The fascination of Vario

Auto Bild Allrad on a steep slope with the Aebi VT450 Vario

Auto Bild 03.JPGLast week Rolf Klein, editor at the German magazine Auto Bild Allrad, paid a visit to the Emmental valley in Switzerland. His mission was to put the Aebi VT450 Vario through its paces – on a steep slope of course.

The terrain used for testing was the fields around Heinz Iseli’s farm in Biembach, around 10 minutes from the site of the Aebi factory in Burgdorf. Heinz Iseli is manager of the workshop at Aebi Schmidt Switzerland in Burgdorf and is also the 5th generation of his family to run a farm with 8 hectares of land and around 10 suckler cows. He not only knows every single detail about the Aebi vehicles but also knows how to maneuver them on extreme terrain. Heinz Iseli is “at home” on inclines of 65 to 70%. He has no fear. Although he does sometimes have to swallow hard, all he needs to do is breathe deeply and have respect. Respect for the terrain and the machine because, if you lose respect, you can quickly overestimate your abilities and end up in a dangerous situation.

Before the test drive, the terrain needed to be inspected. Even on foot we had difficulty ascending the steep slope and in particular descending it again. The editor quickly realised that this was going to be no ordinary test drive.

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The Aebi VT450 Vario with 109 hp and the unique, stepless mechanical-hydrostatic, power-split drive was ready. After being briefed for a few minutes on the controls, Rolf Klein then tackled the steep slope himself. The dual wheels of the VT450 Vario effortlessly guided the vehicle up the slope. With all-wheel steering activated, the maneuverability of the transporter was also put to the test and really excited the experienced editor. The technology was also very persuasive. “The very finest high-tech engineering”. On the straight it was then time to “put the foot down” again and feel the comfortable spring deflection of 100 mm up close. The verdict of the experienced editor was: very impressive! However, no more details were revealed. We will be excited to read the report, which will be published in an edition of Auto Bild Allrad in 2017. We will of course notify you about this in good time.

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Rolf Klein (l) and Heinz Iseli (r)