DRIVING IMPRESSION: Four tracks, 650hp+, rigid chassis … meet the new, high-horsepower Xerion. We drive a pre-production 12.650, the biggest tractor currently built in Europe.

Development of the all-new Xerion started in 2017 when Claas carried out a worldwide survey. The quizzed farmers revealed that they definitely wanted a tracked version as well as a wheeled machine, not solely to achieve low ground pressure when sowing, but also to put more power down on the ground when cultivating.

Top model — 653hp
There are two models in the new range, the Xerion 12.590, which maxes at 585hp, and the 12.650 with 653hp. Interestingly Claas says those involved in the survey wanted max outputs of up to 650hp, hence it is not breaking new ground in this mega mover segment.

Under the bonnet of both models is the Mercedes OM473LA six-cylinder inline unit that is also found in the Lexion 8700 and Jaguar 950/960. This mighty 15.6-litre motor delivers a maximum torque of 3,100Nm at the crank while purring at a modest 1,300rpm — all part of the low-speed concept 2.0. The necessary fuel is stowed in a pair of tanks, one under and one behind the cab and with a combined capacity of 1,400 litres. Claas says that this should be enough for 12 hours at average load.

Another request from potential owners was that even inexperienced operators should be able to hop on the tractor and get optimum efficiency. Hence the maker fits a stepless transmission so the tractor will always select the most efficient engine/forward speed ratio.

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