The result of the development work was the presentation of an extremely light and essential vehicle, designed primarily for military operations on mountain roads. Its agility characteristics, thanks to a length of 2.85 m and a width of just 1.35 m, were well appreciated.
It was powered by a small 643 cm³ Boxer twin cylinder and equipped with all-wheel drive. In particular, traction is entrusted to the two rear wheels; if necessary, the two front wheels can also be engaged (even in motion) by means of a manual control (a green lever placed between the two front seats), making the vehicle a permanent 4×4. The Haflinger also features manual locking of the front and rear differentials, which can be activated via two additional levers (yellow) located in front of the one that activates the torque transmission to the front axle.
The gearbox – in the first series – had four ratios (plus reverse); the first was particularly short (maximum reachable speed of about 12 km / h), to make up for the lack of reductions and allow the Haflinger to move even on particularly steep slopes or on difficult surfaces and to tow loads. Only later was the vehicle equipped with a five-speed gearbox (with first gear further shortened, which allowed a maximum speed of 8 km / h).
Despite its light weight and small size, this vehicle was also used as a weapon platform. The Austrian army used it as a platform for an M2 HB machine gun or an M18 recoilless cannon.
An example of a German Haflinger, supplied to the Fire Brigade.
In the basic role it can carry around 500kg of loads or tow 1500. After 1967 it received a more powerful engine and a version with a longer wheelbase entered service. The Swiss and Swedish armies gave him an unusual armament, with 6 Bofors Bantam counter-tank missiles installed forward and 8 more behind. Contrary to what one might think, the Austrian Army was not the main user of Haflinger but the Swiss one. In fact, Steyr Puch sold around 4,535 units in Switzerland, most of which were supplied to the Swiss Armed Forces. Again, in Africa, it was used by the Belgian Congo Army.
The Haflinger was exported to 110 states, such as Ethiopia and Cyprus; for the Australian domestic market, it was produced under concession in Melbourne. In South Africa, however, it was distributed by Autolec (based in Johannesburg). Finally, in the United States, it was sold to Texas.
In addition to being used by the military, it was also offered on the civilian market and many examples can still be seen today.
Produced in about 16,600 units, it was replaced as an off-road vehicle by the Pinzgauer.