Europa Jeep

Michel Van

ACCESS: Above Top Secret
Senior Member
13 August 2007
Reaction score
in 1966 began France, Germany, Italy cooperating on development of a one standart military Jeep
label by German as "Führungs- und Verbindungs-Kraftfahrzeug“ (Command and liaison vehicle)

a lightweight, amphibious four wheel drive vehicle that could be mass produced by the Car industry.

-with a 40 to 50 horsepower (about 29 to 37 kW) four wheel drive
-95 km/h maximum speed and a radius of 800 kilometers
-500 kg payload transport and can draw 750 kg trailer load
-maximum weight 1.5 tons, be dropout by parachute and amphibious

Originally three trilateral industry groups independently of each other and build prototypes
with each other for the production order to compete.
The competition for this basic model should be selected in a series of around 50,000 copies
for all three countries were built, but depending on the intended use of differently equipped

first: Glas/MAN, Fiat and Renault
Second: NSU, Moto Guzzi and Panhard/Citroën
Third: Büssing–Hotchkiss–Lancia

but it became only two development consortia: Fiat–MAN–Saviem (FMS) and Büssing–Hotchkiss–Lancia
with the Prototype ready for testing in 1970

but the development went so slow that in 1976 was no prototype ready
France left the program and order the French automobile industry to development one

Renault: TRM 500 (A revised Fiat 1107AD "Campagnola")
Citroën: C44 (a German VW 183 "Iltis" with Citroën-CX-engine)
Peugeot: P4 (a German Mercedes G-model, with minor changes and a Peugeot engine).

also Germany left 1976 the Europa jeep program, like France they needed new jeeps
already in 1969 Bundeswehr decided to build an interim solution, the VW 181 "Mehrzweckwagen"
so in 1977 Finally, the VW 183 "Iltis" was selected as new light-terrain vehicle for the Bundeswehr.
in 1981 Peugeot finally received the contract to supply nearly 15000 P4
(or better say Mercedes-benz got the contract ;) )

Only the Italian army has some of the FMS developed Europa Jeeps in service.
Germany had some protypes for test:
one FMS first prototype from 1972 (now in private hands)
tree "LKW 0,5 t gls (4x4) FMS" back in 1975 (one bundeswehr in Koblenz, two in private hands)

( typical Bundeswehr homepage address .... ::) )


  • eur-jeep FMS1972.jpg
    eur-jeep FMS1972.jpg
    70.3 KB · Views: 531
  • eur-jeep FMS640.jpg
    eur-jeep FMS640.jpg
    96.6 KB · Views: 520
  • eur-jeep BHL final.jpg
    eur-jeep BHL final.jpg
    16 KB · Views: 1,149

Thanks for this info. I have somewhere an article from
the Swiss magazine "Armies and Weapons" showing the
Italian version of the Euro jeep being exhibited along
with other then new kit in the early 1970s.

You may be interested in the thread about the British
"jumping jeep" which was a proposal in the early 60s
for a jeep able to use lift jets to leap across rivers etc.
BAC actually started work on a prototype.

UK 75
More about Renault's TRM 500 contender:

In 1976, the French army launched a program to renew its all-terrain vehicles fleet, most of which were Jeep Willys types assembled under license in France. All French carmakers offered vehicles based on foreign models. Peugeot won the contract, while Citroën's Volkswagen Iltis spin-off (C44) and Renault's Fiat Campagnola variant were soon forgotten. However, prototypes of both are still on display at the musée de l’Ecole d’Application du Train in Tours.

About 20 Renault TRM 500 prototypes were built. TRM stood for "Toutes Roues Motrices" (all-wheel drive) and 500 corresponded to the vehicle's payload (500 kgs). Apart from a few minor modifications, the 3.77-meter Campagnola had been copied entirely. The TRM 500 weighed 1,670 kgs and reached a top speed of 115 kms per hour on asphalt-covered roads. Its handling qualities on rough soil, one of the Army's foremost demands, were outstanding. Such a car is supposed to climb a 30% slope, even 60% in claw-type maneuvers, with a lateral inclination of 30%. It must also be able to progress in 50-centimeter deep waters. None of these was a problem for the Renault vehicle.

The forward compartment hosted a Type 829 Renault engine, the famed 2-liter, 92 hp gasoline engine with 5,000 rpm speed.

The slow speeds required on heavy terrain implied that the cooling circuit's capacity be increased to 8.8 liters. The fuel tank contained 57 liters of gasoline.

The TRM 500 had a freestanding steel body with reinforced floor in some places. The sliding windows on both doors and their frames could be removed. The vehicle had a limp overcoat that could be rolled backwards. The windscreen could be pushed down forward over the bonnet; the spare wheel was fitted to the rear door.

All four wheels were suspended independently, each with its own torsion bars and dampers (two at the front, four at the back). All four brakes had power drums. Finally the electric circuit functioned in 24 volts.

Despite its qualities, the French army prefered the Mercedes G-based Peugeot P4. Fiat launched the corresponding Campagnola model in 1974 and produced it until 1987.

(translated from Losange Magazine N°1)


  • TRM 500d.jpg
    TRM 500d.jpg
    16.9 KB · Views: 813
  • TRM 500c.jpg
    TRM 500c.jpg
    11 KB · Views: 806
  • TRM 500b.jpg
    TRM 500b.jpg
    13.3 KB · Views: 804
  • TRM 500a.jpg
    TRM 500a.jpg
    8.2 KB · Views: 1,167
  • TRM 500.jpg
    TRM 500.jpg
    104.2 KB · Views: 876
Hi all,
I found in my files that official photograph of the FMS Europa-Jeep, released on the eve of the evaluation from Italian Army



  • FMS_Europa-Jeep_504.jpg
    44.7 KB · Views: 433
...I add this good four-view drawing of the so-called Europa-Jeep, probably by FIAT or Esercito Italiano. In his book 'Ruote in Divisa' (wheels in uniform) author Brizio Pignocca in 1989 wrote that the 'anfibio leggero sperimentale' (experimental light amphibian) was designed VCL (no explanation, but possibly Veicolo Collegamento Leggero, light liaison vehicle). According to the book, when French Saviem withdraw from the consortium, FIAT and MAN continued the development fo a while.
As we know the vehicle was cancelled for its high unit cost.



  • FIAT:MAN VCL_357.jpg
    FIAT:MAN VCL_357.jpg
    164.6 KB · Views: 257

Similar threads

Top Bottom