Coming this year – Deutz Fahrs 21st century look
By Andrew Faulkner
CURVED cab profiles, redesigned interiors and sloping bonnets add up to a 21st-century look for Deutz-Fahrs new Agrotron tractor range.
But this is no futuristic concept vehicle with little chance of making it off the drawing board. The German firm already has tractors on the production line and the first models are expected to arrive in the UK by October.
Coming just six months after the takeover by Italian tractor giant Same-Lamborghini-Hurli-mann, the 68-145hp Agrotron is Deutz-Fahrs most significant model launch for 17 years. The 68-145hp sector accounts for a massive 80% of Deutzs tractor sales.
The 11-model Agroton series, which made its first public appearance at a 2000-strong dealer conference at Deutzs Cologne factory last week, replaces Agroprima, AgroXtra and Agrostar tractors. These ranges will gradually be phased out.
Also going are the air-cooled engines Deutz has become so closely associated with. In their place will be new Deutz four- and six-cylinder water-cooled units. The explanation for the change is that developing a lower emission version of the air-cooled motor would have been too expensive.
All new engines are turbo-charged and the three biggest four-cylinder models also get intercoolers. Torque back-up for all engines is claimed to be 28%-33%.
Although final UK specs are yet to be finalised, it is expected that two versions of most of the 11 models will be offered: A synchromesh two-lever gearbox (Synchro-split) and a higher-spec semi-powershift. Within those two packages a creeper box option will also be available. All boxes will have a top speed of 25mph.
The powershift box, which is expected to be the bigger seller in the UK, uses one lever for all gear shifts with a pre-select shuttle switch mounted next to the steering wheel for direction changes. For example, the four-speed powershift box on six-cylinder tractors has six clutch-engaged changes which are multiplied up to 24 using two "on-the-move" powershift buttons mounted on the side of the main gear lever.
The top-spec tractors are also likely to come with auto engagement/disengagement of 4WD and diff lock. These functions are controlled by steering angle, forward speed, brakes and degree of wheelslip.
But it is Agrotrons cab that will probably draw most attention due to its curved, roomy profile and vast area of glass. Deutz claims the cab, which features a pair of full-length glass doors and a large sunroof, gives the driver 90% all-round vision. Forward visibility is improved by a wrap-around, side-mounted exhaust stack. Air intake is either under the bonnet or can be routed up the cabs left-hand door pillar.
Price details will be announced before the first tractors make their trip across the Channel.
• Deutz refuses to confirm how long the 190hp Agrostar 6.81 model will continue to be supplied. Rumours point to an Agritechnica show debut for new 150hp+ tractors later this year. *
ModelHpTransmission (40kph)**Lift Capacity
**Creeper box option increases the number of available gears.