Case IH has launched a 100-120hp tractor range to fill the boots of the outgoing Farmall U Pro.
The company hopes the Luxxum tractors will solve a growing demand for high-spec, low-horsepower tractors as operators look for more versatility from their modestly sized machines.
Apparently, the low commodity prices and a reduction in the number of small and medium-sized farms means buyers are clocking more hours and completing a greater variety of work in each machine.
With that in mind, the company has made improved comfort and increased versatility its number one priority.
The Luxxum is to be officially launched later this year and promises to bring front linkage, cab suspension and a multi-functional arm rest controller to a sector traditionally thin on features.
Starting in the engine department, there is a new four-cylinder 3.4-litre Fiat Powertrain Technologies (FPT) engine tuned to deliver 99-117hp.
To meet emissions regs, the oil burners are fitted with a clever exhaust gas re-circulation valve, which chooses how much exhaust gas to reuse – using up to 10%, depending on output.
A smaller valve also reduces the need for a massive cooling pack, says Case.
Power is put to the ground by a 32-speed, four-range powershift that also comes with an automatic setting.
Case says it is exploring the idea of fitting continuously variable transmission, but refused to say if or when we might expect it.
The front suspension is taken from the Maxxum range and comes with height settings that can be adjusted from the cab.
The front linkage has its own suspension, too, which is controlled through the multi-function controller.
Elsewhere, the loader joystick carries the transmission functions.
A Stoll-made unit is the factory-fit option and comes with a 26cm wider frame, which Case says improves visibility from the driver’s seat.
If the loader is not fitted, the joystick can be hooked into the other spools using the on-board Isobus II computer.
The bigger Maxxum tractors have also had a refresh.
Most notably, there has been an engine reshuffle that sees the range run from 115-145hp, or 145-175hp, including boost.
All the models are powered by the same four-pot, 4.5-litre block, though there is a six-cylinder, 6.7-litre option on the biggest model for those who prefer the steady strokes of a big engine.
They are all sourced from FPT and again use SCR, but this time with AdBlue. .
An exhaust flap has been fitted to help manage the engine temperature after start-up, which also adds engine braking for towing a load on the road.
The wheelbase has been extended by 26cm to help road comfort and stability, but the designers have managed to keep the turning circle the same as before.
Isobus III can be fitted to the higher-spec Maxxums, so the implement can influence the speed, draft and hydraulics of the tractor.
The rest of the changes are mainly cosmetic and its looks have been taken from the 300hp Optum, including the cab roof, grille and raised badge on the side of the bonnet.