Test: McCormick X7 660

By: Jaiden Drought and Harrison Hunkin, Photography by: Jaiden Drought and Harrison Hunkin


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20200303 120133 The McCormick X7 tractor range is the brand’s flagship range here in New Zealand 20200303 120133
178A8023 When it comes to styling, McCormick knows what it’s doing 178A8023
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Farm Trader's Jaiden Drought test drives the McCormick X7.660 and brings you a full report on its performance and specs

McCormick has to be the journeyman of the tractor world. Its origins start in America, most famously under Case IH ownership, where it played second fiddle for decades. Then, the brand had a pretty big following in Europe, especially in the UK where it was built.

Case IH eventually broke up with McCormick for New Holland. Now, the company is owned and manufactured by Argo Tractors in Italy, manufactured up the road from the likes of Ferrari, Lamborghini, and Maserati. Quite the journey, isn’t it?

The famous brand has certainly done some miles over the years. And a few more to get to Toowoomba, west of Brisbane, where we were able to put a McCormick X7.660 through its paces on a local farm.

Engine

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The six-cylinder is a 6.7L Iveco engine

Our test vehicle was the 165hp (123kW), six-cylinder X7.660. The six-cylinder is a 6.7-litre Iveco engine, which should give comfort to customers who know the powerplant is from a reputable brand. For the really tough stuff, the engine will boost out to a max 181hp (135kW), which should be ample.

There are five models in the X7 range to cater to many power needs, ranging from 150hp (112kW) to the range-topping X7.690, which pushes out a max 225hp (168kW). It may interest a few farmers out there to read that all X7 Efficient series come with tier 3 emission standard spec’d engines.

For those who struggle with the latest emission requirements, you’ll be happy as the X7 doesn’t use AdBlue. After warming the little red Italian tractor, we set it to work by running a lovely looking Brookfield D60 chainbar at the rear, which to its credit handled quite well given the conditions. The field was as hard as a rock.

Transmission

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The 320L fuel tank is more than ample for a full day’s work

McCormick has opted for a high-quality ZF transmission. Like all things Italian, this has been given a succinct name – P.6 Drive. Brilliant. In the crux of its six powershifts through five ranges for the mathematicians out there, giving a total of 30 gears.

Gears are shifted via a push button on the console-mounted hand rest, which although not armrest mounted in this machine, does fall easily to hand. Other hand rest features include direction change, a de-clutch button, and the smart Auto Power Shift (APS), which essentially uses software to link engine + ground speed + load to equal the best gear.

We may all have a degree in calculus after this article! The P.6 Drive also has a dial that basically goes from power around to eco so you can best suit the fuel consumption/power to the job at hand.

In terms of working ability in the field, changing up and down gears is simply done by pushing the up/down buttons. A range change means pushing the button and the enable button on the back of the controller; all can be done without using the clutch.

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The P6 drive transmission is a step up from the previous PS drive which had four powershifts and six ranges

The P6 drive transmission we reckon is a step up from the previous PS drive, which had four powershifts and six ranges. The McCormick’s transmission did perform well during our test once we burnt some paint off the exhaust and warmed the oil.

We sat in range 3 all day, using the four powershifts and to be honest, the size of the machine on the back dwarfed the tractor so the plucky X7 must have been doing something right.

Linkage/PTO/Hydraulics

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The linkage is easy to use with a large dial and lift height and draft controls neatly clustered

Four-speed PTO – 540/540E/1000/1000E – comes standard with the X7, electronic engagement, while speed selection and eco modes are done manually. Colour-coded mechanical spool levers correspond to coloured caps on the valves with plenty of punch from the CCLS pump with 123L/min of flow. The linkage is easy to use with a large dial and lift height and draft controls neatly clustered, while no need for a complex activation procedure, which is a breath of fresh air.

Operator environment

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The controls are mounted on the side panel on the test machine.
However, the ‘Premium spec’ machine has a full armrest mounted controller

The four-pillar cab was bright and well laid out. Controls are conveniently located and the tilting steering column allowed both of us to feel comfortable while we bedded in for a day’s cultivation.

Additionally, the driving position and view out of the cab was a particular highlight.
The seat was plush fabric; we got to listen to some classical tunes on the wireless and the aircon was on point. The McCormick delivered on all fronts.

Verdict

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While this might be considered a basic spec machine, when it comes to styling, McCormick knows what it’s doing. And given the major economic downturn the entire world is going through these days, many buyers won’t be looking to pay extra for bells and whistles. Back to the basics may become something of a global movement.

But why should you question the X7 at all? Component-wise, the McCormick certainly delivers the goods: it’s got Bosch hydraulics, FPT (IVECO) engine, ZF trans and Carraro front axles while sitting on Michelin tyres – it’s all good stuff. Stay tuned for our next machinery test report on the latest model McCormick tractor supplied by Te Aroha Tractors, Waikato dealers for McCormick.

McCormick X7 660 specifications

Engine 6-cylinder 6.7L Tier 3 Iveco engine
Max power 181hp (135kW)
Max torque 738Nm
Fuel tank capacity 320L
Transmission

50km/h (40km/h on Efficient model) ZF 30+15 powershift  

Max lift capacity

9300kg

Max hydraulic output 123L/min
remotes  2/4-6
PTO Four-speed

Weight (without weights, empty tank)

7010

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