DESCRIBED as a new era for straightforward and dependable tractors, Massey Ferguson has beaten the lockdown blues with a virtual launch of its new 8S series of tractors – launched on-line last week to an estimated audience of 65,000 customers and 900 members of the press.

This initial range of four mid to high-horse-power bracket machines – of 205hp, 225hp, 245hp and 265hp – are to be immediately available in the UK, but with a limited gearbox offering. A more extensive inventory of gearing will be available from next year.

MF's top brass said these new tractors have been designed for farmers by farmers, having undergone many hours of testing across seven years of testing around the globe.

The MF 8S Series all feature the unique 'Protect-U' cab/engine installation which has a radical ‘neo-retro’ design. In other words, you might recognise the basic design lines, but they will be full of all the up to date kit. Built on a 3.05m wheelbase, they also offer max power of plus-20hp from engine power management (EPM).

The model numbering is pretty clear. For instance, in the MF 8S.265 model, the 8 stands for the Series, the S stands for the specification level and the last three digits are the maximum power.

These machines have also been built from the ground up with connectivity and smart farming technologies in mind. MF's Connect Telemetry and the new MyMF Customer Portal means that owners can manage their fleets using cloud-based solutions.

The new 3.4m³ volume cab is striking and has a unique shape, with the four-pillar structure giving pretty superb allround visibility, even though the pillars are also used to house some of the data functions. Its 'Protect-U' nomenclature comes from its ability to reduce noise, heat, vibration and enables a clean and cool air flow for the operator – and that's achieved largely by separating the cab from the engine thanks to a 24 cm gap.

With noise levels of just 68dB, it is one of the quietest in the market and has a 6.6m² glass area, with the intention of making it a light and airy workplace. Replacing the conventional dashboard with the new digital MF vDisplay terminal fitted to the right pillar, leaves just the steering wheel and power control lever in front of the driver, providing exceptional forward visibility over a slim, wasp-waisted bonnet.

The new high-quality seat is auto-air suspended, heated, ventilated and equipped with lateral damping – and there's an optional leather version available too. Featuring automatic air-con, supplied through 14 outlets is standard, while for extra comfort, a mechanical active cab suspension further enhances comfort on 'Exclusive' models.

Most operations are done via the new armrest fitted with the latest easy-to-use MultiPad lever provides for fingertip control. This ISOBUS compatible lever operates all tractor functions and includes an integral micro-joystick to control two spool valves.

Updated Datatronic 5 is a nine-inch touch-screen terminal helps manage all MF technologies, such as MF Guide, section and rate control plus 'Task Doc' data capture and transfer, as well as all major functions.

Under the bonnet is the latest Stage V AGCO Power six-cylinder, 7.4 litre engine which has MF's straightforward all-in-one after-treatment technology along with hydraulic tappet adjustment, which are both maintenance-free. Maximum power is generated from 1000 up to 1500 rpm. This lugging ability at low revs helps cut fuel consumption by 10% and noise by up to 6dB.

Designed and developed by its in-house experts, the initially available Dyna E-Power, dual clutch gearbox combines the advantages of a continuously variable transmission (CVT) with the ability to transmit power as efficiently as a mechanical transmission. This new unit even further reduces power losses against previous MF 7700 S Dyna-6, by up to 26% at higher speeds, delivering fuel savings up to 10%.

Dyna E-Power offers four ranges with seven gears, with semi-overlaps designed for maximising performance, on road and in field work. It can be operated either as an automatic, or manual using buttons on the MultiPad or Power Control lever, with drivers able to adjust its aggressiveness and speed of changes.

Users can also opt for the new Dyna-7, semi-powershift gearbox – developed from the proven Dyna-6 unit. This provides one extra powershift gear and smoother shifting, but is also 10% more efficient than the Dyna-6 relative to the same engine horsepower in field applications.

In total, Dyna-7 offers easy and efficient operation of a total of 28 forward and reverse speeds in four ranges and seven seamless gears. The CVT version, the MF Dyna-VT, will be available from next year.

MF has also beefed up the rear axle, allowing a choice of flanged, short, or long bar axles, and new wheel options now include the ability to fit up to 2.05m diameter rear tyres, including the VF650/75 R42 Trelleborg TM1000 PT.

They retain the well-proven standard suspended front axle, which has a tight, 5.7m turning radius, it also equipped with brakes for tractors fitted with all 50kmh transmissions.

At the working end, the three-point linkage capability has been increased by 7% to 10 tonnes, while the standard 150 litre/min closed-centre, load-sensing hydraulic system gives 36% more flow than previously. A 205 litre/min flow is optional, as is an ECO version and up to five electronic rear spool valves can be specified.

A four-speed pto is standard (540, 540ECO, 1000 or 1000ECO) and there's a new 4.8-tonne capacity front linkage option, fully integrated into the tractor, which can also have an ISOBUS socket attached.

Connectivity comes with MF Connect Telemetry, which includes a three-year subscription license, which uses mobile data to transfer information to the MF Connect Cloud. As well as logging the machine’s position and data it can also send error messages and upcoming service requirement alerts to users and dealers (with permission). An optional Fieldstar 5 terminal can be used to manage all the MF technologies.