Solvent people with large land holdings use it as a farm animal or, alternatively, simply as a toy, while companies and municipalities need it as an implement: the Unimog, which has been produced for over 60 years - the abbreviation simply stands for universal power tool. Techies can spend hours enjoying gimmicks like the translation levels, which can be used both forward and backward. So there is an eight-speed transmission plus terrain reduction.
Numerous power take-offs allow the connection of different machines or winches. You can use the Unimog as an excavator as well as cut down trees. No wonder that he is particularly valued by institutions such as the fire brigade or the technical aid organization. About 20 percent of the approximately 600 copies sold in Germany are bought by private companies. You need the extremely convertible vehicle, for example, to lay power lines in difficult-to-pass terrain.
A test driver impressively demonstrates what the traditionalist can really do with the robust ladder frame on a spacious grounds in Brandenburg. Crawling over muddy muddy tracks may not be a big problem with a 4 × 4, but the Unimog plows so confidently and rapidly over bumpy slopes that the occupants could quickly confuse the test area with a rally. The belt holds them in the seat when the Unimog is whipping 50 stones and stones. On the other hand, you hardly have to worry about the traveling monster, this special one Mercedes is technically so solid and sophisticated that obstacles such as tree trunks or larger steps are easily overcome. Even entanglement passages hardly get the cross-country truck equipped with limited slip differentials out of maintenance.
So-called portal axles increase ground clearance - these special axles were positioned higher than with conventional vehicles. With a wading depth of 1,20 meters and a climbing ability of 100 percent, even wet valleys and demanding mountains are not safe from the all-round Mercedes.
An automated gearbox is used for power transmission under non-slip driving conditions. However, if you have maneuvered into an impassable situation from which you may have to swing the Benz out, a clutch pedal can be folded out. And always when the sensitivity of the feet is required instead of leaving the work to the actuator, which sometimes acts a little too grossly. If the journey ends abruptly in the sand, you can simply deflate the air at the push of a button and fill it up again just as easily after passing the passage. New to the current vintage is the possibility to choose pre-configured tire pressures for different surfaces. Automation is also making progress in trucks.
And not just that. Of course, environmental protection also plays a major role in work animals. The engineers gave the sleek, latest-generation Unimog an SCR catalytic converter to keep the nitrogen oxides under control using AdBlue. A 5,1 liter four-cylinder diesel with 170 kW / 231 hp provides propulsion. For the so-called equipment carriers, it can even be a 220 kW / 299 hp six-cylinder with a volume of over seven liters. The torque of 900 Nm is strange even to some AMG drivers; no wonder that the Kraxler has a cardan shaft as thick as a tree trunk. Speaking of tree trunks: thanks to the extra robust steel bumper, the mid-engine 4 × 4 tough wood can easily be run over without being damaged.
Anyone who is actually considering ordering the classic with the look honed for the current model year as well as the redesigned interior design for the domestic goods must plan at least 130.000 euros. Individual requests are to be planned and paid for together with the manufacturer. Countless variants make ordering a tricky business, but mostly the sales representatives are dealing with professionals who know exactly what application they need their customized Unimog for.
Author: Patrick Broich / SP-X