By Geoff Ashcroft

KUBOTA HAS signalled its intention to move further up the horsepower stakes with the launch of a new flagship tractor, the 125hp M125X.

Introduced onto the world stage at the recent national farm machinery show in Kentucky, USA, the Japanese manufacturer says the M125X is part of a global strategy to push into worldwide agricultural markets with a growing range of lightweight, straightforward tractors that are also fuel-efficient.

Unusually, power comes from a five-cylinder power unit with a capacity of 5.8 litres. A turbocharger equipped with a wastegate provides low speed torque to boost the engine”s lugging ability, according to the firm.

 Opting for a five-cylinder power unit is said to contribute to keeping tractor weight low and maintaining a short overall length when compared to traditional six-cylinder engines. It means the M125-X currently tips the scales at 4.4t and measures 4.3m in length.

The direct injection engine produces 103hp at the pto, which operates at 540 and 1000rpm.

The M125-X puts its power down through a twin-range, eight-speed powershift transmission offering a total of 16 speeds in each direction. It shares many components with the recently launched M105-S.

 “The M105-S has been very well accepted in the UK during the few months it has been available and I”m excited at the prospect that we can eventually offer customers a more powerful tractor, though it”s unlikely to be before 2006,” says Dave Roberts, Kubota”s UK agricultural sales manager.

 The four-wheel drive machine also features Kubota”s Bi-Speed Turn system that increases front wheel speed when the steering angle exceeds 35, giving it a high degree of manoeuvrability, says the firm.

 fwmachinery@rbi.co.uk