AGCO Goes Clean and Green with CORE75 Engine

AGCO’s clean-sheet design CORE75 aims to provide reliable power with a focus on sustainability and serviceability.

The CORE75 engine on display at AGCO’s stand at CONEXPO 2023 in Las Vegas. (AGCO)

New diesel ICE powertrains for on- and off-highway applications have been rolling out at a rapid pace over the past year. Navistar recently launched its clean-sheet S13 integrated powertrain for on-highway use in the North American market. Caterpillar also announced a new engine, the C13D, for off-highway applications at CONEXPO 2023 in Las Vegas.

The CORE75 engine is a clean-sheet design intended for off-highway applications. (AGCO)

Another OEM that recently launched a new powertrain is AGCO, which revealed its new CORE75 off-highway diesel engine in October 2022. The engine made its debut in the Fendt 700 Vario Gen7 tractor and was billed as a new design from the ground up. SAE Media sat down for an interview with several AGCO representatives at CONEXPO 2023 where the company had the new engine on display, to discuss the technical details of the CORE75 as well as some of the design principles that guided its creation.

Less revs, more power

The CORE75 is a turbocharged, inline-six cylinder, 7.5-liter (457 cubic-inch) engine featuring a 110-mm (4.33-inch) bore and a 132-mm (5.19-inch) stroke. AGCO claims a peak output of 223 kW (299 hp SAE net) at 1500-1700 rpm and 1450 Nm (1069 lb-ft) at 1200-1400 rpm. The company claims that these figures are a 12% improvement over the outgoing engine, and the CORE75 reportedly can operate over a wider speed range of up to 2100 rpm.

The CORE75 was designed to offer max torque at lower speeds compared to the outgoing engine. This enabled improved fuel economy (188 g/kWh) as well as reduced NVH (noise, vibration and harshness). “The lower engine speed is actually one of the secret sauces with this engine,” said Kelvin Bennett, senior vice president engineering, AGCO Power. “Because we’re running it at lower revs, we have less cycles per minute and less friction, which in turn provides better fuel economy.”

Bennett stated that reducing frictional losses was one of the major design goals of this engine. “The parasitic friction loss is very low thanks to the machining of the components and the metallurgy,” he said. “We really put effort into reducing [the] parasitic losses as much as possible.”

The fuel system of the CORE75 engine is fully HVO (hydrotreated vegetable oil) compatible. (AGCO)

The CORE75 also features higher combustion pressures and a new fuel system that is designed to be fully HVO (hydrotreated vegetable oil) compatible. Other alternative fuels, such as hydrogen, methanol and biogas, also are compatible with “relatively minor design and component changes.”

“By roughly 2030 or so, over 25% of the fuel in markets like Finland will be HVO,” Bennett said. “So it’s very important for some markets. We ran numerous dyno tests to make sure we wouldn’t have any problems with injectors or other parts of the fuel system on HVO as well as biodiesel. The metallurgy of every gasket and seal is compatible with every fuel that we could forecast.”

A 24-volt electrical system and a PWM-controlled (pulse width modulated) alternator are offered as options, and the turbocharger can be spec’d as either a static or variable vane unit. The CORE75’s design reportedly features 25% fewer parts and is EU Stage V compliant without the use of an EGR (exhaust gas recirculation) system.

Off-highway focused

The CORE75 was developed principally as an off-highway powertrain, though there was some consideration early in its development for on-highway applications. “There was a joint development [with another OEM] to make it suitable for on-highway use as well,” Bennett said. “So there is some on-highway DNA in it. But our development partner eventually backed out, so it ended up as an off-highway offering.”

Bennet continued: “We feel very confident in it and are excited to deploy it to other products in the AGCO family.” AGCO plans to make the CORE75 available across a wide array of market sectors, including construction, forestry, gensets and other off-highway applications.

Bennett detailed the design consideration differences between on- and off-highway ICE powertrains. “Most off-highway customers would prefer a tall engine over a wide one,” he explained. “So we packaged the CORE75 to accommodate that request. At a high level, this means our camshaft placement, valvetrain layout and deck height were all selected to create that configuration.”

AGCO plans to offer the CORE75 to third-parties seeking a powertrain solution. “We’ll make it available to other AGCO products as well as other brands of tractors,” Bennett said. “So sprayers, small combines and of course other similar machines. We can also run a Tier 3 configuration for markets with less-strict emissions requirements.”

Heavy lifting

AGCO states that the output of the CORE75’s peak output is a 12% improvement over the outgoing engine. (AGCO)

One of the unique features of the CORE75’s design is its hydraulic lash adjusters (HLAs), which replaced the solid lifter design of AGCO’s previous engines. “It’s something that our dealer service centers and customers were asking for to decrease the amount of time they’re in the service bays and maximize the time that they’re in the field operating,” Bennett explained. “For a lot of our customers, their planting season is getting shorter. So we have to make sure that their machine is available for them to use.”

AGCO stated that improved serviceability was a major design consideration for the CORE75. While service intervals depend largely on application, there are versions of the engine that feature longer intervals than others. “A lot of the interval depends on the oil pan,” said Heikki Hihnala, account manager, AGCO Power. “The 17-liter pan has a service interval of 500 hours, which is also the interval for the tractor that this is used in. But we also offer a bigger pan that is good [for] 1,000 hours of service for forestry and construction applications.”

Bennet emphasized the importance of durability for the company’s powertrains. “Our job as manufacturers is to make sure the technology we offer is reliable, dependable and does what the customer asks it to do. That’s the beauty of a clean-sheet design, is that there’s technology you can build in from day one that legacy designs may not accept.”