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I participated in the AC Wildcat demo at Speedworld in Suprise AZ on sunday.
My first impression was the WC was huge compared to other SxS's. The large tubing trailing arms are 10x's bigger in person than any picture could tell. The front arms are wide and made of decent size tubing. I absolutely love the placement of the radiator in the rear. I also like the "exoskeleton", there are pleanty of strong places to weld bumpers to and tie in a custom rollcage directly to the frame.
I sat in the drivers seat and was very pleased with the view. I could see over the dash and down to the ground in front of the WC, which will be great for dunning and keping your tires off trail obstacles. The seat was very soft and fit me good. I would like to see more side to side support. The dash was within reach and nothing special there. The shift lever was tall and seemed too easy to shift, i would be concerned with it commong out of gear if you landed hard off a jump.
Now it was time to drive the beast. I linned up and they gave the speach to follow the leader and dont pass anyone. We were told that the units were in 4x4 and to leave it alone. The track had a hay bail zig zag, couple of small kicker jumps, a woop section and a couple of medium sized jumps with nice downhill landings.
So i was off, right off the line i noticed the linnear throttle and no hard off the line acceleration at all. I went through the zig zag hay bails and immediately nothiced the power steering and i liked that feeling. I have always been too cheap to add it to my Rhinos or RZR1. Comming out of the zig zag i hammer down and tried to slide the rear around and it was a no go while in 4x4, i also got the finger point from a guy standing off track telling me to drive like the rest of the sheepeople in front of me.
Next was a short lip that that did not give the rear of the car time to unload while on the ramp and kicked up the rear of the car. The front suspension soaked up the front end landing like i was on pillows. Now i had to get hard of the brakes and make a left 180* turn. The brakes felt very spongy and too much byass to the front for my taste. Now for the woops, i hammered the pedal to the floor and held on to see what happened. The woops were soaked up like butter, no issues at all.
So now carrying some good speed throught the woops i needed to slow the WC down for a right hand 180*, i pushed on the mushy pedal and tried to slide it in the turn. No go on the slide i had to slow it down and turn the wheel to make the corner. Next up was a nice big take off and little lip to hit, i mashed the skinney pedal again and hit the ramp. I let off the gas in the air and landed with a little throttle. Nice and cushy landing, wow this suspension if badass i thought.
One more left handed 180* turn back to the starting point. Once again i was not impressed with the cornering ability of the WC in 4x4. The car leanned and had a weird push then bite by the front end to pull it around. I would prefer to drift the corner and setup for the next jump, but not my personal sxs and i can fix these issues if i buy one. Then i hit the start point ramp and did it all over again.
the next few times i felt more and more comfortable and was able to really get on the go pedal through the woops and hit the ramps hard. The suspension soaked up everything i could give it in this small track. I recieved the finger again from the smae guy to slow it down through the woops and i did so. I have a tendacy to drive toys like i stole them and have a sweet set of tools to fix anything i break, haha.
Now the ride was over and i jumped out of the WC like a jacked off cat with a smile on my face. This new sxs really impressed me. Although i would have to customize it for my agressive driving style.
I would first replace the seatbelt with a 5 point harness, design and build a new rollcage to make the FUGLY go away, then lower the ride heigth with different rate springs, replace the rear sway bar with a stiffer one to keep the car level while drifting, add a LED light bar or two, install a car to car radio, and then crack into the cluches to get a hard take off hit and more top speed.
So in all i was very impressed and will wait and see what comes of the first production run of these things. I really do not want to buy the first production model, i really effed myself with my RZR that turnned into a complete custom buggy due to all of the parts breaking during my abuse.
I will be watching the release next year to see what happens.
 

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MDD,
Thanks for the great review and your input. Read around some more and you will see where HOPEFULLY AC is going to use Airdam's clutch designs. And that there should be more power from the production engines. We're all crossing our fingers.
 

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You must have had the track Nazi's out there on Sunday! I never had anyone tell me anything and I hammered it the whole way around. I was second in line and the lead driver was really pushing it. Every car out there must be a little different depending on its abuse. The brakes in the one I drove seemed spot on and evenly balanced. And I was able to drift every corner even in 4wd. I guess we will still be guessing until it shows up in the driveway and you can see how a brand new production model drives.............
 

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Thanks for the review. Good Info
 

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You must have had the track Nazi's out there on Sunday! I never had anyone tell me anything and I hammered it the whole way around. I was second in line and the lead driver was really pushing it. Every car out there must be a little different depending on its abuse. The brakes in the one I drove seemed spot on and evenly balanced. And I was able to drift every corner even in 4wd. I guess we will still be guessing until it shows up in the driveway and you can see how a brand new production model drives.............
Yep, the brakes on the green unit I drove worked fine.....Jason got a black one and he said the brakes sucked on his. I think it was just because these units have been used alot and things have worn differently on them.
 

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The 1 addition I wish Artic Cat would have incoprorated in their demonstration/tour is a skeleton Wildcat. A complete Wildcat without the body - So one could easily/fully evaluate.


I'm going out Saturday to take a look - I'm hopefull they have one just for display purposes for all to evaluate.
 

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I agree. I wish they would have at least had one of the Wildcats all cleaned up and available to walk around. They were all muddy and on the track. I think people would have liked to just look one over real good. But then again, its kind of like looking at a used car when you are going to buy a new one! Those things have seen some abuse............
 

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I agree also, but if you were one of the people that had to wait for an extended time to drive, you would be asking yourself.
"Why don't they use all the machines? That would speed it up"
So for me I'm glad they used all available machines.
 

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MegadesertDiesel... Good review, Thanks. My biggest disappointment was the front end push... if you were only in 4 wheel drive, it only got worse in 2-wheel drive.:mad:
 
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