Advanced tractors with innovative technology, capable of great performance through their ease of use: This is Landini‘s corporate mission, which finds in design the most immediate tool to interpret and communicate it. This is certainly not an easy task, but one that the Argo Tractors brand has succeeded in carrying out effectively, achieving results, thanks to its century-old history linked to the purest Made in Italy tradition, which attentively looks to the automotive world and to current trends and technological innovations, including an open road to electrification.
Explaining the complex and fascinating world of Landini style to us is Fabio Leonardi, Head of the Style and Design Centre, at Argo Tractors since 2005, starting with a fundamental premise:
“It is such a great satisfaction to work for a historic brand like Landini that is known all over the world. Design is often the first thing that gets to people, that is judged or appreciated; therefore, you cannot make mistakes or disappoint, it takes great teamwork and continuous evolution. But above all, design must communicate the brand’s values and mission, which in Landini’s case is to create increasingly evolved and specialised products that are also very easy to use. The tractor is certainly a very special product where design and functionality must constantly be in balance”.
So what are the stages in this creative process?
Fabio Leonardi explains them, recalling first of all how the designer’s work starts with “a passion for the tractor“.
“The first stage of the process” – he says – “is the most creative one, where ideas are visualised. This is the stage that concerns me the most, where you work with handmade sketches, drafts or renderings. In the second stage, the ideas are modelled with styling skins, which then become the future bodywork and interior panels. From the skins, we move on to digital renders. These simulate a photo-realistic visualisation. Each of these stages is shared with the other departments, from production to marketing, and especially with the management who evaluate the process. From renders we move on to mock-ups, which are static, or prototypes that simulate the functionality of the product”.
The concept of combining functionality and style is one that Leonardi has repeatedly highlighted:
“The tractor needs functionality first and foremost, and style must not become an unnecessary complication. A concrete example of the compromise between style and functionality is the design and construction of the new Landini Rex4. This is a specialised tractor that has to move around in vineyards and orchards. Therefore, its shape has to be very clean and compact”.
Apart from the necessary functionality that a tractor must have, the study of fashion and trends influence the design, but that’s not the only factor.
“There are certainly fashions in the automotive sector that are used in the agricultural sector” – confirms Leonardi – “But I think that the designer’s task is to stand out and, although it is difficult in a sector where volumes and investments are limited, to find distinctive elements, always increasing the product functionality and quality”.
“It was a great satisfaction” – he stresses on this matter – “to see the entire renewed Landini range on display at Eima show in October 2021, with an extremely recognisable style. Landini’s new style project, which involved the entire production range, from the top, the 7 Series, to specialised and compact models, was certainly the one that excited us the most. We started from the analysis of several elements, including the great history of the brand: these are extremely iconic and evocative products. We have bought it all together in a modern, smooth, dynamic style that represents the evolution and specialisation of the product compared to the past”.
An interpretation of the past turned to the present, with an attentive eye to the future. At Eima 2021, this took one step further, opening up to electrification. This is a theme on which Leonardi has clear ideas:
“Right now we see that the automotive world is moving towards this technology, which I do not think is ready yet for agriculture as a whole. However, some specific functions can be electrified. That is why Argo Tractors have presented the Landini Rex 4 Electra – Evolving Hybrid – where some functions are electrified, such as the front axle, cab suspension and transmission management.”