STEYR looks to the tractor of tomorrow

During Agritechnica, the Austrian tractor brand STEYR will unveiled a comprehensive project study on what the future of tractor production could be in collaboration with CNH Industrial sister powertrain brand.

STEYR engineers have developed the STEYR Konzept, combining innovative technologies in a unique way to create an environmentally friendly, yet efficient and, above all, functional tractor concept.

At the heart of the study lies a modular hybrid electric drive, comprising a combustion engine, a generator, and several electric engines, which can be controlled individually, and which then supply energy where it is needed. This concept tractor, designed by CNH Industrial’s Design Centre makes use of a high-performance, 4-cylinder diesel engine. The selection of these components creates a compact vehicle design and allows an optimum overview of the vehicle.

The vehicle architecture enables smart solutions such as 4WD or an advanced suspension concept. This will provide farmers with a wide range of benefits in future, including enhanced ride comfort, additional flexibility and options, and unparalleled performance in the fields and on the roads.

All electric engines are networked in the STEYR Konzept so that power is always available where it is needed most for the situation at hand. An e-torque boost, fed from a central battery, supplies additional energy at peak power. The result of this system is a highly efficient electric continuously variable drive. A mechanical transmission and hydraulic components in the powertrain are therefore surplus to requirements. This ensures fewer moving parts, an optimum energy flow and fewer power and energy losses.

Tractor hydraulics and PTO are electrically driven, with the latter allowing variable engine speeds as well as reversing. 700 V and 48 V connections are available for electrical implements.

The option of recovering and storing energy, when descending slopes for example, is another benefit of electric engines. The engine can also be charged at the plug socket.

The intelligent 4WD of the concept tractor provides optimal power transmission. The four electric hub motors are supplied with energy from the battery or generator according to need. Individual control allows for outstanding traction and precision steering.

In purely electric mode, the STEYR Konzept enables zero-emissions driving, in relation to both exhaust emissions and noise pollution. Whether for farmers or local authorities, the tractor is the ideal fit for environmentally sensitive areas, such as in urban environments, close to residential areas, in stables or greenhouses. Unlimited availability is a major feature of the STEYR Konzept.

Handling has been significantly improved by the immediately available torque, which is evident in the engine’s immediate response. Moving the centre of gravity closer to the ground ensures better stability, while 4WD steering and individual wheel speeds allow for a smaller turning circle. The low noise pollution and unique single-wheel suspension of the vehicle provide additional comfort. The new cab concept, with large glazed sections and integrated cameras, creates the ideal all-round view along with improved safety.

The STEYR Konzept is also carrying forward new solutions in relation to precision farming equipment. A drone equipped with crop sensors, which flies ahead of the tractor during field work, supplies real-time data.

For the first time, a digital farm office is used in this concept tractor, allowing farm management from the convenience of the tractor, and operation via an integrated display in the right-hand side window. A head-up display facing towards the front, projects all key vehicle information into the operator’s field of vision.

“STEYR commissioned this study to look ahead and help map out the future of tractor production. The STEYR Konzept is useful in that it allows us to look again at the technical possibilities of combining comfort, efficiency and sustainability in a whole new way. We are delighted to see that it has highlighted specific approaches to overcoming future challenges in farming and in society overall.

The STEYR Konzept is proof once again of STEYR’s ability to innovate, while focusing squarely on the requirements of our customers,” says Christian Huber, Vice-President of Global Tractor Management.