Steyr unveils latest ‘Konzept’ powertrain

By Julian Buckley28 March 2022

hybrid drivetrain Steyr Konzept hybrid drivetrain Photo: Steyr

Tractor specialist Steyr, part of CNH Industrial, has unveiled its latest iteration of the ‘Konzept’ hybrid powertrain. This new release follows the unveiling of the first Konzept tractor at Agritechnica 2019.

Christian Huber, VP Global Tractor Product Management, said: “In detail, the hybrid drivetrain Konzept follows the line of thinking of the Konzept tractor.”

He continued: “It shows where we are heading, especially in terms of transmissions and features which may find their way into tractors in the future.”

The Konzept is intended to highlight the benefits of a modular electric drive systems which combine a combustion engine, generator and several electric motors. According to the company statement, electrical power can return fuel savings averaging 8%, together with improved performance and operating experience.

According to Huber, the hybrid powertrain uses supercapacitor technology to deliver improved power both on- and off-road.

“[The powertrain] is also much more efficient at retaining as much as possible of its maximum travel speed when driving uphill. This is mainly driven by applying super capacitor technology, which enables us to boost the tractor’s power when there is greater demand, providing up to 25% faster acceleration. The same is true when working in the field with implements to cover peak load in high draft applications.”

The powertrain is also capable of delivering electric power to the front axle in a torque vectoring system, helping to reduce the tractor’s turning circle. Compared to a conventional vehicle, the turning radius can be reduced by about 1.5 metres.

Torque vectoring also serves to deliver power to the wheels which have the best traction. With native four-wheel drive, this helps the tractor overcome extreme terrain.

““This means we have created a variable, on-demand 4WD system, minimising the usual front axle slippage seen on a conventional tractor working with a soil-engaging implement. As a result, it reduces fuel consumption and soil damage, too,” said Huber.

Power can also be shared with attached implements via high-voltage sockets. Huber noted that delivering power to the wheels of the machinery helps to improve overall traction. It can also power electrified machinery, such as planters, fertilizer spreaders or trailed sprayers.

Other tech includes a ‘unique’ brake retarder, which supports a constant speed when travelling downhill. In combination with the S-Brake [trailer braking system], this can reduce the need for braking, even with a heavy trailer. The system can recharge the supercapacitors, while also delivering improved control and reduced brake wear.

The Konzept powertrain will be on display at future exhibitions and trade fairs. While it won’t be going into production, Huber noted that tech seen on the concept could make its way to future production machinery.

The prototype drivetrain has been unveiled as Steyr celebrates 75 years of ‘Quality made in Austria’. The company’s first tractor, the 180, was produced in 1947. Since then the brand has gone on to be marketed across 20 European countries.

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