This vehicle is known as either the Hägglunds BV206 or the Bandvagn 206, it’s a fully-amphibious vehicle that can be used on water, snow, ice, mud, sand, gravel, and asphalt, and it can accommodate up to 17 people.
The BV206 was developed in Sweden for accessing the remote northern parts of the country, today it’s become a mainstay of militaries, rescue units, and exploration outfits in places like Antarctica, Northern Canada, the Arctic, and elsewhere.
Fast Facts – The Hägglunds Bandvagn BV206
- The Bandvagn BV206 was developed by AB Hägglund & Söner starting in 1974 as a blank slate design. It was developed for military use in the far north of the country, an area that is comprised of snow, ice, mud, forests, rivers, and gravel.
- Unlike most tracked vehicles that use brake and slew steering systems, or other steering methods that can churn up the ground, the Bandvagn 206 uses an articulated steering system that alters the angle between the front and rear carriages.
- Many militaries outside of Sweden have adopted the vehicle, including the USA where the BV206 was named the Small Unit Support Vehicle (SUSV) pronounced “Susvee.”
- Over 11,000 examples of the Hägglunds BV206 have been made in total, they remain in service in Antarctica and with the armed forces of many nations due to their remarkable versatility.
Building A Better Volvo Bv 202
The Hägglunds BV206 was developed to replace and improve upon the Volvo Bv 202. This was no small job, the Bv 202 had proven itself as one of the toughest and most capable all terrain vehicles in history – able to cross essentially surface – be it land, water, or some ungodly combination of the two.
The Volvo Bv 202, also known as the Bandvagn 202, was developed by Bolinder-Munktell which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Swedish automaker Volvo. It was designed as a two-part articulated vehicle with a two seat front section to carry the a driver and a commander, and a rear section that can carry 8 to 10 troops or cargo.
Interestingly the Bv 202 was powered by a version of the B18 automobile engine, an inline-four petrol engine with overhead valves, two valves per cylinder, a displacement of 1.8 liters and a rather modest power output of 82 bhp.
Later versions of the vehicle would receive the upgraded B20 engine, now with a swept capacity of 2.0 liters producing 97 bhp. Both manual and automatic transmission variants were built, and steering was accomplished via an articulated joint between the two cars.
The Hägglunds BV206 was developed closely based on the design of the earlier Volvo Bv 202, there were no major interchangeable parts but the concept worked so well that there was no need to invent a better mouse trap so to speak.
The engineers at AB Hägglund & Söner made a number of improvements, engine and transmission options were modernized, the front car could now carry far more people (or cargo), and many further upgrades were made under the skin.
The Hägglunds Bandvagn BV206
The BV206 would prove to be a remarkably successful vehicle despite the fact that it had relatively limited use cases – generally only deep snow or untraversable muddy marshes.
Over 11,000 of them were made, they have been bought by the militaries of over two dozen nations including the United States, the United Kingdom, Brazil, Malaysia, Israel, and Argentina.
Above Video: In this episode of Detour, Nicole Johnson takes a look at the BV206 and takes one for a drive.
They also play an essential role in both Arctic and Antarctic science outposts, remote search and rescue, and exploration.
Much like the earlier Volvo Bv 202, the BV206 uses an articulated two vehicle design with steering accomplished by altering the angle between the front and rear sections.
It has a front mounted engine, with both petrol and diesel engines being used over the course of production depending on the version. A common variant uses the Ford Cologne 2.8 liter petrol V6 mated to a 4A-018 automatic transmission.
Both the front and rear tracks are powered, which gives the vehicle remarkable traction over essentially any terrain all while imparting less ground pressure than a person on skis.
Thanks to its sealed body the BV206 is fully amphibious and capable of speeds up to 4.7 km/h on the water – it’s not quick but it’ll get you there. Many are now being sold as military surplus into civilian hands and companies like Tracked Outdoors specialize in restoring and selling them.
The Hägglunds BV206 Shown Here
The Hägglunds BV206 you see here is a BV206D variant that is believed to have been originally delivered to the US Army. As such it’s powered by the Mercedes-Benz OM602 turbodiesel inline-five cylinder engine sending power back through a 4-speed automatic transmission.
This BV206 is finished in orange and white with black vinyl upholstery, it has seating for 16, an intercom, a heater, roof hatches, a front winch, LED exterior lighting, and 12 volt power outlets.
It’s now being sold as a project vehicle out of Oregon with spare parts and a clean Washington state title. It’s listed on Bring a Trailer and you can visit the listing here if you’d like to read more about it or register to bid.
Images courtesy of Bring a Trailer
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Silodrome was founded by Ben back in 2010, in the years since the site has grown to become a world leader in the alternative and vintage motoring sector, with well over a million monthly readers from around the world and many hundreds of thousands of followers on social media.