Mercedes-Benz Unimog Celebrated 60 Years with Off-Road Concept

Mercedes-Benz Unimog Celebrated 60 Years with Off-Road Concept
In 1951, the U.S. government’s Nevada Test Site began earning its atomic stripes, The Catcher in the Rye was published, and direct-dial, coast-to-coast telephone service became a reality. In West Germany, Mercedes-Benz unveiled something called a Universal-Motor-Gerät. Beloved the world over (except in North America, where Freightliner couldn’t move the blasted things), the Unimog has fulfilled most conceivable 4×4 roles, from high-mobility ambulance to snowplow to Dakar truck. To celebrate, Daimler has unveiled something profoundly strange.
Mercedes-Benz Unimog Celebrated 60 Years with Off-Road Concept 2

According to Mercedes-Benz Special Trucks, the U5000-based 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’re all for avantgardist, though we’re not exactly sure we’re onboard with the hyperbling wheels. We do, however, dig the truck’s super-weird face and red coil springs. And the aluminum-clad chassis, as well as the open top that hearkens back to fresh-air ’Mogs of yore. Benz claims Bertrand Janssen’s design team was inspired by the poison dart frog. To us, it seems as if the design brief were simply “Sindelfingen goes to SEMA.” We’re a little afraid to think of which synapses overload when Germans hear the tired line about what happens in Vegas.