Fendt has unveiled its first forager, although it will be several years before it's possible to buy one in the UK.
The Katana 65, named after a Samurai sword, has a 16-litre V8 650hp MTU engine.
For those unfamiliar with the engine manufacturer, it was a subsidiary of DaimlerCrysler and is the first of its size to use SCR (Selective Catalytic Reduction). This means that the Katana is also the first forager to get exhaust after-treatment to meet Stage 3b (Tier IV interim) emissions regs due to come in next year.
Next year, six pre-production prototypes will be at work in Germany and across Europe and, while no machines will be sold until the machine goes into full production in 2013, about 30 units will be on test with customers the following year.
Two prototypes have been working during 2009 and 2010, spending some of their time in Cumbria this year.
Full technical specs of the Katana are still sketchy as Agco is keen to keep hardware details to themselves. To begin with, it will use Kemper grass and maize headers (an interesting choice, given Kemper is owned by John Deere).
Chopped material will pass through six rollers, and chop lengths will range from 4mm to 42mm. Fendt claims that the Katana's 750mm diameter drum is the largest on the market.
There's a specifically designed cab, with multi-function armrest and a new joystick, alongside the 10in Varioterminal first seen in 800 Vario tractors launched last year.
Fendt Katana 65
• Engine MTU (supplied by Mercedes) 16-litre V8 SCR
• Power 650hp
• Transmission 40kph
• Pick-up Kemper grass and maize headers
• Spec 720mm diameter drum, 4mm-42mm chop length
• Available 2014 in the UK
Rear-axle suspension and a 40kph box will also feature, although not through the company's well-known Vario transmission.
There were hints at the launch that this 650hp version is just a taste of what's to come. Agco is investing heavily in its production facility in Hohenmölsen, near Leipzig, which will be mainly responsible for the production of the Katana among other harvest machines. At the official market launch (spring 2011), Fendt is expected to announce technology that reduces fuel use during chopping.
Agco admits that this first foray into forage harvesting will test the dealer network, both abroad and in the UK. That is why, says Richard Shelton of Fendt UK, the machine will not be available on sale until 2014 on this side of the channel.
Test machines will be running over the next few years, butr they won't be placed with customers until 2013, when the Katana will also make its debut at the UK's Scotgrass event.
Fendt says that providing forager back-up is critical for both contractors and farmers, which is why, initially, it's rumoured that the forager will only be available through key dealers capable of providing this level of service.
While it won't be around for a couple of years yet, the Katana is sure to put the cat among the pigeons in the UK forager market. In fact, Agco claims that within a few years Fendt will account for a double-digit market share both here and in Europe.
While this may sound an optimistic claim, the forager market is growing, so there could be room for a newcomer.
Cargo R rear-loader concept
Fendt also showed a concept rear-end loader for its high-horspower reverse-drive tractors, the 800 and 900 Vario ranges.
The Cargo R (pictured) uses the company's existing Cargo 4A85 front-end loader, which has been mounted on a frame on the rear linkage lift. Other Cargo units will all be compatible with the frame, too.
Maximum lift capacity will be 3000kg, while lift height is 5.05m when the rear lift is raised. When lowered, this height is still more than 4m.
Designed for work like loading large dump trailers, handling large bales and work on clamps, this reverse-drive set-up is said to give good load-handling over a long reach, increased visibility and, because it's mounted on a reverse-drive machine, good manoeuvrability.
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