Hold on to your overalls: Finnish rally champ sets tractor speed record

Tractors don’t get enough love. The lumbering workhorses are one of the backbones of our farming industry, and yet they’re largely forgotten outside of agriculture and country music.

Like many supercars, tractors equip massively powerful engines with enough torque to crush boulders. They feature complicated electronics like top-end luxury cars, and can be incredibly stylish as well … in the sense that they have styling.

And yet, when performance is considered, tractors rarely enter into the discussion. A team of Finns sponsored by Nokian Tires and vehicle manufacturer Valtra tried to change that recently with a Guinness World Records speed test.

The chariot for this ambitious endeavor? The seven-ton Valtra T234, which equips a 7.4-liter turbodiesel six-cylinder with 250 horsepower and 738 pound-feet of torque. The team enlisted four-time rally champion Juha Kankkunen to pilot the green beast, but they knew they needed more power.

Tractor speed Guinness World Record

Thankfully, with the tractor’s advanced electronics and engine control system, coaxing out extra grunt was simple. The mechanicals were left unchanged, as only a few tweaks to the software and parameters were needed to get the job done. The team hasn’t revealed final output, but we’d bet it was a significant jump.

Why? Just look at the thing go.

In the video brought to you by NokianTyresCom, the T234 roars down the whitewashed track as Kankkunen keeps its massive weight in check during the bends. After a few tries (and stops for repairs), the Finnish team unlocked the Valtra’s potential, getting the tractor up to a respectable average of 130.1 kmh (80.8 mph). Over snow and ice, mind you.

Not bad for a big farmhand.


Formula 1 is putting data in the driver’s seat, and not all racers are happy

After a single weekend of racing, a Formula 1 pit crew typically pulls around 2TB of data from the car. Everything, from tire pressure to the temperature of the track, is recorded and analyzed in the name of boosting performance -- and not…
Product Review

2019 Volkswagen Jetta offers German refinement and tech at an affordable price

With enough tech to make villains jealous, the Volkswagen Jetta punches above its class as a forward-thinking sedan. Spacious, comfortable, and efficient, the Jetta is a refined offering. German refinement comes with a serious attitude.
Product Review

The Ferrari Portofino is the super stallion you’ll want to drive every day

With the introduction of the Portofino, Ferrari addresses the California T’s stylistic shortcomings while improving comfort, convenience, and performance. There’s little “entry-level” about this super stallion.
Product Review

Who needs a Range Rover? BMW’s X7 has better tech and just as much luxury

The 2019 BMW X7 is the German automaker’s long-overdue entry into the full-size luxury SUV segment. Packing three rows of seats and plenty of tech, can the new BMW take on Mercedes-Benz and Land Rover?

Tesla lets you skip the dealership, order a car from the comfort of your couch

Tesla has always bypassed traditional dealerships, and it has now adopted an online-only sales model that lets customers configure and order their car without leaving their couch. Here's what you need to know.

Autonomous shuttle rides coming to New York City via Optimus Ride

Workers at the Brooklyn Navy Yard in NY City will soon be able to make their way around the 300-acre industrial park in Optimus Ride's self-driving shuttles. The tech startup says it's the first trial of its kind in the state.
Product Review

Chris is the virtual co-pilot phone-obsessives need in their car

Driving while using your phone is dangerous, and often illegal. Meet Chris, the digital assistant for your car that wants to help keep your hands off your phone, and your eyes on the road.

Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi group uses Microsoft cloud platform for connected cars

The Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance is launching a new cloud platform for its cars. Based on Microsoft Azure, the Alliance Intelligent Cloud will enable features like connected services and over-the-air updates.

The 2019 Toyota C-HR gains a popular tech feature as its price comes down

Toyota has updated the C-HR, its entry-level crossover, by adding an entry-level trim level to the lineup. Every model regardless of price also comes standard with an 8.0-inch touchscreen compatible with Apple CarPlay.

The 2020 Porsche Cayenne Coupe is an exercise in form-over-function design

Porsche expanded its lineup of SUVs with a swoopier evolution of the Cayenne named Cayenne Coupe. Don't let the name fool you: it still has four doors. It stands out with a fastback-like roofline that's lower than the Cayenne's.

Protect yourself and your ride with our favorite dash cams

Dashboard cameras can assist drivers in car accident claims, settle speeding ticket disputes, and even catch glimpses of incoming meteors, among other things. Here, we've compiled a list of the most noteworthy offerings available.

Tesla revives its referral program with chances to win a Roadster

Tesla has revived its referral program that ended in February because of cost pressures. This time around the perks aren't quite as diverse, though it does offer regular chances to win a Roadster or Model Y.

Tesla ends scheduled servicing because electric cars need less maintenance

Tesla will longer offer scheduled maintenance plans, switching to an "as needed" model. This reflects the fact that electric cars need less regular maintenance than gasoline or diesel cars.

The go kart-like Mini Cooper will soon add zero emissions to its resume

Mini is in the final stages of developing an electric version of the Cooper. The 2020 Cooper SE will receive powertrain components from the BMW i3, including a 181-horsepower electric motor and battery technology.