Archive for May, 2011

John Deere tractor now in two-wheel drive

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

John Deere has added a new two-wheel drive model to the 5E range of utility tractors. The 55hp open station 5055E is the only model in the range offered with 2WD, but otherwise features the same specifications as the 4WD 5055E, 5065E and 5075E models.

The 5055E is a small, lightweight and manoeuvrable machine, perfect for use as a utility, front loader or scraper tractor on a dairy farm, for example, but also equally suitable for smallholders and equestrian centres, or as a general-purpose tractor for use by local authorities.

It is available ex-factory with 6.0×16 Goodyear front tyres and 14.9×28 Goodyear rear tyres only, and can be adjusted to a variety of track widths from 1.5 to 2m (59.6 to 79.7in).

The 5055E is powered by an easy to service Tier III intercooled three-cylinder John Deere PowerTech M engine with turbocharger and viscous fan. The synchronised 9F/3R inline transmission follows an H pattern and can be shifted on the move via side-shift levers within the range. It includes a park brake for safe parking on slopes, and self-adjusting, self-equalising and hydraulically actuated wet disk brakes.

Lift capacity is 1.8 tonnes at the hitch balls, and the tractor can be fitted with a choice of two mechanical self-levelling or non self-levelling loaders, with lift capacities of either 873kg or 989kg to a maximum lift height of 3.38m. A fold-away roll-over frame is fitted as standard, and a two-post sun protection canopy is available as an option.

Basic list price of the new John Deere 5055E 2WD tractor is £13,505 or €15,535 (both prices excluding VAT).

  • In addition, a new 24 forward/12 reverse PowerReverser transmission is now available for the 5G Series tractors from 80 to 100hp, including the GF (fruit) and GV (vineyard) models. This features an electric left-hand reverser lever and a reliable long-life clutch design that makes these tractors ideal for front loader work and for uphill starts with heavy implements or trailers.
  • 5055E 2WD tractor


Wednesday, May 25th, 2011


Mercedes-Benz has announced plans to introduce their new revamped C-Class range, saloon and estate versions of which will go on sale here in early-April at prices that remain relatively unchanged despite the higher level of specifications being offered.

Following what they term ‘a comprehensive modernisation’ the range has been given a bright, new, more athletic appearance and fitted with a number of new features that Mercedes-Benz believes will give it a significantly more competitive edge.

Amongst the most visually striking improvements is an imposing new fascia that brings the C-Class more into harmony with the brand’s new design idiom. Bumpers have a more dynamic contour while a more pronounced V-shape grille gives it a more sporty look – an impression enhanced by new headlights, LED indicators and front daytime running lights.  Front side air inlets positioned low down in the bumper give the car a road-hugging appearance while rear modifications create an even greater impression of width. A lightweight aluminium bonnet, front wings and door sections reduce weight and increase fuel efficiency.

The interior has been completely revamped. An enhanced level of trim now includes Artico leather upholstery as standard. Other features include a restyled dashboard with elegant grained surface and decorative inlays, a redesigned instrument cluster and updated controls, new three and four-spoke leather steering wheels and new telematics.
Internationally, the new C-Class range consists of eleven models. In Ireland, attention will focus on three diesels and one petrol unit of which the 200 CDI version will be the most popular. Others models going on sale here are a 220 CDI and 250 CDI diesel and a C180 petrol.

New engines that deliver increased performance, improved fuel economy and lower emission all come equipped with emissions-reducing BlueEFFICIENCY package as standard – a feature that positions them solidly within the lower road tax bands. This is reflected in the 200 CDI BE manual version whose CO2 rating of 138 qualifies it for Band B road tax of just EUR156.

The estimated 31% reduction in fuel consumption that the new C-Class is expected to deliver is another feature that should add to its appeal. This outcome is helped by a CD rating of 0.26 (which the manufacturers claim is a benchmark in its category), an ECO start/stop function which is fitted as standard on manual and automatic versions and fuel-efficient 7G-Tronic automatic transmission.

Safety is also to the fore with features that include drowsiness detection, adaptive headlight beam adjustment, active lane keeping and blind spot assist, park assist and proximity and speed control systems depending on model choice.

Despite its many improvements and higher level of standard specifications, the new C-Class enters the Irish market at prices that are exactly the same as its predecessor. Entry level models are the C180 BE petrol at EUR35,055 (ex works) and C200 CDI SE Blue EFFICIENCY at EUR36,350. Across the range, customers have a wide choice of models and specifications in Standard, Elegance and Avantgarde with lots of additional options available in each case.

