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.

Price: $2,388

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Location: Esperance, New York, United States