Deere adds valuable horsepower to an already high-horsepower, row-crop tractor line. The top end of the new 8R and 8RT series is a tractor with 345 engine hp, about 15 hp more than the 8030 series tractor that it replaces. The bottom of the line offers 225 engine hp.

The tractors are equipped with PowerTech Plus, 9-liter, 6-cyl. engines with 2,100 rpm. Deere expects these tractors to be among the most fuel-efficient in the U.S. when they are tested at the Nebraska Tractor Test Lab, similar to its 8030 tractor model that earned the most fuel-efficient label after its testing.

The most visible change in the new tractor series is the spacious and sleek CommandView II cab. Deere's engineers say it has 10% more space than the previous CommandView cab and more features. It comes with a premium sound package, redesigned control arm, easy-to-read display and instructor seat that converts into a desk for a laptop or storage. Deere beefed up the air conditioning by putting the unit back on the roof (where it used to be) and installing 10 vents around the operator. The result is similar to going from a window air conditioner to central air.

Deere also improved the operator's view by adding more glass and repositioning cab supports. A new lighting package offers 360° vehicle illumination to help keep an operator from becoming fatigued when he or she works late into the night.

The 8RT series track model is built new, according to Deere. For the first time, Deere's infinitely variable transmission (IVT) is available on a track model. The IVT allows an operator to shift from 0 to 24 mph with a single lever. The track line also features the AirCushion suspension system, which is installed on Deere's larger 9030T track tractors. The suspension system provides better vehicle traction as well as operator comfort. The track spacing can also be adjusted from 72 to 160 in.

The new Deere tractor series is the first under Deere's new numbering system. The first number represents the size of the tractor and the next three numbers are the engine horsepower. The letter following indicates a tractor's capabilities and price. The higher the letter is up the alphabet, the more the tractor will do and cost. A second letter refers to other configurations, such as tracks.

Retail prices range from $166,000 to $267,000 for the 8R series tractors and from $230,000 to $262,000 for the 8RT series.