The Mercedes-Benz Commercial Vehicles division is delighted to have won an unusual award: the prestigious “red dot award design concept” in Singapore went to the Unimog design concept.
The “Best of Best” award went to the study presented this summer on the off-road special-purpose vehicle. The jury recognised that good ideas need to be combined with a good design to make a model successful on the market. As a top professional design competition, this award enjoys a high international reputation. Companies, institutions, research centres and design studios all take part. The winners in the different categories are selected from a total of over 3,000 project submissions. On 25 November, Kai Sieber, Head of Design Mercedes-Benz Commercial Vehicles, accepted the award in Singapore.
A glimpse of the design idiom of the future
The design study caused quite a stir at the celebrations this summer to mark the 60th anniversary of the Unimog. It gives a glimpse of the design idiom of the future for commercial vehicle design at Mercedes-Benz, which will have a close connection with the legendary Unimog’s design features. The study thus links the past and the future, emphasising the standard, familiar unique selling propositions of the Unimog, such as high ground clearance, coiled springs (these are retained all in red) and the frame design, while at the same time incorporating some design elements of the future. In this instance, the chunky bonnet reflects the typical Mercedes-Benz lines. The mudguards are just a few sparsely drawn lines, and the overall look of the concept creates its own individual dynamics. The colour selection is also no accident. The first Unimog was green, and this has remained a very popular colour with Unimog owners right up to the present day.
However, the shade of green of the design study takes its inspiration from the arrow poison frog, a rare amphibian species which, like the Unimog, can be found both on land and in water. The wheels, which in line with the Unimog design are all of equal size, feature striking and movable five-star aluminium rims, and the headlights bundle the light rather like stage lighting, giving the Unimog an all-round striking appearance.
The design concept is not intended as the prototype for a future Unimog generation, although certain details could certainly be incorporated in future. The design study continues the development history of the Unimog, displaying a highly innovative character and an exceptional degree of flexibility, just like the series production Unimog in its many applications around the world.
60 years of Mercedes-Benz Unimog – the success of an idea
Over the last twelve months, the Unimog has celebrated two important anniversaries: 60 years ago, on 3 June 1951, the first Mercedes-Benz Unimog was built in Gaggenau, and in December 2010, the 10,000th unit of the U 300/U 400/U 500 series rolled off the production line at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Wörth. A unique vehicle design was born, with a high level of cross-country capability, thanks to its all-wheel drive system, and a high speed capability on the roads. Since then, apart from winter and maintenance operations, and also municipal applications, the Unimog has proved its worth in many other areas, such as forest fire-fighting, road/rail uses, disaster management and rescue services.
Over 380,000 units of the Unimog (the name comes from the German for “Universally Applicable Motorized Implement”) have been built over the last 60 years; the model was manufactured at the Gaggenau plant until 2002, after which production was relocated to the truck plant in Wörth.
Source: Daimler AG