For 60 years, the Unimog (Universal-Motor-Gerat), has been terrifying young children (and some grown men)--and Mercedes-Benz is proud of that feat. So proud, in fact, that the special trucks unit of the luxury automaker has presented a design study in celebration of 60 years of big, frightening trucks.
For those that are so used to seeing S- and C-Class luxury models that you can't quite wrap your mind around a post-apocalyptic-looking machine of destruction with the three-point star on the grille, Daimler, the parent company of Mercedes-Benz, began producing medium-duty, four-wheel drive industrial workhorses in 1951. The trucks were designed to bridge the rough, variable conditions of the job site with the need for fast, reliable driving on the roads in between. Since that time, 26 Unimog product lines have hit asphalt, mountains, forests, deserts and everything in between pulling such duties as military ops, fire fighting, logging and agriculture.
The"Concept Design 60 Years Unimog" recognizes the heritage of the Unimog while getting onlookers thinking about its future. It's built on the off-road-savvy chassis of the U-5000 and features an open top in honor of the very first Daimler Unimog. While (sadly) the actual model isn't aimed at any sort of production, the front-end is crafted to convey future Mercedes-Benz design language. The concept is also designed to keep people excited about the future possibilities for the Unimog.
Mercedes-Benz 60th Anniversary Unimog Concept
In terms of its bright colors, designers were inspired by an interesting amphibian: the poison dart frog, a frog who's vivid colors warn of its toxic skin. Like the Unimog, the frog is equally adept at navigating water and land. The tropical frog-like color scheme also allowed the designers liberal use of green, a color that was used on the very first Unimog. Other touches include aluminum trim carved from block aluminum and five-star alloy wheels wrapped up in burly rubber.
I visit Moab relatively frequently, and never does my bike look so inadequate as when I'm sitting at the trail head watching a procession of huge-tired, kitted-to-the-extreme Wranglers make its way onto the rock ahead of me. I'd love to turn the tables and show up with this rambunctious frog-wheeler just to see the looks of bewilderment and defeat. It definitely puts most any other truck and jeep to shame.