In a comment, Mercedes-Benz sales manager Ciaran Allen said that ‘thanks to its more attractive appearance and a very competitive position in terms of price and specifications, we expect that sales of the new C-Class will grow from one-fifth to one-third of total Mercedes-Benz sales in Ireland and thereby help us to retain our strong position within the luxury segment.’

Mercedes-Benz 2011 C-Class

Mercedes-Benz 2011 C-Class - Front


Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

The new Mercedes-Benz CLS coupé– which has been the subject of much positive comment since its debut at last year’s Paris Motor Show – has arrived in Ireland.

Successor to the version first released in 2003, this new edition CLS continues the pioneering design that made its predecessor one of the most iconic models ever produced by Mercedes-Benz

Built on an E-Class platform, the four-door CLS combines executive-class comfort with the sporty appeal of a coupé. These qualities are reflected in an elongated bonnet, frameless low-slung narrow windows, muscular shoulders and dynamic roofline that sweeps elegantly towards the rear.

Two models make up the range that will be marketed here – both diesel powered and both equipped with Blue EFFICIENCY technology that delivers reduced fuel consumption, reduced emissions and lower road tax.

First of the two is a four-cylinder CLS 250 CDI automatic which comes on the market at EUR65,750 ex works, a figure some 23% lower than the model it replaces. Delivering a C02 figure of 134g, it will have road tax of EUR156 per annum.

Second is a V6 CLS 350 CDI automatic. With a C02 figure of 159g, this version will have annual road tax of EUR447. Selling at EUR71,700, it is priced significantly lower than the previous 320 CDI which sold at EUR84,850.

In appearance, the CLS has a striking grille design distinctly reminiscent of the new SLS AMG in which the dominant element is a large star that underlines its family link to other Mercedes-Benz coupés. Flared wheel arches and large air inlets with black grilles add to its athletic appearance.

Inside, a wrap-around cockpit design is the prominent feature. A downward sweeping door trim echoes the exterior line. Five colours, five trim designs and three qualities of leather are available so that each CLS can be configured according to taste. High-quality trim elements also include a choice of three wood finishes.

Amongst its many technical advances is the innovative use of LED technology to light up indicators, sidelights and low and main beam functions that give a vastly enhanced night view compared to traditional systems.

The CLS is the first of six new Mercedes-Benz models arriving here this year, others being a C-Class facelift and coupé (April), SLK (April), B-Class and M-Class (November/December).
Commenting, Mercedes-Benz passenger sales manager Ciaran Allen described the CLS as a model ‘fully in harmony’ with current thinking. ‘The availability of BlueEFFICIENCY across the range enhances its appeal and underpins its market position at a time when green issues and planet-saving technologies are to the fore’ he said.

New Mercedes- Benz CLS

New Mercedes- Benz CLS

Range Rover Evoque Personalisation Options

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

§       Personalisation options revealed: comprehensive choice of stylish options

§       Three design themes: Pure, Prestige and Dynamic

§       Bespoke accessories: new items available, many designed specifically for the Evoque

Land Rover has produced an exceptional range of personalisation options for the new Range Rover Evoque. Both the 5-Door and coupé can be specified to suit individual tastes and lifestyles through a range of colour and feature combinations.

In place of the traditional trim hierarchy are three design themes: Pure (cool and contemporary), Prestige (luxurious) and Dynamic (bold and sporting). Beyond these themes, customers can add their own personal stamp, inside and out. Designer exterior packs provide contrasting colours for the roof and front and rear spoilers, and there are eight alloy wheel designs (from 17 to 20in). A panoramic glass roof is available, together with roof rails (in black or chrome finish) and illuminated chrome and aluminium tread plates.

Similarly, individual expression is possible in the cabin with a choice of 16 tailored designer interiors, together with a selection of metal finishes, wood veneers and contrasting headlining colours. To heighten the hand-crafted feel, a full soft leather interior can be specified with twin-needle stitching.

The new Range Rover Evoque can also be specified with an impressive array of premium on-board entertainment features, including an 825W Meridian surround system, Dual-View touch-screen display, television and rear seat monitor for DVD playback and computer gaming. An advanced Park Assist system allows for simpler and safer parking manoeuvres and a powered tailgate can help take the strain out of loading.

