The Ultimate Off-Road Vehicle is… A Mercedes-Benz? It’s called the Unimog. February 27, 2014
When you think off-roading, what do you think of? A lifted Ford? A rugged Chevy Silverado? A Cummins-equipped Dodge? Those are great, but the ultimate off-road vehicle is from a German manufacturer best known for their luxury and sports cars. That’s right; it’s a Mercedes-Benz. Meet the Unimog. The Uni-what, you say? The Unimog. This truck is as ridiculous and capable as it gets. Produced from 1947 to 2013, the Unimog is the most capable vehicle in the world. Its name is an acronmym for UNIversal Motor-Gerät, which is German for “machine.” Originally, the Unimog was designed after WWII to be an agricultural vehicle that could be used to operate saws in forests, or harvesting machines in crop fields. However, their incredibly high ground clearance and permanent all-wheel-drive capability have made them the ultimate choice in many other arenas, such as the military, fire fighting, and even the Dakar rally. The latest iteration, which was built from 2002 to 2013, is the Unimog 437. These are incredibly large vehicles. Empty, they weigh 9,300 pounds, and as mentioned above, they have an amazing ground clearance of 18.7 inches. They can ford water up to 31 inches deep, and are powered by a 4 cylinder Mercedes-Benz turbo diesel engine that produces almost 600 foot pounds of torque. That’s serious power, which translates to serious capability. The Unimog 437 also has a staggering payload capacity of 16,500 pounds. This truck could carry YOUR truck in its bed, and more. They can be fitted with 16-speed transmissions, which consist of 8 forward gears and 8 reverse gears, giving you the right gearing for any situation, any grade, or any type of terrain. Everything about the Unimog is the most rugged and most impressive. For instance, a heat insulated cab, heated windshield, and heated air dryer to warm the engine fluids allow the Unimog to comfortably perform in temperatures well below zero degrees. That’s good, because there’s a front implement drive on the Unimog that allows you to operate things like plows, snow throwers, and more, and the weather will never stop you from doing what you need to do. Off-roading and ruggedness not your cup of tea, but you still want the look? No problem. The Unimog Black Edition is the biggest and baddest urban and off-road assault vehicle money can buy (Sorry, Hummer H1 and H2). Unlike its more rugged siblings, the Black Edition comes with a leather interior, Alcantara headliner, velour carpets, and the same Command system you’ll find in a Mercedes-Benz S-class luxury car. There’s a DVD player, GPS navigation, and a whole host of other features, but don’t think this Unimog is afraid to get dirty. It’s got even MORE torque than a standard Unimog, with over 800 foot pounds, so it can tow anything you need: your yacht, your horse trailer, your cars… anything. So the next time you find a trail, an obstacle, or an object to pull that you just don’t think can be moved, remember the Unimog. It can, and will, do things that make regular trucks cower in fear. If you had a Unimog, what would you do first?