Looking back, 2023 was a massive year for new product launches.

This tends to be the case in an Agritechnica year, especially ahead of last month's show, given its four-year COVID-19-inflicted absence since 2019.

Aside from the more prominent launches, there were a considerable number of smaller-scale launches here at home from our own manufacturers in Ireland, as well as abroad.

Some of the notable Irish product launches included the Malone Tedd-air 1128T eight-rotor tedder and front conditioner mower, the ProPel tedder range from McHale and Mastek’s FlexiShoe low emissions slurry spreading (LESS) system, just to mention a few.

Below, in no particular order, we look at some of the product launches which attracted a considerable amount of attention globally.

Many of these new machines will make their UK debut at Lamma show on 17 and 18 January 2024.

Claas Xerion 12 Series

The new Claas Xerion 12.650 was crowned Tractor of the Year 2024 at Agritechnica.

In July, Claas launched its Xerion 12 Series and its most powerful Xerion to date.

The new 12 Series is the first Xerion designed to suit the Terra Trac system, albeit in a triangular format. Two models were added, the 585hp 12.590 and the 653hp 12.650, with the latter going on to win the Tractor of the Year 2024 award at Agritechnica.

Claas opted to stick with its C-Matic step-less CVT transmission, where the competition have stuck with a powershift alternative in models of such power.

Also different with the Xerion 12 over the competition is that the chassis is rigid, with the front and rear axles doing the steering.

Underneath the bonnet is home to a 15.6l Mercedes-Benz OM473 engine, which it shares with certain Jaguar and Lexion models.

The 12.590 churns out a max 585hp at 1,600rpm and up to 653hp in the 12.650. Torque maxes out at 3,100Nm at 1,300rpm in the 12.650.

Meanwhile, engine idle speed is as low as 650rpm. The fuel tank has been positioned with an optimum 50:50 weight distribution in mind regardless of fill level. Total fuel and AdBlue storage is 1,400l and 90l respectively

Up to eight double-acting spools are offered with prioritised circuits capable of delivering up to 140l/min. Both models can be configured with up to three load-sensing pumps to deliver external implements with a maximum 537l/min at 1,900rpm, an industry first according to Claas.

Fendt 600 Vario

Fendt has pushed the limits of the four-cylinder engine with the new Core 50 lump in the new 600 Vario range producing up to 224hp.

In September, Fendt took the wraps off its all-new 600 Vario tractor series.

The four-model, four-pot range comes with a maximum power offering of 224hp. Pushing more power from smaller engines, the range includes the 614, 616, 618 and 620. It starts at 149hp and peaks at 209hp.

Fendt’s DynamicPerformance boost system then kicks in to provide an additional 15hp, regardless of forward speed. This brings the power for the range from 164hp up to 224hp. With the flagship 620, Fendt is now offering a power-to-weight ratio of 34.4kg/hp.

Power is sourced from the newly developed four-cylinder, 5l AGCO Power Core 50 engine, which is married to a TA150 transmission. This uses the same format as the 700 Gen 7 introduced last year. This engine has also been prepared for alternative fuels, such as HVO.

Similar to Fendt’s larger tractors, the previous Vario transmission has been dropped for a single-range VarioDrive setup. This continuously measures slip on all four wheels and gives power to those with the most grip. The aim is to minimise wheel slip and bring greater traction.

Valtra S6 Series

Production of the new Valtra S series returns home to Finland and marks the start of the brands 6th tractor generation.

In September, at its HQ in Suolahti, Finland, Valtra unveiled its new flagship S6 tractor series, replacing the outdated S4 line-up. The six-model portfolio ranges from 280hp to 420hp and starts the Finnish manufacturer’s sixth generation tractor line-up.

The series comprises S286 (280hp), S316 (310hp), S346 (340hp), S376 (370hp), S396 (400hp) and the flagship S416 (420hp), all of which boast a further 30hp, apart from the S396, which boasts 20hp and the S416 which sits at a constant 420hp.

All models use the same 8.4l AGCO Power six-cylinder engine, albeit having moved to a single turbo configuration and no EGR, resulting in a slightly lowering engine temperatures and improving efficiency.

