In 1940 the German Army put out a requirement for an 8x8 armored car that could be used in hot climates and Tatra was asked to do the design.3,5,6
Büssing developed the hull and superstructure and Daimler-Benz and Schichau were to develop the turret. Improvements were made to the engine and a third engine that was tropically proofed was delivered in June 1942. However, this engine was canceled.
On the hull side were mudguards that went along the complete side of the armored car.3 Four storage compartments were located in the mudguards.3
It was requested that the engine be air cooled which made it usable in hot and cold climates.3
Schwere Panzerspähwagen (2cm) (SdKfz 234/1), Gerät 95: Had the same hull as the SdKfz 234/2 but with a different turret. The Hängelafette 38 (turret) was similar to the SdKfz 222, but had a simpler construction. Range was later increased to 625 miles by adding a larger fuel tank. The turret contained the 20 mm and a machine gun which allowed them to be raised to a high elevation.3,5 The turret had a wire mesh screen on top.3
Schwere Panzerspähwagen (5cm) (SdKfz 234/2), Gerät 93: Named Puma.6 Had an 5 cm antitank gun in the turret.5 On August 5, 1940, an order was given to develop an 8-wheeled armored car similar to the SdKfz 231 but with the armored body as the chassis. The 234/2 was only one with turret. Turrets were originally designed for Leopard tank.
Schwere Panzerspähwagen (7.5cm KwK) (SdKfz 234/3), Gerät 94; Schwere Panzerspähwagen (sPzSpWg) (7.5cm L/24); Panzerspähwagen mit 7.5cm StuK L/24: Had a short barrel 75 mm gun installed in an open topped fighting compartment.5
Schwere Panzerspähwagen (7.5cm PaK40) (SdKfz 234/4), Gerät 96; Schwere Panzerspähwagen (7.5cm lang) SdKfz 234/4; Pakwagen: Hitler ordered PaK 40 to be installed on a SdKfz 234.4,5 Had a complete carriage and shield of a PaK 40 75 mm antitank gun installed in an open topped fighting compartment.4
There were 19 issued to the Panzerspähwagen company of the Panzer Aufklärungs battalions.
Organized into Panzerspähwagen companies of 25. These were issued to 4 Panzer divisions which fought on the Eastern and Western fronts.
6 made up a platoon of the Panzerspähwagen company to support the SdKfz 234/1s.