The Mercedes-Benz Special Trucks division in collaboration with Daimler commercial vehicle designers in Sindelfingen and a model designing partner, has unveiled a design concept based on the U5000 series of trucks to celebrate 60 Years of the Mercedes-Benz Unimog. The unveiling took place on June 3 at the CustomerCentre at the Mercedes-Benz Plant in Wörth.
Before we start on the details and the ardous task of trying to put down in words the design elements of the Unimog Concept, I think we owe you an introduction to the Unimog series of trucks. Universal-Motor-Gerät, Gerät being ‘machine’ or ‘device’ in German is where the Unimog gets its name from. Launched during the hard times immediately after the end of World War II, the indestructible Unimog has long since become one of the living legends in automotive engineering. The Unimog has lived by one promise, enormous versatility for assignments of virtually all kinds, superior off-road mobility thanks to its all-wheel drive, portal gear axles and differential locks front and rear, a compact cab, outstanding robustness and the possibility of attaching a multitude of working implements.
Mercedes-Benz says the concept has an impressive, dynamic and extremely expressive “face” corresponding to the future form language of Mercedes-Benz commercial vehicle design. The design concept combines the past and future of the Unimog in an extremely avantgardist way.
“We have taken the Unimog-DNA with its unique concept features to 100 percent into consideration when creating this design concept,” says Bertrand Janssen from the Daimler department for commercial vehicle design.
Yaris Pürsün, Director of the Mercedes-Benz Plant at Wörth and Mercedes-Benz Special Trucks, is visibly enthusiastic about this new interpretation of the Unimog idea by the commercial vehicle designers and the project team responsible. “The result is a complete success. At Mercedes Benz Special Trucks we decided to construct a design concept because we are of the opinion that such a vehicle will act as a bridge between the progressive strength of self-renewal that has distinguished the Unimog programme for 60 years and the future design of the coming generations of products.”
The Concept Design 60 Years Unimog was designed with the intent to show that a great deal of innovation is still possible in the engineering of future Unimog generations.
The bonnet lines and mud-guards follow Mercedes-Benz Trucks’ design language. The colour green was chosen for the hulk of a bonnet, since Bertrand Janssen’s team of designers were inspired by the poison dart frog, (what?) which like the Unimog is also extremely mobile both in water and on land. Green was also the colour of the very first Unimog and numerous versions in the future. The coil springs of the Unimog are painted in red, definitely not inspired by Hrithik Roshan’s antics in a hurricane, but to draw attention, as they have been the selling point of the Unimog for years now.
The clearly visible, sweeping lines of the frame have been finished with high-grade trims cut from aluminium blocks. The four same-size wheels make a strong optical impression with their five star alu-rim design. Extremely bling, we say!
Bertrand Janssen emphasises, ” On no account did we work in an atmosphere where our ideas were divorced from reality. Here we have a vehicle which is puristic, but still clearly true to concept – with the claim, that some of its details will turn up in coming product ranges in future. We continued to take up the most important Unimog features which have characterised the vehicle for the last 60 years and which will also characterise it in future – features such as portal axles, coil springs or the frame concept.”
The design concept “60 Years Unimog” is not however a prototype for a new product range.
U 500 Black Edition:
The Unimog does seem to be the favoured child at Mercedes-Benz trucks. Check out the Unimog U 500 Black Edition, from Brabus. An elegant silhouette, the most distinctive features of which were a platform with integral side panels, a gleaming, futuristic-looking, silver bumper and polished stainless steel roll-over bar and an upswept chrome exhaust pipe reminiscent of a US truck.
On the inside the Unimog Black Edition indulged its driver with 16 features in real carbon, Alcantara leather trim for the roof and A/B-pillars and seats upholstered in finest mastic leather. The footwells were carpeted in soft velour, the pedals on the other hand were finished in aluminium and the steering wheel in black leather. On the inside, too, the Black Edition was a first-class implement carrier: entertainment and information highlights included the COMAND system from the S-Class, which offered a 6.5’ screen, DVD navigation, CD changer and a specially developed compass function.
About Portal Axles:
As is obvious from the above images, a portal axle enables to have the axle tube above the centre of the hub. This enables the vehicle to have a higher ground clearance.