2006 Cat F6

Firecat 600 remains quick on its feet
RELATED TOPICS: ARCTIC CAT | SNOWMOBILES | ENGINES
There were plenty of rumors that Arctic Cat's new Suzuki 600 EFI II engine wouldn't be as potent as the previous and famously torquey F6 engines.

Here we can compare them head to head because we've got dyno tests from our official dyno tester - Rich Daly of Dynoport - from the 2004 F6 and now from the brand new 2006 machine! How do they compare? Pretty darn evenly!
Cat vs. Cat
The 2004 Firecat posted an impressive 118.2 hp at 7600 rpm. Our 2006 sled with the EFI II engine posted 117.4 hp at 7900 rpm. Mind you, the 2006 power plant cuts CO emissions by 25% with its pipe sensor so it's getting practically the same amount of horsepower while running significantly cleaner.

Cold drive-away hesitation also has been improved for 2006. Kudos to the Cat engineers!

We noticed a slight drop in the torque when comparing the 2004 engine to the 2006 power plant. Peak numbers were 82.6 foot-pounds at 7500 rpm for the '04 and 79.7 ft.-lbs. at 7600 rpm for the '06.

Torque was consistently higher for the earlier model by about the same amount throughout the power-band.

As most serious sledders know, many EFI models are shipped from the factory running a little rich and this could've been the case with our 2006 machine. The richer setting is meant to curb engine burn-downs caused by good-intentioned sledders who always want to run leaner. It's possible that the '04 machine could have been set a little fatter, too.

Both of these machines were run straight out of the box. This is how the engines will most likely perform for the everyday consumer who picks one up and takes it out on the trail.
Firecat vs. Fusion
The real middleweight match up this year is the new Polaris Fusion 600 and Cat's F6. Both hold new guts in their bellies and are unproven by the average consumer. We dyno tested the Polaris in our Dec. issue, and when comparing the numbers it seems the higher revving Polaris has the Cat beat on stock horsepower. The Polaris came in at 119.2 hp at 8200 rpm, while the Cat hit 117.4 hp at 7900 rpm.

BUT, the Firecat has always been famous for being a lightweight, torquey sled. Like many 600s before it, the Fusion 6 seems to have fallen behind the Firecat in torque. The F6 gave 79.7 ft.-lbs. at 7600 rpm and the Fusion netted 77.4 ft.-lbs. at 7900 rpm. The F6 was solidly ahead in torque throughout the powerband, proving that it'll still have the seat-of-the-pants power that Firecats are known for.
The Final Countdown
Will the extra torque and 20 fewer pounds keep the F6 ahead of the Fusion on the quickness ladder in the 600 class? Who will prove to be the quarter-mile king and the quickest from corner-to-corner?

Keep reading because we'll be testing our production models of these sleds along with Ski-Doo's MX Zx 600 and Yamaha's Nytro on snow in "real world" conditions at our Real World Shoot-Out next issue!
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