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Cat’s Out of the Bag: We Drive Textron Off Road’s New Wildcat XX

Posted in Features on April 16, 2018
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We like going fast in the dirt just as much as we like crawling over rocks, and the brand spankin’ new Wildcat XX does both of those in a big way. We took a trip to the desert to see just how much fun we could have in Textron Off Road’s newest offering.

Textron tells us that the Wildcat XX side-by-side underwent a complete redesign from its predecessor and is incredibly capable right off the showroom floor. Textron’s motto for this build was “ride over everything,” a double entendre encompassing commitment to ride quality as well as the ability of the Wildcat XX to conquer extreme terrain. To address the former, unequal-length front A-arms and a race-inspired rear trailing arm work to significantly reduce track width changes in the front and rear during suspension travel. This means that even in the bottom of a G-out, when lifting wheels off the ground through a turn, or ripping across bathtub-sized whoops, the rear of the Wildcat XX resists the urge to wander and continues to put horsepower to the dirt.

Driving the Wildcat XX was just as fun as it looks. We weren’t afraid to let all 125 horses loose in the turns.

Speaking of horsepower, the naturally aspirated three-cylinder EFI engine and heavily vented CVT deliver all 125 horses to the wheels in 2WD and 4WD modes. When we crawled up the craggy desert canyons, the locking front differential, rear transaxle, and low-range gearing kept pulling the machine forward, even as we were teetering on boulders. When the trails opened up into sprawling dirt roads, we stomped the gas pedal and were treated to a cheek-flapping 75-mph cruise amongst the yucca plants.

After a rigorous day of riding, we handed the keys over to race legend Robby Gordon who was eager to prove that even in factory trim, the Wildcat XX was competition-ready. During the three-lap rip around his personal test track, Robby had us airborne, glancing off rocks, and sliding sideways through corners in true Baja style. We were almost glad to have our feet back on solid ground afterward, and more than ever wanted to bring a Wildcat XX home.

PhotosView Slideshow

Ride quality was key in the Wildcat XX side-by-side. The Fox 2.5 Podium QS3 shocks with Bottom-Out Control simply devoured washboards and whoops with 18 inches of suspension travel in the front and rear.

Photo: Textron Off Road
When playing in the rocks, the 30-inch CST Behemoth tires helped to create 14 inches of ground clearance—more than you’ll find on any stock Jeep.
Comfort was not sacrificed in the Wildcat XX. Seat adjustments accommodated everyone from garden gnomes to NBA stars, the instrument readout and hood didn’t hinder the driver’s forward view, and heftier safety restraints can be easily mounted to the harness bar behind the driver seat.

Specs

Vehicle: Textron Off Road Wildcat XX
Base price: $20,499
Engine: Fuel-injected, three-cylinder, 998cc DOHC four-stroke
Horsepower: 125
Drivetrain: CVT
Drive system: Electric 2/4WD with 4WD Lock
Front differential: Locking with electrical actuator
Rear differential: Transaxle
Steering: Electric-assist rack-and-pinion
Front suspension: Double A-arm, Fox 2.5 Podium QS3 shocks, sway bar, 18-in travel
Rear suspension: Trailing arm, Fox 2.5 Podium QS3, sway bar, 18-in travel
Brakes (f/r): Dual piston/single piston
Wheels: 15-in KMC aluminum
Tires: 30x10x15 CST Behemoth
Overall length (in): 136
Overall width (in): 64
Overall height (in): 67.5 w/o roof, 68 w/roof
Overall weight (lb): 1,816 (dry), 1,868 (curb)
Wheelbase (in): 95
Ground clearance (in): 14
Bed dimensions (in): 34x32x9
Fuel capacity (gal): 10

Sources

Textron Off Road
textronoffroad.com

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