AGCO Corporation is rolling out four new tractor platforms ranging from 180 to 240 PTO hp. The four platforms will be dual-branded as either the AGCO DT-A or Challenger MT600B series, making a total of eight new model names.
The tractors will all come standard with a sophisticated, electronically controlled, Sisu-built diesel engine paired with a continuously variable transmission (CVT), as well as comprehensive electronic control systems. The Challenger MTBs will include some additional unique features such as fingertip armrest controls, different hood and cab roof design and four-valve-per-cylinder versions of the Sisu-built engines, rather than the two-valve-per-cylinder AGCO engines.
New Challenger MTB tractors in the 180- to 200-hp range will get the Sisu-built Endurance 74ETA 7.4-liter (451-cu.-in.) diesel. The Endurance 84ETA 8.4-liter (512-cu.-in.) diesel will be used in 220- and 240-hp models. The engines produce up to 12% more PTO horsepower and up to 40% torque backup.
AGCO has used Sisu engines in this class of tractors before. What is different this time is that AGCO owns Sisu Diesel Inc., which AGCO acquired when it bought Finnish tractor company Valtra in January 2004. This has given Challenger and AGCO engineers more opportunity to further fine-tune and customize these engines to work with the CVT and electronic control systems.
AGCO's CVT traces its roots to the Fendt Vario transmission that was introduced in 1996. The CVT first appeared in the rapidly evolving AGCO brand tractors last year and has been updated and tuned to work specifically with these new tractors. The latest generation from AGCO is called the TechStar CVT. Between the Fendt and AGCO tractor brands, an estimated 40,000 CVTs are now in the field competing against John Deere's similarly functional infinitely variable transmission. This type of “stepless” transmission is popular with farmers because it eliminates the need to manually shift gears, making for smoother power transfer to the wheels.
Challenger models are painted yellow and sold exclusively by Caterpillar dealers. The AGCO DT-A models are painted orange and sold by AGCO dealers. Depending on the model, base prices range from $117,458 to $144,964 for the AGCO DT-A tractors and from $120,879 to $149,693 for the Challenger MTBs. Wheels are priced separately. Adding 710/70R38 cast rear wheels and 600/65R28 fronts, for example, adds another $11,563.