The German VK1601 Reconnaissance Tank was an attempt to introduce a replacement of the PzKpfw II in the reconnaissance role, that would offer a greater level of protection for the crew compared to the latter, with out any loss in mobility due to the up armouring.
What is so visibly striking about the vehicle is the road wheel and suspension. The wheels were arranged in alternate layers, which was later adopted on the Tiger I, Panther and Tiger II.
The development and production of prototypes was a joint project between German Firms MaN and Daimler-Benz. The prototype was built in June 1940. Production was scheduled for late 1940, however this was delayed until 1942, by which time tank production had swapped to other priority vehicles and only 22 were built, which were re-designated the PzKpfw II Ausf J. Its understood that some saw limited action on the Eastern Front during 1943.
The German VK1601 Reconnaissance Tank Spec’s
Armament: x1 20mm main gun and x1 7.92mm MG
Armour: 80mm (max)
Weight: 17.7 tonne
Top Road Speed: 31km/h
Operational Range: 200km
Dimensions: Length 4.93m / Width 2.34m / Height 2.05m
Engine: Maybach HL45P 6-cylinder 150hp petrol