The SdKfz 231 was based on experimental armored cars that were constructed on six wheeled truck chassis during the early 1930s. Initially the automobile industry developed an 8x8 model but it was deemed too expensive for production.
There were three different engines that were used, the Büssing (65 HP, 4 cylinder), Daimler-Benz M 09 (68 HP, 6 cylinder), and Magirus (70 HP, 6 cylinder).
The engine drove the four rear wheels. Steering was by the front wheels only.
The SdKfz 231 could be steered from either the front or the rear as there was a duplicate set of steering controls. The chassis was from a 6x4 Daimler-Benz truck.
The SdKfz 231 was basically an armored shell put onto a truck chassis that just wasn't strong enough for it. It was found not to perform very well, but at the time it was going to the German Army units it was well needed as a training tool.
The superstructures were built by Deutsche Werke of Keil and Deutsche Edelstahl.