There's a new name to remember in the Case IH tractor universe: the Versum was recently unveiled at Sima 19, the big Paris exhibition, joining the brand’s familiar Quadtrac, Magnum, Puma, Maxxum and lately the Optum.
Those with a foot in the maroon Case IH camp will lean towards the Magnum, while those who prefer blue will favour New Holland’s T8 range. Both tractors had the wraps pulled off and quickly pulled back on in recent weeks.
The latest Magnum, at this stage unimaginatively dubbed the AFS Connect Magnum is a nod to the company’s Advanced Farming System technology; with its New Holland sibling it appeared briefly at the World Ag Expo and National Farm Machinery Shows in the US, leaving groupies gagging for more details.
Details are still scarce but it seems there’s a redesigned hood with a grille from the 2016 autonomous tractor; otherwise engines are retained in 6.7L and 8.7L capacities from the in-house supplier FPT, and the same CVT and Powershift transmissions remain unaltered across the entire range.
But the tractor is said to be packed with the latest technology, most of it integrated into a new cab design, notably with four pillars instead of the current five and electronically controlled rear-view mirrors.
Expect to see improved heating and cooling systems, a high-tech 40-degree swivel seat, more storage compartments and data sockets and, of course, more cup holders. Trim will be available in three different levels.
On the tech front, a 12-inch Pro 1200 screen becomes standard, replacing the current Pro 700 offering. Also there’s a refined MultiControl armrest with eight control buttons, a MultiFunction handle with four programmable hot key buttons and an encoder knob for full control at the operator’s fingertips.
The new touchscreen is said to be tablet-like to operate, with a maximum of only three menu pages to enable all machine operation and guidance functions. A new A-pillar design will have a more logical colour layout for temperature, fluid levels, speed pre-sets and warning information.
The company says the general layout and displays will be familiar to current users but will contain enough new content to keep younger generations interested, including mobile phone integration into the touch screen display. The 12-inch screen can also have up to four camera feeds, one of which will come from a forward-facing unit mounted above the front grille.
As for built-in technology, the AFS Vector Pro receiver will be integrated into the cabin roof. It will allow dealer service technicians to remotely look at tractor systems and parameters to diagnose faults before visiting the farm. Likewise, technicians will be able to update tractor software without needing to visit.