What do you get when you pair a smooth and powerful engine with a chassis that’s the epitome of versatile? The long standing Pantera name from the Cat camp returns in 2015 in one all out luxury offering, serving up a new level of functionality for two up riding, long range fuel capacity, and a sleeper sled for one up long range touring. It’s often a hard decision in the family sport of snowmobiling to decide which single sled to have in the stable that could possibly cover all the bases. Arctic Cat is banking the Pantera is that sled. First thoughts, this sled is big, just like all the ProCross and ProMoutain chassis buggies, sometimes too big. The ride is calibrated on the plush side, but lacks a level of connectedness with the trail. The two-up removable seat is a great concept although not a new one, and we love the big range capability with the additional rear tank. However driver seat comfort takes a huge hit as it makes room for the added petro. Sleds like the Ski-Doo GSX deliver better ride quality in terms of comfort, and with a passenger onboard, or added luggage, we wish the 1049 delivered more thrust. The Yamaha engine is a proven performer, but we’ve experienced warm engine starting gremlins and a failed starter this past season, which we hope will be addressed in 2015. We plan on having a Pantera in our stable next season, and with a few upgrades, such as performance shocks, we hope to transform this big distance ride into more compliant bump sled as well.