This arrangement is married up with an uprated version of the 53km/h ML260 CVT transmission.

Front- and rear-lift capacities go unchanged from before at 12,500kg on the rear linkage and 5,400kg on the front linkage. A 400l/min hydraulic option is now also available by means of dual 200l/min load-sensing hydraulic pumps.

Regarded as the largest update the series has received since its original launch in 1999, the new S6 tractors share more similarities with the A, G, N, T and Q series models than ever before.

Not only design similarities, but shared components too, such as the same cab as T and Q models.

One other major update is that the S6 production has returned to Suolahti, Finland, after 22 years. Until now, the S series had been built by Massey Ferguson in Beauvais, France, and based on its 8700S platform.

Customers can now also avail of the Valtra Unlimited Studio for all the usual accessories and customisation features.

Case IH Quadtrac 715

The new flagship Case IH Quadtrac 715 pushes out a maximum 778hp.

Also in September, Case IH pulled its new flagship Quadtrac 715 AFS Connect out of the bag in Vienna.

The new 715 maxes out at 778hp where it sits at the top of the revised 525-645 AFS Connect model line-up.

Under the massive new bonnet is the new FPT Cursor 16-litre engine featuring a twin-stage intercooled turbo setup.

It provides a displacement increase of 23% compared with the Quadtrac 645’s Cursor 13-litre engine.

The full 778hp is churned out at 1,900rpm and the peak torque of 3,255Nm is reached at 1,400rpm.

Wider saddle fuel tanks on the rear frame totalling 1,968 litres allow 11% more fuel to be carried on board over the 645 model.

It also features new LED road and work lights that produce an output of 25,420 lumens, 11% more than current models.

Three lighting packages are available, with the top-level option delivering an additional 45,600 lumens and 360-degree coverage.

New heavy duty track units measure 305mm longer than those on current models, increasing ground contact by 6%.

The drive wheel diameter is now 1,008mm - up from 910mm - meaning a fifth track lug (four previously) is engaged with the drive wheel to handle more torque.

Models fitted with the Category 4 three-point linkage offer a lift capacity of 10,092kg. Up to eight remote valves are supplied from either a 216l/min or optional 428l/min twin-flow SmartTorque hydraulic pump.

The AFS Connect cab gets a new windscreen wiper with improved coverage and grab rails around the roof to improve safety while cleaning windows.

Internally, there are new storage areas, new LED lighting and an enhanced sound system option, an integrated monitor rail and space for a second AFS Pro 1200 terminal.

New Holland T7.270 Methane Power

New Holland has expanded its CNG tractor range with the launch of the T7.270 Methane Power.

In November at Agritechnica, New Holland presented its T7.270 Methane Power tractor, the newcomer being essentially an evolution of its other compressed natural gas (CNG) fuelled stablemate, the T6.180 Methane Power.

The T7.270 gas tractor is based on the T7.300 PLM chassis and not the T7.270 diesel, based on its heavier duty axles and the ability to accommodate more gas storage tanks on board.

It also features the same NEF 6.7l engine block from the T6.180 methane tractor, but with the addition of a new injection system and variable geometry turbo.

The tractor produces the full 270hp (1,160Nm) under all conditions and therefore doesn’t offer boost like all HD models. For the first time, the gas engine has been married up with the AutoCommand CVT transmission.

Naturally, New Holland has taken full advantage of the T7’s larger chassis and increased onboard gas storage (with range extender) to 1,265l (219kg). This equates to 178% more fuel compared with the T6 version.

The T7.270 Methane tractor is equipped with the PLM Intelligence platform and the new Horizon Ultra cab.

Massey Ferguson 9S

The New 9S from Massey Ferguson includes six models and spans from 285hp to 425hp.

Massey Ferguson, unlike its sister AGCO company Valtra, didn’t opt to preview its new flagship 9S earlier in the year. Instead, it teased images ahead of its unveiling at Agritechnica.

Replacing the outgoing 8700S, the new red flagship series shares its engine, transmission and most components with Valtra’s recently unveiled S-series.

