Bold straight lines epitomise the styling of agricultural tractors and machinery of the 1980s to the mid 90s. Looking back to the iconic tractors of this era, the majority of manufactures translated the straight, sharp edged styling into power and performance – tractor ranges such as the MF 3000, Renault TZ, Same Antares, Deutz DX as well as Ford 10 & TW tractors.
One tractor brand in particular that used this bold styling to full effect was Fiatagri Trattori of Italy.
Fiat’s 90 series of tractors needs no introduction. Launched in 1984 and spanning from 60-180hp, the tractors enjoyed enormous success with many models being produced until 1996. The heavyweight and domineering 160-90 and 180-90 lay at the top end of the range, packing 160hp an 180hp respectively.
The 160-90 is a pure thoroughbred tractor, with blood lines extending back to the 1580 and 1300. The 8.1L Iveco engine of the 160-90 produces 160hp, and has the pulling power to prove that there is no replacement for displacement!
Weighing in at 7 tons, and with a lift capacity of almost 7 tons, thanks to twin assistor rams, this domineering looking tractor packs a punch.
Adding to the functionality of the rear linkage is Fiat’s ‘Lift-O-Matic’ system, allowing the operator to raise and lower the rear linkage to pre-set heights using a rocker switch.
Like previous big Fiats, the 160-90 has a column change gearbox, with two levers mounted either side of the dash. The standard gearbox provides 12F/4R gears with the left lever selecting the range as well as reverse, while the right lever selects gears 1-4.
A Powershift option was also available providing 16F/16R gears, with the left lever selecting four ranges, and four gears assigned to the right.
Directional changes are achieved, thanks to a shuttle lever located down to the left of the driver’s seat. When the tractor comes to a stop, the right hand gear lever automatically reverts back to 1st gear which can be both a help or a hindrance.
The operator sits perched in the SuperComfort cab of the 160-90, designed by Italian car stylist Pinafara.
Despite the large lay back doors, the actual foot entry area is quite narrow, yet the cab offers very good visibility, complete with sunroof.
The large exhaust stack dominates the long square bonnet, painted in terracotta orange, and implies power.
The rear wheels have track adjustment, with the diesel tank in a somewhat awkward position under the back window.
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Years of manufacture