The most powerful McCormick ever built was unveiled by Argo Tractors at the Agritechnica international machinery exhibition, signalling a new entrant into the market for high horsepower, heavy-duty tractors.
The McCormick X8 VT Drive, with engine power outputs of 264hp, 286hp and 310hp, is the culmination of one of the most intensive new product investment programmes undertaken by any of the World’s tractor manufacturers.
Simeone Morra, Director Corporate Business, Argo Tractors SpA, said: “Two years ago we presented our new product strategy to renew the entire McCormick range with more modern designs, new features, new technologies, greater comfort for operators and, of course, more power.
“We have delivered our plan with the stylish X4, X5, X6 and X7 families from 64hp to 212hp, and now also the X8 Series – the flagship of our new line-up of modern tractors. This programme represents an investment of €75 million in R&D over three years, 5.5% of our turnover, which demonstrates the commitment of the Morra family as owners and the company as a whole to the Argo Tractors enterprise.
“We are now selling tractors to more than 100 countries around the World, produced exclusively in our factories operating to the best Kaizen principles of efficiency,” Mr Morra added. “We will continue on a consistent path of product development to ensure we have a tractor range that delivers the best operating efficiency and performance for our many customers.”
Although the new X8 Series tractor is substantially bigger and heavier than the 165-212hp McCormick X7.6 design, it continues the same successful formula of bringing together proven components and assemblies in a unique combination. With up to 310hp and a heavy-duty CVT transmission, the X8 VT Drive will provide farmers and contractors with the highest levels of performance using the biggest ploughs, cultivators, seed drills and grass harvesting equipment.
An integral three-point linkage and pto assembly is a new feature of the cast steel load-bearing frame that forms the front half of the tractor’s chassis. It enables the X8 VT Drive to work effectively with implements at the front and the rear while keeping the machine relatively compact and very manoeuvrable for its power.
At the rear, a 12 tonne capacity three-point hitch and electronically-controlled hydraulics with 157-litre or 212-litre load-sensing pumps – plus 115-litres/min dedicated to steering and other ancillary systems – caters for large-scale implements.
Beneath the engine hood with its distinctive, striking design is a 6.7-litre power unit that meets the latest emissions rules using SCR exhaust after-treatment.
An electronically-controlled turbocharger with variable geometry manages power and torque outputs to deliver excellent low-speed response and high levels of torque starting at low rpm for strong pulling power with excellent fuel efficiency.
For the ultimate in traction, the McCormick X8 VT Drive can be equipped with 900/60 R42 rear tyres, which can be used at modest inflation pressures to protect the soil but are also capable of carrying the tractor’s 18 tonne gross weight when ballasted for maximum tractive performance.
A front axle with sophisticated parallelogram hydraulic suspension also helps deliver efficient traction while contributing to the comfortable ride provided by a sophisticated air seat and the new electronically-controlled active hydraulic suspension on the cab.
Drivers take command of the X8 VT Drive tractor using controls placed at their fingertips by the seat-mounted console and the 12in Data Screen Manager colour terminal. Precision Steering Management guidance can be added for accurate bout-matching and to simplify the driver’s workload while enjoying first-class all-round visibility, automatic air conditioning and the ease of control that comes from connecting to ISOBUS enabled implements.
Argo Tractors plans to start production of the McCormick X8 VT Drive in the second half of 2016.
Ray Spinks, Sales Director and General Manager at McCormick distributor AgriArgo UK looks forward to the first units arriving in Britain: “The McCormick name is closely associated with efficient power and performance and the new X8 VT Drive is the ultimate expression of that image. It has great driver appeal and its unique combination of proven engine, transmission and hydraulics will make it a powerful performer in the field.”