Mahindra Arjun 8085: Farmville

Steering and driver’s seat in the centre, rear-swinging doors, 3.3-litre engine and wheels pushed way out to the four corners. Of course, if you haven’t seen the pictures, you’d be forgiven for thinking I’m talking about some exotic sportscar. Well, I’m not. This is neither exotic nor a sportscar.

This is the Arjun 8085, Mahindra’s flagship tractor, which it has sold only in overseas markets – until now. Mahindra is readying plans to bring this high-end tractor to India. What’s special about it, you ask? Well, the air-conditioned cabin, to begin with.

By now, passenger cars buyers pretty much take a cooled cabin as a given, but in the tractor business, this has to be a first in India. We’re doing this test in Punjab, the state that benefited the most from the Green Revolution. This is also without a doubt the state where these tractors will see the highest sales. Anyway, back to the task at hand.

The Mahindra salesman is showing me all kinds of accessories that’ll clip on to the back of this thing – to be used for ploughing the fields, sprinkling water evenly and lugging a trailer, among other things.

He hasn’t uttered a word about power so far. Anyway, this part of his lecture is titled “How you operate your tractor” and once it’s over, I start on the important bit – getting it going.