Renaults Ares series comes in with big bang
By Andy Collings
LASER lights, champagne and music heralded the latest range of tractors to be launched by Renault Agriculture.
Distant as such revelry may be from the hard, demanding face of practical European farming, Renault clearly has some high expectations from the three years of investment which has culminated in the Ares series.
Students of Greek mythology will instantly recognise Ares as being the God of War – an indication perhaps, of the way Renault plans to attack, conquer and command the opposition.
Whatever your opinion of this ambition, the new Ares series represents a power band currently consumed by 65% of the market. Available ultimately as a seven-model range spanning the 85-165hp bracket, the mid 100-145hp is now on stream with other models scheduled to appear later this year.
To assume the Ares series to be a true Renault product, as we have come to know it, is perhaps to be misled – albeit only to a degree. Accepting that the design and concept of the new tractor is the product of the companys in-house designers, its actual components are the result of collaboration with other manufacturers, namely Massey Ferguson and John Deere.
One of the key points in the development of the Ares tractors has been the GIMA project – a 50/50 joint venture between Renault and Massey Ferguson to develop a transmission. Calling on a significant investment from both companies, the new tractors are the first to be equipped with a system which offers a choice of a 16 x 16 to 48 x 48 boxes employing a new oil cooled clutch pack.
Power is supplied by Deere Power Systems, foregoing the use of MWM engines used in earlier Renault tractors, the main reason given that expected emission requirements can now be met.
In terms of style, Renaults designers have burnt some midnight oil – to good effect. Workmanlike in appearance and still retaining an unmistakable "Renault look", the question of ability to perform is hard to contest. The Ares is clearly set to do battle.
• Full report on page 56.
Curtain up…and here are the stars of the show. The new Renault Ares tractors pirouetted their way on to a stage in Beaune, France, last week.