Green updates for 2018 announced at German event Claas announced updates to its Axion 900-series tractors and green harvest products at an exclusive press event in northern Germany. A new assurance scheme for second-hand Claas tractors was also promoted. But the biggest news concerned the most popular Arion 500 and 600 tractor series. David Williams reports.
p Claas announced updates to the Arion and Axion tractor ranges at a German press event. t Arion 500 and 600 tractors are updated to meet Tier 4 final emissions regulations. All models gain power and there is a new flagship 660 with up to 205hp available.
Arion Arion 500 and 600-series tractors are Claas’ mid-sized offering with features to suit typical UK mixed and smaller arable farms, and the current 600-series accounts for just over half the brand’s tractor sales. The competitive market sector includes stiff competition and the new 7-model Claas line-up includes a wider range of power outputs for greater versatility. There are additional features for improved efficiency, fuel economy and driver comfort and Claas tractor product manager Alastair McCallum commented that almost every improvement or feature requested by UK dealer sales teams has been included and that current and potential Claas users are already keen to try the latest specification. Power is from DPS PowerTech engines as before, but now meeting Tier 4 final emissions regulations using SCR (Adblue) in combination with a diesel particulate filter, but no EGR. The 500-series, with 4-cyl, 4.5-litre engines offers maximum outputs from 125hp (rated), increasing in 20hp steps through the range to 165hp, while 6-cyl 600-series models have outputs from 145–185hp. Four models cover the 145–165hp power band, allowing a choice of 4- or 6-cylinders with short or longer wheelbases to suit the application and customer preference. These include the Arion 530 and 610, both with 145hp and the Arion 550 and 630, both with 165hp. Maximum power output for all models is 10hp more than the rated figure, but the new flagship Arion 660 also has Claas Power Management for PTO and transport applications providing up to 205hp and closing the gap between the Arion and Axion 800-series. Power delivery is improved over
previous models. Torque availability from low engine revs is provided by twin turbochargers with wastegates on 500 models and a variable geometry turbocharger on 600 machines. Fuel savings on 6-cylinder models are promised through a 650rpm idling speed when the tractor is stationary, reduced from 800rpm previously. Transmission options are as before; Hexashift Powershift or CMatic CVT but the new Arion 660 comes only in CVT form with a brand new EQ22 drive unit developed specially to handle the power. Improved efficiency over the smaller CVT units saves fuel use by up to three per cent. Transmission design improvements include more progressive speed control through the foot pedal and better response, particularly at low speeds. Drive train braking is also improved for better handling of heavy trailers downhill.
New intermediate spec Until now the Arion was available in only CIS and CEBIS specifications, but a new option; CIS+ has been added. CIS is the entry-level with mechanical hydraulic valves and a simple display while Cebis includes a large colour touch-screen, a CMotion multi-function joystick and electronic operation and adjustment of most functions. Hexashift transmission was available on either version but CMatic CVT could only be specified for Cebis models. The new intermediate specification CIS+ has electronic hydraulics, a colour 7in A-pillar display and shares the CIS model’s simple Drivestick control lever but is also available with CVT transmission. Operation of tractor functions such as loader hydraulics is made easy through the new ElectroPilot 4-way control lever, which also includes electronic transmission shuttling. The CIS+ specification includes
A new intermediate CIS+ specification joins CIS and Cebis versions offering CVT transmission without the premium hydraulic set up of the Cebis.
CIS+ specification includes proportional speed control through the Drivestick (left) and electronic direction shuttle through the ElectroPilot stick (right) also used to control the front loader or other implements.
more advanced functions than the CIS version, including headland management with up to four sequences and control of up to six spools. Isobus interfaces and programmable function buttons are also included. Claas telematics and GPS steering are available. “Some customers don’t require the high level hydraulic offering and set-up options but would like the flexibility of CVT transmission,” explained Alastair. “The CIS+ equipment level will suit many UK users, as an ideal and cost-effective solution. It isn’t just CMatic customers who will appreciate it. Current Hexashift transmission buyers are often looking for the additional comfort of electric spools with timers, but wouldn’t justify or make the most of a Cebis machine.” The higher Cebis specification is also improved on the new models, including a 12in touch screen with direct access to settings through the screen as well as by using the CMotion joystick. continued over...
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