The Leichter Spahwagen (Light recon vehicle) was a series of armored cars used by Nazi Germany, designed with a focus on reliability, tolerance for various fuel grades, and good off-road performance.
The Sd.Kfz. 222 was redesigned from the ground up as an armored car, with a superior layout, thicker armor, and a strengthened chassis to accomodate heavier weapons - addressing a common criticism of the SPW 221. The 20mm KwK 30 (KwK 38 on later series) autocannon paired with a coaxial MG 34 provided it with tremendous firepower for its size, especially against soft and lightly armored targets.
Introduced in 1938, it became the basic armored car of the Wehrmacht and the SS, especially in the West. Its somewhat limited offroad performance was offset by the excellent road network, allowing the 222 to strike unexpected deep behind enemy lines. At least 1800 were produced, though they were gradually replaced in its intended role by the Sd.Kfz. 250/9 halftracks towards the end of the war.