Gerry McGovern, Land Rover Design Director said: “Customers like to make their own unique statement with a vehicle and we have provided them with plenty of opportunities to personalise their new Range Rover Evoque, whilst maintaining the essence of the design.

To help customers navigate the choices or options, we have developed a guide called ‘designer’s choice’, with carefully co-ordinated colour and material combinations that have their own distinctive character.”

Many new accessories have been designed for the new Range Rover Evoque, too, which are both useful and eminently stylish. These include bright-finish tubular side sill bars, sports pedals, a roof-mounted carrier system and full towing kit, plus a dedicated mountain bicycle carrier.

Range Rover_Evoque_Coupe_Prestige


Wednesday, May 25th, 2011


§       Range_e: Land Rover advanced plug-in hybrid diesel technology debuts at Geneva Motor Show

§       Low emissions and exceptional fuel efficiency: Range_e capable of delivering 89g/km CO2 emissions and a fuel economy of 85mpg (3.36 l/100km)

§       Electric range: over 20 mile (32km) range in all-electric EV mode

§       Hybrid programme: Land Rover announces intention to launch first diesel-electric hybrid in 2013

§       Land Rover 4WD capability: First fully capable 4WD plug-in hybrid diesel

Land Rover’s on-going commitment to building vehicles that are more fuel and emissions-efficient reaches another milestone at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show with the first presentation of Range_e. This development model is equipped with an advanced plug-in hybrid diesel-electric powertrain that Land Rover expects to make available in future production models, following the scheduled launch of its diesel-electric hybrid in 2013.

Range_e is based on the Range Rover Sport and uses the current 245PS 3.0-litre TDV6 diesel engine, working with an eight-speed ZF automatic transmission and a 69kW electric motor. Using a parallel hybrid system, with a 14.2kW/h lithium-ion battery that can be recharged from an external 240V power source, Range_e can be driven on electric power alone for more than 20 miles (32km), with zero harmful tailpipe emissions.

A full recharge from a standard domestic power supply can be accomplished in around four hours. Typically the majority of European car drivers cover less than 25 miles (40km) a day and therefore the EV range offered by this technology will support the majority of short urban journeys, where fuel economy and emissions are of prime concern. However, for longer journeys the diesel hybrid drivetrain will engage and continually optimise CO2 emissions.

Overall CO2 emissions are just 89g/km, yet Range_e has a maximum system output of 339PS and a top speed of around 120mph (193kph), delivering a fuel economy of 85mpg (3.36 l/100km). Improved fuel efficiency from the hybrid system makes 690 miles (1,112km) possible on a full tank of fuel.

Range_e is also engineered with the same full 4WD capability as the standard Range Rover Sport, with high and low range in the transmission, front and rear differentials and a mechanical locking centre differential. Dependant on the driver demand, the car’s intelligent system decides the most efficient method to deliver the power required, whether this is by electric, diesel or both. The Range_e also features regenerative braking to capture energy usually wasted in heat energy via the brakes. This energy can then be redeployed to drive the vehicle, further reducing fossil fuel consumption.

John Edwards, Land Rover Global Brand Director, said: “This system is the first example of a premium plug-in hybrid that also provides the full four-wheel-drive capability that you would expect from a Land Rover.  It is an evolution of the production intent diesel-electric hybrid technology which will be launched in our next generation of SUVs and will be available for customers within the next two years.”

Land Rover in Partnership with CABLED

The Range_e is one of a number of Land Rover projects supported by the UK Government’s Technology Strategy Board and five prototype models are currently engaged in a test programme with Land Rover’s fellow members of the CABLED – Coventry and Birmingham Low Emissions Demonstrators – consortium. Land Rover anticipates its plug-in hybrid system will be brought to market in the near future, following on from the debut of its first standard diesel-electric hybrid models from 2013.

Pete Richings, Chief Engineer Hybrids, said: “We started the Range_e fleet trial in December 2010 and we have so far covered 12,000 miles on the trial between the five test vehicles. We are gathering invaluable real world data that will enable us to refine the technology ahead of introducing a production vehicle.”

Land Rover continues to recognise the need to work on all aspects of our CO2 footprint such as reducing weight, reducing mechanical losses and increasing powertrain efficiency and our hybrid technology represents one part of the research and development journey.

Jaguar Land Rover is committed to spending £800 million on environmental technologies and has targeted a 25 per cent reduction in its fleet average CO2 emissions between 2008 and 2012.


