Porsche Type 82 Kübelsitzwagen
Kübelwagen is an abbreviation of Kübelsitzwagen, which literally means "bucket seat car". It was a generic name for open-topped military utility cars fitted with bucket seats. During WWII several manufacturers built Kübelwagens, so the type 82 was only one of several "Kübels".
In January of 1938, the German Army presented to Dr. Ferdinand Porsche a request for a cross-country vehicle using the platform VW beetle.
To reduce the weight of the new vehicle and to give it a good cross-country performance a new chassis was designed. The prototype was ready in a month and was denominated the Type 62. Erwin Komenda (who worked with Ferdinand Porsche from 1931 and with his son Ferry Porsche until 1966) designed the Kübelwagen and its amphibious sibling, the Schwimmwagen.
The prototypes were given to the army in November 1938 to begin field tests. It was initially thought the vehicle would need to be a 4x4 for good off-road ability, but the small VW 4x2 began to prove its worth in field tests.
The Type 62’s suspension was a technical innovation and concentrated the weight (motor and transmission) on the rear traction wheels, which made Kubelwagen work well in all terrain types.
The first prototype had a converted curved VW body, with cutouts in place of the doors (much like the later Jeep).
The army asked that the chassis have a "military " appearance, leading to the box-like shape that became familiar. The finished vehicle was introduced to the public at an Automobile fair in Vienna in 1939. Before entering production, the army demanded that the off-road characteristics be improved.
Larger tyres, raised suspension and a Limited Slip Differential were added. This raise the original design a further 5cm from the ground. This final version was the Type 82. In 1940 winter testing the Type 82 proved superior up against it. It performed equally well in the desert of North Africa. In 1941 the VW factory at KdF-Stadt (Wolfsburg) was at full capacity producing the Type 82.
The first major modification of the Type 82 was in March of 1943 when the 985cc motor was upgraded to the same 1131cc motor as used in Schwimmwagen.
Other minor changes were made during production, mainly because of supply difficulties. During the war 52,000 Kubelwagen Type 82 were produced.
In Flames OF War
The Kübelwagen can be used as a command vehicle in place of Kfz 15 field cars and was often utilised in the reconnaissance role (Aufklärungsschwadron). The Kübelwagen has excellent mobility (Jeep) so can travel on Road 16”/40cm, Cross-country 12”/30cm and 4”/10cm in Rough Terrain.