Starting in 1948, i.e. before the founding of the Bundesbahn, work began on the design of a lightweight two-axle railcar. The first prototypes were in service from 1950. Series production began in 1952. A total of 557 railcars of the series version and a similar number of sidecars were built for the DB. The vehicle was also procured by foreign railroads. The last vehicle was in service with DB until 1983.
The twin-engine VT 98s procured in series from 1995 onward were in service until 2000.
The model was based on an idea by Flogo, but the drive and dimensions were changed.