|VW Type-82 Kübelsitzwagen|
The Volkswagen-built Type-82 Kübelsitzwagen (in-game: Kübelwagen) was built as part of the German Blitzkrieg movement, as Recon units needed to be capable of matching the speed of the advance. Thus, the lightweight 'Bucket-seat car' was created. Though fast and capable of hiding in wooded areas, this German recon vehicle has no means of self-defense.
The Kübelwagen has a bit of a patchwork history. Though Adolf Hitler discussed the possibility of military application of the Volkswagen as early as 1934, it wasn't until January of 1938 before Third Reich officers formally approached Ferdinand Porsche with the idea of an inexpensive, lightweight military transport vehicle that could operate both off-road and on in even the most extreme of conditions. It was suggested that the Volkswagen Beetle could provide the design basis for such a vehicle.
Porsche had a prototype ready for them by the end of the month, but during development, realized it wouldn't be enough to simply re-enforce the Beetle's chassis to handle the stresses it was intended to perform under. It had been determined that the vehicle would have a laden weight of 950 kilos (2,100 lbs.) which included four battle-ready troops, which meant the vehicle itself could not weigh more than 550 kilos. (1,200 lbs.) There where three versions. 1. A normal Kubelwagen used to scout or carry the general. 2. A supply version were there were rail you could clip supply's on and lastly a heavy version were every passenger operates a MG42.
Despite not having 4-wheel drive (a mainstay of the American jeeps) the prototype (then-named Type-62) proved to be adept at maneuvering over rough terrain, even when compared against a contemporary German 4x4. Even still further modifications would have to be made. The minimum traveling speed had to be reduced from 8 km/h (5.0 mph) to 4 km/h (2.5 mph), in order to match pace with a company of marching troops. Porsche solved this, and improved the vehicle's ground clearance at the same time with Portal axle gear-reduction hubs. In order to reflect the modifications, the prototype was renamed 'Type-82'.
VW resurrected the basic Kübelwagen design several decades after the war as the 1969 Type 181, developed for the German Federal Armed Forces and later also produced for the civilian market known as "Thing" in the US, "Trekker" in the UK and "Safari" in Mexico. Although similar in looks and design, almost no parts were interchangeable with the Type 82.