2004 Arctic Cat Firecat F6 EFI

Cat's latest high performance twin has broad power range
Let's get to the number thing right away. Arctic Cat claims 118 hp for its new-for-2004 Firecat F6. We can verify that with a dyno pull that netted a top power mark of 118.2 hp at 7600 revolutions per minute.

What Cat doesn't tell you is that this engine not only makes the power but also makes some good torque. You'll get almost 80 pounds-feet of torque beginning at 7300 rpm. Torque peaks at 82.6 lbs.-ft. at 7500 and drops back to just under 80 lbs.-ft. at 7700 rpm. Bottom line: a power set-up that is extremely amenable to clutching.

American Snowmobiler's official dyno tester, Rich Daly of Dynoport noted that the electronic fuel injection seemed to run a bit rich, suggesting that the Cat could show even greater power numbers if leaned down a bit. Of course, the whole idea of electronic fuel injection is for the onboard computer to control the engine programming. Cat's corporate desire is to keep warranty claims to a minimum, while still providing its customers with ample performance. That readily explains the protective richness.

Should a serious Cat lover look to maximize the F6's power, he could check out the products catalog at Cat specialists like D&D or Black Magic. D&D Power Breathers could make a power difference, but the F6's stock numbers are more than good enough for the vast majority of Cat buyers. Based on our dyno figures, the F6 looks to be the power leader in the 600cc sports performance category.
Ski-Doo's 600cc twin should be close as we found just over 117 hp in last year's Shoot-Out sled. A dyno run on an earlier high output 2003 Ski-Doo MXZ 600 HO spiked at 119.8 hp at 7800 rpm. But the overall output dropped two horsepower, just a thousand revs on either side of the 119 reading- 117.8 at 7700 rpm and 117.6 at 7900 rpm. The Cat displayed a gentler drop on either side of its top power mark. Polaris' Liberty 600 engine will be down a few ponies to the Cat 600 and Ski-Doo 600.

The Cat's new F7-based 600cc twin delivers 70 lbs.-ft. of torque at 6400 rpm where it also makes more than 86 hp.

"This engine makes nice torque," dyno tester Rich Daly stated, "and should be relatively easy to clutch thanks to its wide power band."

This story ran in the November 2003 issue of American Snowmobiler magazine

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