In 1969, VW presented a "cross-country": the 181, a two-wheel drive vehicle, in the spirit of the Kübelwagen produced during the Second World War. This "Mehari in sheet metal", like many people nicknamed it, took the name of its type of production: 181 or "Thing". Designed at the request of the German army faced with the lateness of the project Jeep, the concept 181 was a light, robust and reliable vehicle. Resulting from the association of parts of the Beetle, Karmann-Ghia and Combi, the production of this military vehicle started in 1970; a civil version was quickly commercialized. The first version of the 181 used the rear of the Combi Split, with a gearbox equipped with reducers ideals for the crossing but difficult on large roads. From 1973, it was equipped with the more modern gearbox with Cox cardans of that time; like so the driving comfort was clearly improved. The success has not been what was expected but the 181 seduced even though for its simplicity and its reliability. Exported across the Atlantic from 1973, the VW 181 achieved great success there but, as he did not respond to the draconian norms of security and pollution which prevailed in the US, it was removed from the market after only 2 years. The production of the VW type 181 ended in 1980.