The line-up includes six models with power outputs from 285hp to 425hp. The models are numbered according to their maximum power: 285, 310, 340, 370, 400 and 425.

The big difference between the Valtra S6 and 9S is the cab. Valtra opted to stick with the setup already used on its T and Q models, while Massey made the decision to use the same cab as on its 8S models.

Power for the range is sourced from the 8.4-litre, six-cylinder AGCO Power engine, which is married to a Fendt-derived, Dyna-VT stepless transmission.

A boost of up to 30hp is generated at speeds above 15km/h for PTO and hydraulic applications on all models (except the flagship 9S.425). Meanwhile, the second-from-top 9S.400 gains an extra 20hp when under sufficient load.

The series incorporates a new suspended front axle that offers a turning radius of 5.75m and a larger 125mm diameter rear-bar axle.

New Holland CR11

The CR11 flagship combine from New Holland won the Gold innovation award at Agritechnica.

While not a full-on launch, the unveiling of the new CR11 flagship combine from New Holland was arguably one of the biggest announcements of the year.

New Holland says the CR11 has been in development for the past five years and has been aimed as a rival to its competitor brands flagships, namely the X9 from John Deere and Lexion 8900 from Claas.

While some key information has been announced, a certain amount of technical information has been withheld until the full launch.

Described by New Holland as taking the legacy of its current flagship CR10.9 to another level, the CR11 shares little in common with its predecessor other than the internal working principal – over 95% of components are new.

New Holland has used the most advanced automation features at its disposal, claiming to have helped drive gain losses down close to zero.

At Agritechnica, the CR11 displayed was presented in a gold livery as a tribute to winning the Agritechnica gold innovation award. It was partnered with a massive 15m (50ft) MacDon draper header, which New Holland says can be increased by an additional 10m, taking its maximum compatible header width to 60ft (18m).

The twin rotor setup is still common. However, the rotors have increased in diameter to 24in.

It is home to an FTP 775hp Cursor 16-litre lump, an engine platform shared with the new Case IH Quadtrac 715.

The CR11 is said to have a more simplified driveline, with 25% fewer components and zero chains. Based on earlier testing, New Holland is claiming fuel consumption reductions of up to 20%.

The patented cleaning system has also been made 13% wider and grain elevator loading has been optimised, while pressure sensor-supported control technology measures the ram pressure and, therefore, harvested crop distribution separately on the front and rear upper sieves.

The clean grain tank has a 20,000l capacity and an unloading rate of 220l/min.

A new chopper system and chaff spreader, designed to chop and evenly distribute material over a cutting width of up to 18m (60ft), has been added.

Larger track and tyre options are going to be available. The display machine was in fact fitted with Michelin Cerexbib 2 tyres, with dimensions of 900/64 R46 - the first time a tyre of such size has ever been fitted to a combine.

2024 Toyota Land Cruiser

The 2024 Land Cruiser range from Toyota sports a completely new neo-retro look.

While not an agricultural machine, the new Toyota Land Cruiser is certainly worthy of a mention given the fact it’s the best seller in its category and a renowned work horse on many Irish farms.

In August, Toyota surprised the automotive industry with the unveiling of its 2024 Land Cruiser. The design has been completely renewed and now sports a neo-retro look.

The Japanese manufacturer has opted to stick with the body-on-frame chassis structure. However, it is based on a new platform that claims to give significant increases in body and frame rigidity, while improving response, ride and handling.

Toyota claims that the new frame is 50% more rigid and the combined body and frame rigidity is greater by 30%. These increases claim to contribute to improved responsiveness, handling and ride comfort.

Basic suspension performance has also been enhanced, notably to help secure increased wheel articulation, which is important in off-road driving capability.

This is the first Land Cruiser to use an electric power steering system. This reduces the amount of kickback that can occur when driving over rough surfaces and claims to provide smoother, more direct steering and easier manoeuvrability at all speeds.

As a result, lane assist has been added. Further off-road capabilities have been claimed, with a new, disconnecting front anti-roll bar, which can be changed through predefined settings from the cabin.