Friday, 27 September 2019 11:59

All new trio from Japanese giant

Written by  Mark Daniel
The M7172. The M7172.

News media gathered recently at Highlands Motorsport Park at Cromwell, Central Otago saw Japanese giant Kubota launch three new products for farmers and heard it announce it will open a New Zealand subsidiary.

Heading the product launch was Kubota’s European made, second generation M7-2 tractor which builds on the previous version.

The M7-2 comes in three power options of 128, 148 and 168hp, dubbed M7132, M7152 and M7172, respectively. Rated PTO horsepower is 100, 120 and 140hp, respectively.

The M7-2 has a new semi-powershift transmission supplied by industry specialist ZF. It has 30 forward and 15 reverse speeds -- up from the 24 available in the Series 1 units. 

Five synchronised ranges match up with six powershift steps and an auto-shifting function. This evaluates the range gear and automatically adjusts engine output to improve acceleration under heavy loads, helping to maximise overall productivity.

Like the previous series, the new Series 2 comes in three configurations – Standard, Premium and Premium KVT. And it is also offered in a new Deluxe model with a 110 L/minute closed centre/load sensing hydraulic pump layout with a Power Beyond function. 

Remote hydraulic valves are controlled by mechanical levers to the right -- ideal for operators wanting high output but not needing timers or electronic control. 

The Deluxe option also has a suspended front axle system, solid wheels and 50km/h capability.

Operator comfort is achieved with a 4-post cabin offering excellent visibility, mechanical suspension, reduced noise levels, an improved seat and 25% more air flow from the heating and ventilation system.

Also on the tractor front, Kubota launched a new mid-range utility series -- the M5-1 -- to complement the current M40 Series. These are powered by Kubota’s V3800, 4-cylinder engine rated to Tier 4 emission levels with power output of 93 or 110hp. 

The M5091 and M5111 are offered in Standard configuration, while the M5091 and M5101 Narrow are intended for viticulture or orchard applications. 

The two Narrow variants benefit from a flat floor layout and 36F/36R speed transmission with a hi-lo function. In the Standard configuration three ranges and six gears deliver 18F/18R speeds. 

The Cat 2 rear linkage has 3200kg lift capacity as standard, reduced to 1500kg in the Narrow versions. Hydraulic flow is up to 64L/min with up to five remotes depending on model.

Also launched was a new side-by-side utility vehicle -- Kubota’s fastest with a top speed of 64km/h, powered by a 48hp, 2-cylinder, 850cc Subaru petrol engine. 

Described by Kubota product manager Mark Basile as dropping into the “crossover sector”, the RTV XG850 Sidekick is built for speed but lacks none of the versatility of its RTV siblings.

Key features include water cooling, speed sensitive electronic power steering and a heavy duty CVT drive with a one-way sprag clutch for engine braking. A large diameter centrifugal clutch between the engine output shaft and the CVT system helps keep the belts tight and ensures smooth, progressive drive delivery as the throttle opening increases.

Towing capacity is rated at 907kg and the load capacity of the steel cargo box is rated at 454kg. 

An extensive range of accessories includes windscreens, roofs, doors and winches allowing users to customise the vehicle to their needs.

There are three variants: two take the traditional Kubota orange colour scheme, while the third is black with black alloy wheels and ATV tyres.

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