Saturday, September 8, 2007

A Diesel ATV from Arctic Cat

The Arctic Cat 700 Diesel is a whole different breed of ATV, as the ATV Rider crew revealed recently in their review of the machine. Polaris had tried a diesel-powered utility ATV in the nineties, with limited success but perhaps times have changed.

The Lombardini 695cc V-twin engine is engineered to run on six different blends of diesel fuel, including Diesel #1, Diesel#2, Diesel Arctic, JP5, JP8 and up to B20 bio-diesel. Diesel engines have earned a reputation for longevity, durability and fuel efficiency compared to their gasoline counterparts.

So how do they work in a quad? According to ATV Rider...

"builds speed slowly and surely, chugging along like the utilitarian tank it is...all we could muster was a lousy 30 miles per hour"

While it probably does have the best fuel economy of a utility ATV, it is also very heavy - accommodating the diesel engine and built for tough operating conditions. So while it may not the best choice for the average rider (being big, heavy, slow and requiring specific skill for the power delivery), farmers and ranchers who want something cheaper than a compact tractor to pull agricultural attachments around might find the Arctic Cat 700 diesel a smart choice. As summarized by ATV Rider...

"tows like a son-of-a-bitch"

Check out the full review including a test and photo showing the Arctic Cat diesel towing a full size trailer with two other quads on it on page 44 of the October 2007 issue.