-speed engagement, and long life. On the trail it means consistent performance with faster acceleration, smoother power delivery and a throttle response that will not fade. The system also uses a larger belt, (from the Prowler Pro) and improved cooling results in minimized wear and longer belt life. Again, it’s all about performance with Arctic Cat.
We’re sticklers for maintenance and Arctic Cat engineers made it easy on the new Alterra 600. An oversized air filter and high intake mounts create excellent flow and more miles between servicing, and snap-fit panels do not require tools for removal. It lets you get at the air and oil filters easily. Thank you, Cat! The new Alterra 600 EPS also gets beefier axles, and more durable ball joints and suspension pivot bushings. It all adds value to the new machine.
PERFORMANCE PROMISE KEPT
We were stoked to see the new Alterra 600 EPS from Arctic Cat! The launch of the new machine even coincides with Arctic Cat’s 60th anniversary, but beyond the cake and celebration you can expect nimble handling, all-day comfort, and outstanding performance on the trail. It wouldn’t be any other way for Arctic Cat.
The new Alterra 600 EPS will be available in July. For more info visit: