The Haflinger is a small, lightweight four wheel drive vehicle about 3.5 metres long and 1.5 metres wide, powered by a 646 cc twin horizontally opposed, rear mounted, air cooled engine . Weighing around 600 Kg. the Haflinger can be lifted by four strong people and yet can carry a load of 500Kg. They were made by the Austrian firm of Steyr-Daimler-Puch between 1959 and 1974 and were exported all over the world. A total of 16,647 were made, most of them being taken up by the Swiss and Austrian armies.
Three features of the vehicle make them particularly good as off road machines.
- The provision of both front and rear differential locks, which enable the vehicle to make progress even if only one wheel is in firm contact with the ground.
- The design of the front and rear axles are of the 'Portal' type. This means that the centre of the axle is above the centre of the wheel, thus increasing the ground clearance under the axle without increasing the wheel diameter. Power is transmitted from the axle to the wheel via drop gears in each wheel hub.
- The suspension is of fully independent type, each half axle having about 25 cm of free movement.
The majority of enthusiasts are to be found in Germany and Austria where there are thriving clubs. However there many owner enthusiasts in the UK, USA, Australia and Asia. One of the more important club meetings is held every year at the village of Hafling in the Italian Tyrol.
The larger version of the Haflinger, called the Pinzgauer, is available in both 4x4 and 6x6 versions.
The name originates from a horse breed of the same name.
. These ponies are about 14hh, brown with creamy white manes and tails. Prometea
, the first cloned horse, is of this breed.