Craftsman CTX 9500 Garden Tractor

The new Ford Fusion. The 2012 BMW 3 Series. The Lexus LF-LC. The Craftsman CTX-series... lawn tractor? Indeed, as odd as it sounds, you can count the latter among the many debuts scheduled for the 2012 Detroit Auto Show when the doors open to the public.

Craftsman's new premium tractors go on sale in February and will range in price from $3,000 to $6,500, with two yard tractor and two garden tractor models available. (The garden tractors are the most flexible, able to accommodate the full spectrum of towed, front-mounted, and ground-engaging attachments, which are sold separately.)

Power comes from Briggs & Stratton, whose available 30-horsepower engine allows for a top forward speed of 8 miles per hour (3 mph in reverse). It's mated to a hydrostatic automatic transmission. Key features include electronic fuel management, automatic traction control (power is independently split between the rear drive wheels), a quick-release mowing deck, electronic cutting height adjustment, digital instrumentation, cruise control, tilt steering, and the obligatory cupholder. The evolution of creature comforts for these rigs will continue as well. In an interview with The New York Times' Jim Motavalli, a Craftsman spokesperson says that an iPod jack is planned as a future enhancement for its tractors.

The Craftsman CTX will be displayed in the concourse/lobby area of the COBO Center, so Dodge needn't be concerned about it stealing the Dart's thunder on the main show floor. Regardless, that placement ensures plenty of eyeballs for the new tractor as the public files in and out of the exhibition. And if you think the CTX seems like an absurd product to showcase in Detroit, consider this: it's at least more viable and relevant to American consumers than the Chinese-car vaporware that has occupied premium floor space at the venue in the past.

You can read the full press blast from Craftsman after the jump.
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DETROIT– Ready...set...mow. On Monday, January 9, the Craftsman brand will showcase the new CTX tractor series in the concourse at the 2012 North American International Auto Show – the first tractor ever to be at the Detroit event. Powerful, durable and dependable, the CTX tractor is fully loaded with automotive-inspired features that help homeowners achieve an unbelievable cut for their lawn and conquer their landscaping needs.

With design elements like automatic traction control, electronic fuel management (EFM), electronic cutting height adjustment and quick deck removal, the Craftsman CTX tractor has the ability to take on challenges of any type of terrain. That's why it is "America's Hardest Working Tractor."

Feature Details:
  • Automatic Traction Control: Off-roading is no problem. Whether mowing on an incline or hauling on a wet surface, the unique automatic traction control system sends power to both wheels independently, so if one slips, the other keeps the tractor under control.
  • EFM System: New cars don't have carburetors and neither does the CTX tractor. The EFM system ensures reliable automotive-style starting and peak engine performance year after year.
  • Electronic Cutting Height Adjustment: To get that perfect lawn, adjusting the cutting height for seasonal changes is a must. This automatic package comes standard on all new CTX models and allows you to adjust the cutting height with the push of a button.
  • Quick Deck Removal: With just a few simple steps, the deck easily comes off, making it simple to perform maintenance like deck cleaning or blade sharpening. Plus, additional attachments can transform the tractor into a hauler, aerator, dethatcher, cultivator, sweeper or snow plow – giving you a tractor that handles your outdoor maintenance requirements year round.

Under the hood, the CTX tractor packs a 30-horsepower Briggs & Stratton engine that delivers 8.0 mile per hour top forward speed and 3.0 reverse speed. A heavy-duty welded frame and a cast iron axle give it the strength and ruggedness to be a total lawn and garden workhorse. A 54-inch deck lets you tackle large areas of grass and an 18-inch turning radius lets you maneuver through tight spots.

No vehicle would be complete without cruise control, full digital instrumentation with color-coded controls, power steering, soft-grip tilt steering wheel, consol with a cup holder and 12-volt adapter. The Craftsman CTX tractor, which stands for "Craftsman Tractor Experience," has it all.

The Craftsman CTX tractor series will be available in February 2012 at Sears stores nationwide. Two yard tractor and two garden tractor models will be available, ranging in price from $2,999.99 to $6,499.99. Attachments are sold separately.

The 2012 North American International Auto Show runs from Jan. 9-22, 2012 at the COBO Center in Detroit. Stop by to see the Craftsman display in the concourse outside of Oakland Hall. For more information on the tractor, award-winning Craftsman innovations and the 84-year history of the brand, log on to www.craftsman.com or www.facebook.com/craftsman.