For the tenth time in a row the Mercedes-Benz Unimog has been named best Cross-country Vehicle of the Year in the “special-purpose vehicles” category by readers of the specialist journal “Off Road”.
The “Cross-country Vehicle of the Year” was selected from thirteen categories with off-roadable vehicles from a total of 58 manufacturers. More than 63,000 votes were cast, and 127 were available for selection. The Unimog takes first place amongst the special-purpose vehicles with a superb 35.5 percent of the readers’ votes.
Whether it’s in the bone-dry Gobi desert, in the tundra and taiga of Siberia or on the hot volcano crater road on Vesuvius – there is barely a challenge in the whole world which the Mercedes-Benz Unimog would not be capable of taking on. Especially in its new Euro VI variant.
The genes for such extreme applications are in its blood. Thanks to the new mid-engine location in the all-terrain Unimog Euro VI the frame drop is now further back, and overall this means that a lower vehicle centre of gravity with simultaneously high ground clearance has been achieved, which further optimises the handling in off-road applications. Degrees of articulation of up to 30 degrees are possible due to the thrust tube technology in conjunction with the coil springs. Portal axles and a slope climbing ability of 45 degrees complete the all-terrain Unimog – model designation U 4023/U 5023. In addition to this there is the maximum fording depth of 1.20 m and a side inclination angle of up to 38 degrees. Driving in extreme situations with engaged all-wheel drive is supported by the engageable differential locks and the “Tire control Plus” tyre pressure control system. This can simply be set with buttons on the steering wheel for the respective application via the “road”, sand” and “rough road” programs.
The power comes courtesy of the high-torque BlueTec 6 common-rail OM 934 LA engine, a four-cylinder unit with 5.1 l displacement, 170 kW (230 hp) and 900 Nm torque. Eight forward and six reverse gears are available, and optionally there is also an off-road gear group for all-terrain applications in the speed range between 2.5 and 35 km/h.
Alongside this all-terrain Unimog the new implement carrier model series is available with the model designations from the U 216 to the U 530. It also boasts state-of-the-art Euro VI engines with outputs up to 220 kW (299 hp).
When it comes to maintenance, diagnosis or repair, too, everything is taken care of for the Unimog. For in over 650 service outlets in more than 130 countries knowledgeable Unimog dealers look after the vehicle, whilst special service offers and financial services round off the overall package.
The magazine “Off Road” has been holding the readers’ poll for Cross-country Vehicle of the Year since 1982.