The Pandur II 8x8 is an improved modular all-wheel-drive version of the Pandur 6x6 APC wheeled armoured vehicle. It was developed as a private venture by the Austrian company Steyr-Daimler-Puch Spezialfahrzeuge and is currently in production for the Portuguese Armed Forces. Steyr-Daimler-Puch Spezialfahrzeuge is part of General Dynamics European Land Combat Systems, which is also the parent company of MOWAG of Switzerland and Santa Bárbara Sistemas of Spain.
The most significant change is the introduction of an 8x8 configuration with more interior space. The construction is an all-welded steel hull with optional armour upgrades. The basic armour package is designed to protect against 7.62 to 14.5 mm (0.300 to 0.571 in) armour piercing rounds (customers may select a choice of armour thickness). The vehicle is designed to be transportable in a Lockheed Martin C-130 Hercules transport aircraft. The driver is seated on the left at the front and the engine is to the right. The driver is provided with a single piece hatch cover as well as three day periscopes, one of which can be replaced by a passive periscope for night missions. The vehicle is fitted with a two-stage synchronized distribution gear box for both road and cross country use. Improved suspension will be fitted for optimum cross country mobility. The vehicle is designed to take a number of turret systems (such as the SP 30 turret also mounted on the ASCOD AFV of the Spanish and Austrian Armies), or it can be used as a standard APC with a mounted machine gun.
With the turret the vehicle can carry 6 infantry. Without the turret, it can carry 12.
The Pandur 8x8 APC is manufactured in Austria while export versions are also built in the Czech Republic and licensed versions in Barreiro, Portugal.