Landini Powermondial 120

Thursday, May 12th, 2011

Powermondial 120

The Powermondial range consists of three models; 110, 115 and 120, so this new ‘120’ takes the range a further step forward in terms of power, performance and features. It will be the first Landini tractor of this size to emulate the six-cylinder 7 Series models in providing two power ratings and the Powermondial 120 comes with uprated hydraulics and brakes to match the 40kph top speed, which is achieved at more economical revs.

The Perkins 1104D-E44TA version used in the new Powermondial 120 is the most sophisticated used in a Landini four-cylinder tractor. It features an electronic fuel injection management system that produces two distinct power curves. For draft work such as ploughing and cultivating, the Perkins 4.4-litre engine serves up to 112hp. So for operations that are easier on the transmission, the fuelling system is remapped to generate up to 121hp – an 8% or 9hp increase that enables the tractor to deliver performance equivalent to a more powerful model.

The Power Boost feature kicks in automatically whether in the field, operating a pto-driven implement or on the road when the transmission’s top range is engaged. Another feature of the electronic management system for road travel is that the tractor can run at top speed with reduced engine revs. So at 40kph the engine spins at just 1830 rpm for a quieter, more economical drive.

Unlike the Powermondial 110 (102hp) and 115 (110hp), which are available in both Techno and Top spec, the Powermondial 120 will be available only with the latter Top spec. This means it will come with a 36 forward and a 12 reverse speed transmission incorporating three powershift speeds and a new shuttle modulation control, which allows the forwardreverse shift characteristics to be altered to suit driver preferences.

A bigger main pump gives the hydraulics system a boost. It raises total flow from 82- to 90- litres/min, while continuing to provide a dedicated 30-litres/min supply to the steering and ancillary-systems.

A new spool valve installation at the rear gives better hose routing around the top link area and comes with three valves as standard. Also, the Powermondial 120 gets ’power boosted’ brakes as standard, giving maximum braking effect with lighter pedal pressure.

Powermondial 120

Armstrongs supply to Michael and Gabriel Hoey’s Country Crest operation.

Tuesday, May 10th, 2011

New Holland Blue Power in the Emerald Isle

Ireland has become home to a special edition New Holland Blue Power T7060: It’s the first Blue Power tractor to venture over to the Emerald Isle.

The tractor has joined the team at Michael and Gabriel Hoey’s Country Crest operation. This fully integrated agri-business employs 170 people and is responsible for packing most of the potatoes for Tesco’s in Ireland and all of its onion requirements in Ireland. The company not only produces food and packs it, but manufactures ready meals too – 70,000 of them a week.

This busy farm already has four New Holland tractors, including a T8050 and a T7060. The original T7060, which was bought in 2008, is used mainly for spreading fertilizer and trailer work.

But the new Blue Power T7060, limited edition in Maserati Blue has an even more illustrious career ahead of it: Michael Hoey, apart from being a successful businessman and farmer is also a tractor enthusiast and highly respected collector. Over the years he has gathered over 80 Ford tractors and countless other machines. He says it wasn’t just the power and reliability that made him choose this unusual Maserati blue T7060:

“The colour and shape are fabulous. It’s a collectors’ item and my intention is to keep it for many years, but for the moment it has to earn its keep, so since we’ve had it, it has been out ploughing and doing a fair amount of trailer work. Both our T7060s are good, very reliable machines. They’re mid range, smooth on the road and not too heavy.”

Alex Hutcheson from New Holland dealership Armstrong Machinery in The Naul, County Dublin, says Michael Hoey’s unusual machine offers the best of both worlds:

“It’s not just the look of it – it’s very appealing and eye catching, with its silver and Maserati blue – but this machine is already renowned as a very reliable, high performance tractor. I don’t think this particular limited edition tractor will ever leave the Country Crest farm.”

The special edition New Holland Blue Power T7060 was launched to celebrate the T7070 Auto Command™ winning the prestigious 2010 Tractor of the Year® award, as well as the T7.210 awarded in the 2011 Golden Tractor for Design category.

The uniqueness of these special “Blue Power” T7070 Auto Command and T7060 Power Command tractors is visually obvious by the bodywork being painted in the strikingly different, one-off colour of Maserati blue. There’s also some silver and chrome styling additions to make the “Blue Power” tractors extra special.

T7060 in Maserati Blue

Michael Hoeys collection of Fords