The largest threshing area, the biggest and fastest emptying grain tank (17,100 litres and 210lit/sec) are just some of the numerous features of AGCO’s new range of global platform combines. Designed from a clean sheet of paper, the Ideal range on display in Italy this week is the culmination of six years of continuous lab and field tests. More than 50 prototypes have been built, and the total budget of well over US$400 million makes it the most expensive project so far for AGCO. The resulting three-model range, which is available in identical spec in MF, Fendt and Challenger, comprises the Ideal 7, Ideal 8 and Ideal 9. All three are offered in three versions – standard, PL (ParaLevel) and T (tracks). Power in the Ideal 7 comes from a 451hp 9.8lit AgcoPower engine, while the 12.4 litre (538hp) block in the Ideal 8 was supplied by MAN. So too was the engine in the Ideal 9, which at 647hp is the most powerful AGCO combine so far. The Ideal is also the first AGCO machine finished in the new graphite livery, which is the only colour for the combine. There will be no Nature Green or MF red versions, is the message. The Ideal is crammed with new technologies, one of which includes the 4.84m Dual Helix rotor in the Ideal 8 and 9, which is the longest in the industry. We’ll have more information on this, and outline some of the other technical details, and tyre and track options, in the next issue. The MF and Fendt versions are heading to Agritechnica, when prices will be released. Production is planned to start in Breganze, Italy, in May next year. A limited number of machines will be available for the 2018 harvest, with full availability from 2019.